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The Democrat-Reporter
Linden, Alabama
October 30, 2014     The Democrat-Reporter
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October 30, 2014

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Help restore this courthouse built in 1848. Volume One Hundred, Thirty-Five # i Thursday October 30 2014 1oo Linden Reporter established 1879 -Marengo Democrat established 1889 -Merged 1911 per copy Number Fifty-Two Three Sections -- Twenty Pages Published in Linden, Alabama, USA October tea, the pale amber ambi- ence, rode the pontoon crafts to where the Steamer Gardner went to the bot- tom of the Tombigbee River in 1888. So did the holders of the evening libations as they were wanning up for the ride to the bereaved family's man- sion aboard a hay wagon with a narra- tor who painted the gruesome scenes with word pictures. Louisa who was pretty much the town busy body and kept up with everything and everyone and never missed an article out of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Katherine, also garbed in 1888 fash- ionery, related the same story in another craft plying the rippling waters of a slow moving Tombigbee. The cold, harsh winter, the cows it killed, the record snowflake, current events such as the earthquake in Charleston, gazebo (well cover in town square), US Senate allowing Navy to Katherine -- Jennifer Roemen Fashionable grievers use Pearl Harbor as a base, the gift of see the "funeral wagon" and surmise the Statue of Liberty to US, first ticker that all have passed: tape parade, and the scandalous mar- "Then we all get on the funeral riage of our President Grover Cleveland wagon and go pay our respects to the to the much younger Miss Folsom. Lyons. In route we hear William's The items of interest flowed from the account of what happened when the lips of the ladies of charm as the flare- boat caught fire. At Lyon Hall we meet ing wreckage of the Gardner was on the Annie and George Lyons at the gate of farbank. Lyon Hall. They are holding little Then the tourists come upon the Helen (who didn't go on the boat) and wreckage. They go back for help and Little Rosa who survived. They tell on the way Louisa and Katherine dis- you how thankful they are that you've cuss more of the history of the family stopped by to pay your respects and and that "I pray the rest are all alright." what an awful tragedy -- then they They talked about the. cursed river and point to the seven coffins lined up along how it had tragically taken the lives of the porch of Lyon Hall -- complete so many already -- not long after the with flowers on top of the caskets and Eliza Battle tragedy. . candlelight. William gets off the trailer Visitors heard the history of the real and heads up to the porch where the meaning of Tombigbee and where that caskets are-- he% in deep grief." came from. "The old medicine man The trailer starts to drive away but a picking the flesh off the bones and such few blocks down the road the tour -- they liked that, I think. It was grue- encounters Mae, the nursemaid. She some. If you don't know it -- the tells you her version of what happened Indian name for the fiver is itombi ikbi. on the boat -- how tragic it was and It means coffin maker. The medicine how the children never should have man had a really long fingernail that he been there in the first place. She gives used to pick the flesh off of human great detail about how many times she bones, went under and she lost consciousness "He sat at the point of the river. He and has no idea who pulled her out. built a hut out of the bones and that is "By this time we've arrived at Trinity where he lived and kept watch. When Episcopal where we think we are going he felt the tribe was threatened he to a funeral. would sound the alert and the braves "On the sidewalk, 19 people are would lay in wait along the bluff and standing somberly, each with a burning shoot flaming arrows at anyone who candle. The first one, the boat captain didn't belong. The settlers didn't under- tells his name and blows out his candle stand itombi ikbi and they though the and so on all the way down the line Indians were saying Tombigbee -- so until the end. No one has noticed that there you go. Mae, who was on the trailer with you is "Then we come back to shore and now at the end of the line and she states move forward in the process of visiting the bereaved survivors of the Louisa -- Laurie Willingham her name then extinguishes her candle. "You've been riding with a ghost all along!!!" "We go back to the landing and sud- denly William appears -- he is leaving town. He can't take the heartache and asks for a fide. Then William becomes Kirk the tour guide again and tells the rest of the history of what we know about William." He did indeed reave town within days after the tragedy and moved to Birmingham. "We know that over the years'-h lived ifi NYC, Texas, Missouri, and eventually back to Birmingham. "He remarried within a year and had two more children. We don't know if he ever had contact with the Lyons and his surviving daughter again.., unless he was really there Friday and Saturday evenings." steamer Gardner sinking Marengo County voters can vote and Joe Hubbard. Republican or Democrat Tuesday, Nov. 4, John Merrill and Lula Albert-Kaig;er without hurting the feelings of local candi- are running for secretary of state. dates. John McMitlan and Doug Smith :~re Local candidates a]l ran on the running for commissioner of agriculture Democratic ticket in the primary elections, and industries. Voters will have the option to vote There are five amendments on the hal- straight ticket or split between Democrats lot. and Republicans for Governor, Lt. No. 1 deals with the state giving intbr- Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of mation to other countries about its citizens. State, State Auditor, Commissioner of No. 2 deals with the trust fund and Agriculture and Industries. maintaining national guard armories. The other races are uncontested. For No. 3 deals with the right to keep guns. governor are Robert Bentley and Parker No. 4 is requiring a two-thirds majority Griffith. vote to allow boards of education to spend For lt. governor are Kay Ivey and James over $50,000. fields. No. 5 declares people have a right to Attorney general has Luther Strange hunt and fish. Thomasville could see the ground breaking for the new hospital in December according to Mayor Sheldon Day. He made the announcement at the city council meeting Monday, Oct. 27. In the next two weeks the details of the plans will be finalized. The financial parts to the project are also coming in, he said. The grant money that has been awarded, is t "aking a little time as the old fiscal year projects are cleared out before the new monies can be distributed. Mayor Day explained that the project would take approximately 14 months to complete. Councilman Lewis Herron commented, "Some citizens had moved elderly family members away from the area to be close to medical care. Now these families have been in contact with the city, trying to get a time frame where they could look into moving their families back." Day commented, "It has been a long road when over two years ago the hospital closed due to bankruptcy. Thomasville lost their hospital, some lost jobs, and for a while lost hope to bring the hospital back and operating. Details include the city contributing $650,000 a year toward building the new hospital. The loan is open ended, so there is a line of credit with unlimited years to complete the project. The loans could reach an estimated 20-30 years. Day said, "The top of the line facility will include a fantastic surgery center, pri- vate patient rooms, and oversized ER with 12 stations." The hospital's name, will be Thomasville Regional Medical Center. Jobs in Thomasville will increase by a~ least 100. The new facility will have aJ~ economic impact of an estimated $24 mil- lion. Average payrolls will top $5 million ~,, year. The hospital will sit on a 57 acre med- ical park on the south side of town. There was an additional eight acres purchased to be located closer to Highway 43, than in the original plans. In other business, the city approved the low bid of $436,257.25 from Howell Construction Company, LLC. The Energex project will receive an extra $300,000 from the state totLx railways that isn't included in the bidding of the Con- struction company. Council members also agreed to pemm nently move the times of the regular meet ings to the second and fourth Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. The water board meetings will now be held at 5:30. IE Linden's ChiLLy Fest will be Dec. 12th and 13th this year. Chili cookers will party Friday night with Kleen Slate. Ace Jones will start from 6pm to 8pm. Kleen Slate plays from 8pm until 1 lpm. The concerts are free at the stage beside Linden Elementary School. Chili and Cornbread Cook Off judging begins at 11 am Saturday. Public serving of chili begins at 12 noon. Chili cooking winners will be awarded $500 for first place, $250 for second, and $100 for third. The Combread winner will be awarded $100. Friday evening the Christmas carnival will last until the crowd goes home. Saturday, Dec. 13, events start early. Chester McConnell, United States Local Food Vendors and arts and crafts Marine Corps veteran will be the speaker at the annual Pine Hill Veterans Day pro- will be vending from 8am until 2pro. gram Tuesday, Nov. 11. Food vendors will move to the Gazebo His topic will be "Apocalypse Almost at 4 pro. -- The Cuban Missile Crisis." The pro- ChiLLy Chili Run (Run, Walk, & Fun gram will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Pine Run) begins at 9am. Hill Cemetery on Arnold Drive. Linden's Christmas Parade of Lights McConnell is a Pine Hill native, one begins at 6:30pm. of eight children of Emmett and Sweet There will be a fireworks extravaganza McConnell. He moved from Pine Hill in after the parade. 1954 but returns often to visit. He The best float will win $100. There is worked with the FBI for four years in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and New no fee to enter the parade. Parade theme Orleans. this year is: A Chili Pepper Christmas. He attended Livingston University All forms are online at (now University of West Alabama) and under ChiLLy Fest or enlisted in the Marine Corps on you can pick up forms at City Hall. September 1960 after earning his college degree. Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency for McConnell completed recruit training nine years and the Wildlife Management at Quantico, Virginia, in December 1960 Institute for 31 years. McConnell and his and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. He wife Dorothy currently live in Spanish completed officer Basic School in 1961 Fort. and served as Pioneer Platoon The Veterans Day ceremony will Commander at Camp Lejeune, N. C. and honor those who have served and are the Mediterranean Sea area. He was currently serving in all branches of the involved in the Cuban Missile crisis dur- United States Military. Pine Hill Mayor ing October 1962. After returning to Roberta Jordan will open the ceremony Camp Lejeune, he was promoted as 1st by welcoming all persons who attend, Lieutenant, Company Commander, H&S followed by Harold Swearingen leading Company. He left active duty in 1964. the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of He was promoted to the rank of Captain the United States of America. Tekema and served in the Marine Corps Reserve Collins will then sing the National until 1968. Anthem. After leaving the Marine Corps, All veterans in attendance will be rec- McConnell obtained a Master's Degree ognized by Maynita Weatherly with spe- at Auburn University. He worked for the cial acknowledgement of the oldest pre- sent. Mattie Wright will read the Honorary Roll Call of all Known deceased veterans in Pine Hill Families of all veterans will also be recognized. McConnell will follow and speak about his experience in the Cuban Missile Crisis. He will also disclose information about the crisis that was kept secret from most citizens for 50 years. Following McCo.nnell's speech Dorothy McConnell will read the poem "The Noble and the Brave" that honors veterans. Pastor Dawn Bond, Pine Hill Methodist Church, will offer the closing prayer. The public is invited to attend. Please bring lawn chairs for seating at this out- door ceremony. In case of inclement weather, the event will be in City Hall. BANK Member FDIC homasville Branch 33821 Hwy 43 Thomasville Sweet Water 334-994-4113 Thomasville 334-636-0036 Linden 334-295-8871 Demopolis 334-287-1300