Battle for Decatur, Alabama

Decatur is located on the banks of the Tennessee River.  During the Civil War, it was a key transportation point, because both the Memphis and Charleston railroads crossed the Tennessee River in Decatur.  Decatur also had a national road (US Highway 31) that went through the city.

The Confederates were determined to stop the Union Army from taking the city.  They knew without Decatur it would be extremely difficult for the Union to get supplies, artillery, and reinforcements to their troops.

The Confederate Army fought fiercely for four days with General Hood in command.  General Hood was confident that Decatur would not fall to the Union Army.  He said, Decatur was a “hard nut to crack.”  General Hood employed the use of mounted troops, gunboats, and a vast number of infantrymen.

General Robert Granger was in command of the Union troops, which included the 14th United States Colored Troops (USCT) led by Colonel Thomas Morgan.  The USCT was able to drive back the Confederate troops and take control of the city.

Most of Decatur was destroyed during the war and only five buildings remained.  Four of those buildings are still standing today:  the Old State Bank, the Dancy-Polk House, the Todd House, and the McEntire Home.

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Source:  Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

Former Strip Club Converted Into a Church

Jimmy’s Too was a strip club in Harvest, Alabama that went out of business and their building was bought by Refuge Church.  The building has been completely renovated and should be ready for church services soon.

I would like to attend this church and when I walk in the door say something like:

  • I know I’ve been gone a long time, but wow this place has changed!
  • What happened?  Did Jimmy get religion?

My family advise against such actions, but I think it would be funny.  What to you think?

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Refuge Church purchases former strip club, plans to renovate it into a sanctuary and community center

Cornwall Furnace in Cedar Bluff, Alabama

Cornwall Furnace was built between 1862 and 1863.  It was a cold blast furnace used to produce pig iron for the civil war.  It was small, but a major assist to the confederate states in the production of cannons and other types of military equipment.

However, its glory was short lived.  General Sherman occupied the area and had the furnace destroyed in 1864.  It was rebuilt after the war, but was only operational for seven years.

My Family History – Ouija Board, Poisoning, and Court Cases

Otis and Ollie Lynn are my great-grandparents.  They were married on 19 August 1922, and lived with Otis’s mother (Artie “Hassell” Lynn) in Walker County, Alabama.

Artie was a cantankerous woman.  There are court documents stating Artie hit her neighbor (Monroe Windgo) with a large stick, due to an argument over a cow.  She also cursed at several other neighbors, was seen with a shot-gun while making threats, and even got so mad at the local preacher that she called him numerous curse words.

In 1926, Artie accused Ollie of stealing $10.00.  Ollie denied the accusation, so Artie acquired a Ouija board.  According to the court records, the money was found, “under the alleged direction of a Ouija board,” in Ollie’s trunk.

This enraged Ollie, so she took her and Otis’s child (Pauline) and moved back to her parent’s house.  Otis pleaded with Ollie to return, and eventually she agreed.  However, she demanded Otis find another place for them to live.

Otis was reluctant to leave his mother’s house.  Upon Artie’s death, Otis was to inherit the house and all of her property.  If Otis moved out of the house, Artie said Otis would inherit nothing.

The relationship between Ollie and Artie remained tense.  In 1927, Artie accused Ollie of trying to poison Tennie Mae (Otis’s child by his first wife, who was deceased).  Ollie denied the accusations, but the fighting continued to intensify.

Once again, Ollie took her child and went back to her parent’s house.  Otis filed for a divorce and for custody of Pauline.  The Circuit Court judge denied the divorce and granted custody of Pauline to Ollie on 25 June 1927.

This was not the end of their legal battles.  Otis decided not to pursue the divorce; however, he did appeal for custody of Pauline.  The case went to the Alabama Supreme Court on 30 September 1927.

During the court proceedings, numerous witness were called and questions were asked regarding the families church attendance, work ethic, sobriety, and their personal reputations.

The court determined Otis and Ollie were, “both of good character.”  However, evidence and testimony showed Artie was, “of a disagreeable character and hard to get alone with.”

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled the child would remain with Ollie and Otis was granted visitation rights.  Otis was also required to pay $15.00 a month in child support.  At the time, Otis worked as a coal miner and made $3.00 a day.

This whole convoluted case finally came to an end when Artie died on 3 June 1928.  Otis and Ollie lived in the house that Otis inherited from his mother.  They had a total of ten children and remained together until Otis passed away on 27 June 1949.

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Lily Flagg – The Famous Cow

Lily Flagg was a Jersey cow and the world’s top producer of milk in the 1890’s.  She was owned by W. E. Mathews and General Samuel Moore of Huntsville, Alabama.

Lily Flagg won numerous state fairs and was invited to compete at the Chicago World Fair, which was an extreme honor.  While in Chicago, an inexperienced farm hand was given the job of caring for Lily Flagg.  He thought by not milking her for a couple of days, she would produce even more milk during the competition.

However, failing to milk a cow on a daily basis results in swelling of the udders and can lead to infection.  As a result, Lily Flagg did not perform well and lost the competition.

Lily Flagg went on to win other awards and was later used for breading.  Cows with Lily Flagg in their pedigree sold for top dollar.

Lily Flagg was the most famous cow in Alabama.  In Huntsville, there is a road named after her.  Her name continues to live on, even thorough she died over a hundred years ago.

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