Chris Rice Cooper

Chris Rice Cooper

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Big News & Photos of Montgomery, Alabama in January 1905

Christal Cooper
1,149 Words                             

The Events of January 1905
In Montgomery, Alabama

In celebration of the New Year of 1905, the Montgomery Advertiser published a cartoon titled “Montgomery’s New Leaf”, which described all the changes Montgomery would face in 1905, some of which were:  a new mayor; new hotel; new waterworks system; new school houses; and a new fire station. 


There were bittersweet moments that some Montgomery citizens went through when their New Year’s List resolution was not followed completely, one of which was Committee Chairman W. F. Vandiver.  Vandiver ha don his New Year’s List that Montgomery would receive the full $500,000 for Alabama River appropriation.  Unfortunately, The Rivers and Harbor Committee of Congress in Washington only approved of $100,000 for the year 1905.  Even still Chairman Vandiver was optimistic and looked on the bright side of things:  because of the $100,00 appropriation the Alabama River’s steamboat traffic will not be handicapped by low water for at least the full 1905 year. 


It was a bittersweet moment for Mayor Thomas H Car as well.  Mayor Carr, who lives on South Court Street, originally planned to return to his official duties after he recovered from an illness at St Margaret’s Hospital.  During Mayor Car’s absence, President of the Council Alderman C.P. McIntyre performed duties as Mayor.   On January 14, 1905 Mayor Carr announced that due to his health, he would not stand for re-election for Mayor of Montgomery. 



As a result, the Montgomery Advertiser predicts there will be at least six candidates for Montgomery Mayor, which will be decided in the primary election this April.   The men expected to enter the mayor race are:  W.M. Teague; James J. Sullivan; Judge Terry Richardson; Charles P Anderson; A.Q. Forbes; R.E. Steiner; and Judge Randolph.




Judge A.D. Sayre (his daughter Zelda will later marry famed novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald) attended the weekly meeting of the Board of Revenue of Montgomery.  At the meeting he made a formal request that the board consider erecting an office for him to use as a judge’s chamber.  Judge Sayre now resides in the grand jury room and, due to lack of space, files his papers on his uncovered desk. The Board approved to have an architect to draw up plans for a Judge’s chamber.  Weeks earlier the Board already approved for an architect to draw plans for a fireproof addition to the courthouse to be occupied by Clerk of the City Henry E Matthews.  The proposed cost of the two extensions would be $2,000.




       Unfortunately two Montgomery citizens would lose something that cost a lot more than $2000 – one would lose his home and the other his life. 
       Thomas A Stephens, of 120 Wilkinson Road, hired twenty-two Negro laborers to remodel his home.  The partial two- floor home consisted of one floor positioned below the surface of the sidewalk.  Stephenson decided to raise this floor to the level of the sidewalk, which would make the home a full two-floor home.
       The twenty-two men were doing the last of the work of raising the structure with jacks.  Unfortunately, the men on the north side of the residence were working at a faster pace than the laborers on the opposite side, and, as a result, the supports were not placed under the house quick enough.  The structure fell with an astronomical crash that was heard in the downtown district.


The only injured individual was Negro Laborer Liston Howard, who lives on Davidson Street.  Howard suffered a fractured skull and broken arm, and was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital where it is believed he will probably die. 


       Conductor of the Montgomery Street Railway, J.D. Miller, a 25-year-old widower, was crushed to death due to a collision between a train car of the Montgomery Street Railway and a switch engine of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company near Riverside Park yesterday morning at 10:30.


       Montgomery Street Railway’s Car, operated by Percy Railey, was traveling from Riverside Park to Montgomery at the same time that Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company’s switch engine, operated by Engineer W.W. Wright, was headed toward the city.  At the second crossing from Riverside Park, the tracks of the Montgomery Street Railway cross the Louisville & Nashville Tracks at right angles, which can not be observed from one another due to a row of Negro houses blocking the view.


       According to W.H. Ragland, Vice President of the Montgomery Street Railway, Railey bought the streetcar to a complete stop at the second crossing from Riverside Park.  Conductor Miller went forward and signaled him to come across.  As the streetcar started to come across Conductor Miller swung on the front step, while Motorman Railey saw a big black engine heading toward the streetcar, cried out a hoarse warning, and saved himself by dashing to the rear of the streetcar.  The engine struck the streetcar and bowled it over resulting in Conductor Miller’s mangled deceased body, which is now at the morgue of the coroner of W.H. Tice.


       Attorneys from the Montgomery Street Railway and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company blame one another for the tragic event.
       To escape the tragic events occurring in Montgomery, citizens of Montgomery could attend the Montgomery Theater Matinee at 2:30 p.m. and night performances to watch Charles Frehman Presents “The Girl From Kays,” the big musical comedy that reined for nine months in New York City last season and one year in London the preceding season.  "The Girl From Kays” is “one of the brightest that has ever found its way to us from London and New York.”


       The dogs will be the first exhibited at the State Poultry Association Show, which will take place at the Montgomery Auditorium from Wednesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.  There will also be cackling hens of proud ancestry, roosters of every description, every member of the fowl family, including a 60-pound white Holland turkey, displayed at the show.  There will also be chickens of every kind displayed in chicken crates that have been artistically arranged.  The show is exhibiting entrants from every southern state in the union at a cost of the nominal ten cents, to cover the actual expenses of the exhibition.   Wednesday night will be free to every child in Montgomery which excites President J.C. Adams of the Association because he believes the show will give the children of Montgomery “an education along beneficial lines.”


       Last but not least, Montgomery Advertiser reporter Katherine Morton wrote an article on the importance of Montgomery citizens, especially its women,   making it a habit of physical exercise within their own home.  Morton wrote:  “Your apartment may be a hall bedroom or a capacious boudoir in a country house; no matter which, either one gives opportunity for the work.”


       Morton encourages leg exercises, dancing, particularly ball room dancing that will help Montgomery women develop “a slender calf and reduce a fleshy one.” Morton also encourages women to outdoor walk and hill climb in order to have well-rounded calves.

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