Ozark Tribune

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Ozark Tribune, Sept. 13, 1904
part of the large section on citizens of Ozark and Dale Co. also has
articles about the churches


    In 1850 Rev. Joel Sims was sent as a missionary from the Eufaula
Association and he got a few people together and held a meeting at the house
of William Andrews, Sr., and there was much interest at that time, and later
on Rev. Leroy Sims constituted a church at William Andrew's house.  Mr.
Andrews and wife, Mary, Francis and Sallie, his daughters, and his sons,
William, Benjamin, Ira and Arter all joined and then they constituted the
church on the following Sunday.  In 1851, Rev. Reuben E. Brown came and held
a meeting under an arbor where the Ozark graveyard now is, the meeting was
very interesting and asked an arm of the church that was organized as above,
set out to be extended to the place where he was holding his meeting, and at
that meeting Moses Matthews and wife joined the church, also Gordon Matthews
and his wife joined at the same time.  Moses Matthews then offered to give a
lot of land if they would move the church on it, and it was done, and this
is the way the Union church was brought in existence.  Today there are three
charter members of the church still living, they are W.F. Cox, Mary Howell
and Francis Whitman who participated in organizing the church at William
Andrew's.  There was a church built at William Andrew's place and when the
church was moved to where it now is, William Andrews took the building back
and a new church was built just east of the present cemetery of Ozark.  Mr.
Andrews was an ordained deacon of the church that was organized at his
place, and when the church was moved to its present locality Gordon Matthews
was made deacon, and Rev. Leroy Simms was first pastor.  Rev. Caswell Smith,
Rev. R. Deal, Rev. J.M. Poyner and other noted Baptist preachers have served
the church all along.  During 1866, W.F. Cox was made a deacon which
position he held a long time.  This handsome cut gives you the likeness
[picture in article] of the Baptist church building now.  This building
shows what kind of material the little handful of Baptist are made of.  Rev.
H.L. Martin, when his health gave way and he retired from doing evangelistic
work concluded he would undertake to raise the money necessary to build a
new Baptist church.  Hew was ably assisted by the pastor, Rev. J.J. Hagood,
and many of the noble and faithful members of the church.  It is a monument
of sacrifice and love for the cause it stands out to represent.  The
building is octagonal shaped with a nice auditorium and has a Sunday school
and choir room, all of which can be turned into one very large auditorium by
means of rolling partitions.  There are many handsome windows, three
memorial windows, one to J.H. Sessions, one to Rev. Caswell Smith and wife
and one to Rev. A.L. Martin and wife.  Everyone who sees the interior of the
building pronounces it the prettiest in the state.  The pews are of the
finest finish, in fact none are scarcely ever manufactured that are any
finer than those in the Baptist church.  The membership is compose of some
of the very best people of the city.  There are about 180 members, and a
flourishing Sunday school of about 150 scholars.  The church is in a
prosperous condition and is on the eve of a great upbuilding.  Out of debt
and with bright prospects we predict the church will be a might power for
good.  The church is elegantly furnished and carpeted all over.  The second
church building was built by Stephen D. Parker and other good people in
1886, while Rev. J.M. Poyner was pastor and Rev. P.M. Calloway, Sr.,
preached the dedication sermon.  This last building was erected in 1902,
Rev. J.J. Hagood being pastor.  Dedicated in fall of 1903.  Dr. Charles A.
Stakely, of Montgomery, preached the dedication sermon.

Some other names in the Ozark Tribune, Aug. 23, 1904

Lewis School House----
Mrs. Phillips is visiting her son, Mr. J.S. Phillips in this community.
Mr. H.H. Hales has been sick, getting better.
Mr. Irving Lewis is very unwell.

Mrs. Lillie Parker returned from a visit to Enterprise.
Dan McNair visiting relatives in Troy.
Mr.D.L. Walker of Oateston, Barbour county visited relatives in the city.
Mrs. Carrie Watford of Hilliardville, Henry co, sister of Mrs. J.M.Oppert is
visiting in Ozark.
Jim Thomas of near Skipperville visited relatives in Ozark.
Mrs. H.O. Dowling is visiting in Montgomery.
Pearce Cousins has arrived in the city.
Mr. Jesse Adams of Montgomery visting relatives.
Miss Willie Parker after visiting relatives in Enterprise is now home.
Thelma McNair home after a visit to Dothan.
Mrs. W.H. Simmons visiting her father Judge J.M. Carmichael in Montgomery.
Mrs. J.W. Hilliard visiting friends and relatives in Montgomery and Troy.
Mr. T.B. Wallace of Tallassee is visiting his sons, C.N. and J.M. Wallace

Ozark Tribune, Oct. 10, 1905

Mr. Warren Sims went to lower part of route.
R.A. Howell, Daniel Martin, Martin Crumpler, Sam Stephens, Lin Byrd, Isaac
Byrd, Bill Delony, some of the best farmers on this route.

Henry L. Andrews has a nice grill at a low price.
Dr. Christian, popular doctor and has a fine practice.
R.D. Burt busy shipping evergreens north.
Capt. William Green will be visiting his children in Atlanta.
Mr. George A. Sanders is considering building a home.
Jim and Mike Waters at Glenwood.
Mr. Jim Warrick sold saw mill to M.L. Beck.
Professor Pollock began his school at Glenwood.
Miss Jenkins, from Inverness will be assisting at the school.

Ozark Tribune, Sept. 13, 1904


 The big grocer whose picture appears above is one of the self made men of
our town.  He was born in Jan. 1860, being the son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel
Beasley and was born in Dale county.  He was likewise educated between the
plow handles, and shoved the hoe also with some degree of skill.  After
becoming a man he farmed for himself and was one of the most successful
farmers in this section of  country.  In 1882, he married Miss Sallie Reid.
In Dec. 1892, he moved to Ozark, Ala.  Is a member of the M.E. church,
South, and also a Red Man.  In 1893 he commenced the family grocery business
on the small capital of $400.  Now his has grown to be a very fine business,
doing some $50,00 worth of business every year.  Lum Beasley is plum full of
energy and pluck, and is reaching out after results and is acquiring
property and will wind up a rich man.  He is meeting with success.  Strictly
up to business all the time and watching the markets, and keeping up with
everything, makes a ready business man out of him, he can't help but
succeed.  Successful businessmen are always great advantages to every town.
What a town wants is a successful businessman and that is what Lum Beasley
is.  He gives stamina and character to the commercial character of our city.
He meets people with a hearty hand shank and people seek his place to do
business. We like to note we have such a fine, first-class man as one of our
leading resident citizens.  Mr. Beasley lives out on Newton street and is
loved by all of his neighbors.  It surely gives us pleasure to know that we
have this big, fine fellow as one of the big and leading men of our town.
He deals correctly and makes friends in his dealings and is succeeding as he
should.  C.C. Beasley is one of the strong businessmen of our town and (?
word faded) the great way in which he is pushing  his business we feel  (??
words faded) are safe in saying, some day in the near future, he will be one
of the rich men of our town.  He has a way of getting along and dealing with
people that wins for him friends and patronage.  Mr. Beasley is a strong
charactered man and his positive mannerism gives him a personal magnetism
that any one might be proud to have.  We feel sure we voice the sentiment of
all when we say his is a very desirable man to have in our city.

Ozark Tribune, Sept. 13, 1904


 One of the most accommodating and clever, nice, fine and smooth fellows is
pictured in the above cut.  He keeps things about his office in a good round
shape and has succeeded well in life.  He was born Nov. 1st, 1870, being
born to George W. and Lettie Riley near Echo, Dale county, Alabama.  He
received what advantages he could get out of the schools of the country and
after entering on the arena of life for himself he began to set about to
educate himself and succeeded well, having graduated with high honors at
Greensboro in this state.  For several years he taught school and was quite
a successful teacher and had charge of some of the fine schools of the
country, and acquitted himself with honor as a teacher.  But his mind was
always bent on law and just as soon as times would admit of it, why, he was
practicing law and he has done well all along.  Mr. Riley joined the
Methodist church in early life and is one of the brightest Masons in this
part of the country.  He is also a Knight of Pythias.  On the 3rd day of
December, 1903, he married that most handsome of women, Miss Ida M.
Robertson, of Birmingham, and they are now domiciled in their delightful
home on Daleville street.  A very charming couple and they have friends
everywhere they are known.  For some time before his marriage he and his
sisters kept house together, and Mr. Riley had done well his part in
educating his three charming sisters, who were left in his charge when his
father and mother died.  His faithfulness to them shows what a heart he has.
With all of this he has always found a way to contribute for the various
charities, churches and public enterprises of this county and town.  He is a
great advocate of Ozark and her prosperity and says Ozark is good enough for
him.  His practice has continually grown upon him and he now has a fine
paying one and he is making money.  Mr. Riley is a stock holder in the bank
and several other business enterprises in our city.  As a first rate careful
and law abiding citizen, none pass him and he is ever ready to pull for the
highest citizenship.  Mr. Riley stands high as a prudent lawyer and his
clients are among the very best people of the country.  His probate practice
pays him well and he is a first rate office lawyer and people often seek his
advice in this office.  Mr. Riley is also largely connected with the best
insurance companies of the world and he does a fine business in that line
and is also connected with one of the best loan companies of the country and
is making fine loans and making good fees.  This young man, for sobriety and
good character, has a fine reputation.

Ozark Tribune, Sept. 13, 1904


    Talk about your boys who have been reared in Ozark and have met the
issues of life well and like men and have succeeded all along, observe the
picture and you will see that young man who is the second son of Hon. G. P.
Dowling and wife Zilphy Dowling.  He was born in Aug. 1878, in Ozark, Ala.,
and was educated in Ozark's graded school and improved well his
opportunities.  In early life he became a member of the Methodist church and
has been a faithful member and stood well by the principles of Methodism.
He is also a Mason of high character, and a Knight of Pythias.  Mr. Dowling
has never been married, and he is so everlasting shy that the girls have
never yet known what route to pursue in order to lasso the young man.  We
believe he is kinder, willing, but somehow he is not just ready and old
bachelorhood might entrap him if the girls do not keep closer watch.  As
soon as he finished school he went to work at once for G.P. Dowling Hardware
Company and soon developed the elements that go to make up a very fine
business man.  He stayed with that big concern a while, but his anxious
nature to begin business for himself urged him onward, and soon he began a
men's and boys' furnishing establishment that has succeeded and thrived ever
since he took charge of it.  He has put his mind and spirit into it and his
live character makes him a success.  He knows how to do things and when he
takes his hands off the job it is complete.  He is really one of the
smoothest and finest business men we have in your town, and a man with his
business acumen would succeed anywhere.  He has very fine judgment and his
business manners are very much like the best merchant that this town ever
had, the Hon. John W. Dowling.  Strictly honest and so gentlemanly in all of
this dealings, his business is growing right along.  He studies his business
and keeps up with the latest and you can read his many advertisements and
see at once that he is a fine and first-class business man.  He owns some of
the finest real estate in this city among some of it is the large double two
story brick buildings on the northeast corner of the public square.
Whenever he has the opportunity he invests in Ozark real estate, and when
you strike hands with him you shake with one of the town's greatest
admirers.  This young man is a great success and we are rejoiced that he is
one of us.  No young man has succeeded any better and none are admired for
genuine sterling worth.


          Some of the Dale County people favored secession and some did not,
but the county as a whole voted for it.  My Grandfather, Ambrose Edwards,
Sr., J.C. Mathews, Hayward Martin, and Ben Martin strongly opposed secession
and war, but after the war began they were loyal and did everything in their
power to aid the South.  My Uncles, Mordecai White and Hope Mizell, and Judge
Crittenden favored secession.
          I first realized that a terrible war was about to come upon us when
our men began drilling in Westville, the village near my Grandfather Edwards'
home.  I had father, uncles, and cousins in the first company that was
organized there, so it was with mingled feelings of pride and sadness that we
watched them drill in their handsome new uniforms.  Their leader was Colonel
Brooks, a veteran of some other war- Indian or Mexican, I suppose.  The
company was later Company E, 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment.  Its officers
were captain Esau Brooks;  First Lieutenant William A. Edwards;  Second
Lieutenant, J.F. Jones;  Third Lieutenant William A. Edwards;  Second
Lieutenant, J.F. Jones;  Third Lieutenant, Lon Bryant.  A young man named
Hildebrand was fifer and leader of the band.  This information I got from
Uncle Young Edwards who was a member of this company who is still living. 
This company left Westville, July 15, 1861, with eighty-six men and was
recruited during the war to two hundred and forty.  One hundred and forty of
these never returned.  Of the one hundred who did return, as far as I can
learn, only about thirty are now (1902) living.  Of the eighty-six who first
went into the army, a mess of eight men was formed;  William A. Edwards,
Billy Mizell, Billy Mobley, J.P. Martin, Ben Martin, Young M. Edwards,
Ambrose Edwards, and James R. Edwards.  None of these eight lost a limb, but
all were wounded in some way.  Young and Ambrose Edwards were in prison at
Ft. Deleware.  Ambrose was captured at Gettysburg in July, 1863 and was
released in October, 1864.
          I had heard the older people talk and read much of the prospect of
war, but as I was young I did not understand or realize the horrors of war at
that time.  I did not even think seriously of what it meant until the company
was organized and the ladies of the neighborhood began to make uniforms for
our soldiers.  These uniforms were made of white osnaberg, a heavy cotton
cloth, with blue stripes on the trousers and the jackets.  I remember how I
thrilled with pride and pleasure as we watched our soldiers marching to the
music of the drum and fife, carrying their flag so proudly, and dressed in
their white uniforms.  Before many weeks our company joined the 15th Alabama
Regiment as Company E and was sent to Virginia and served in General Lee's
Army.  That regiment was famous for its bravery and gallantry.  William C.
Oates, who was governor of Alabama long after the Civil War, and who was a
general during the Spanish-American War was Colonel of this regiment.  To get
to the railroads the companies from Dale and adjoining counties marched
through the country to Union Springs, seventy miles away, or to Montgomery,
eighty miles away, or to Eufaula, forty miles away.  From these places they
were sent to Virginia or to the Tennessee Army.
          My father, Leroy M. Edwards, had a wife and six young children to
care for, so he did not leave with the first company but stayed at home
several months so as to put his business affairs in condition for a long
absence.  My three uncles, Ambrose, Young, and William Edwards, and several
cousins left with the first company organized.  They left in 1861 as soon as
there was a call for volunteers.  My father remained at home a few months
longer, then he, too, left us.  He joined Company E, 53rd Alabama Regiment of
the Mounted Infantry.  Such a regiment was sometimes called cavalry, but the
men were armed as Infantry.  The colonel was a M.W. Hannon; the captain was
R.F. Davis; the second lieutenant was John W. Dowling, and my father was
Third Lieutenant.  I do not recall the name of the First Lieutenant.  Jack
Leonard was drummer, and Bill Jones was bugler.  Dowling with some others
organized this company, which left home August 27, 1862, to march to
Montgomery, eighty miles away, where it was mustered into service and became
a part of the 53rd Alabama Regiment.  This regiment belonged to General Jo
Wheeler's Division of the Tennessee Army.  It served for some time under
General Nathan B. Forrest, took part in the pursuit of Colonel Streight, and
later joined General Hannah's Brigade in Dalton, Georgia.  It followed
Sherman in Georgia and South Carolina, and surrendered at Columbia, South
          In 1864, Lieutenant Dowling was wounded by the explosion of a shell
and was permanently disabled for active service.  He returned home and as
soon as he was able he joined the Home Guards, whose duty it was to oppose
invasion at home, to keep order, and to capture deserters.  Shortly after the
close of the war he was located at Ozark, where he became a prosperous
          Lieutenant Edwards, my father, was knocked down and stunned by a
piece of shell, but he was not seriously hurt.  He sent a piece of shell
home, and when I was married in 1873, my mother still had it.  But it was
afterwards lost, probably when my mother broke up housekeeping after my
father's death in 1898.  She had also, for many years, a light colored wool
hat with a bullet hole in it which was shot into it in a battle while on my
father's head.  This hat was probably lost at the same time that the piece of
shell was lost.  Father was taken prisoner twice in the same day during the
fights in 1864 around Atlanta but he escaped each time from his guards.  They
were marching him and another man along a road, the guards mounted and the
prisoners on foot.  When they came to a thick growth of woods by the
roadside, the prisoners darted suddenly into these woods.  The guards shot at
them, but missed them, and they could not follow on horseback, by the time
they had dismounted, the prisoners were so far ahead they could not be
recaptured.  Taken prisoner again, this ruse was again tried and proved
successful.  father said that when in front of Sherman's Army in Georgia he
was under fire for one hundred days.  So he had three very narrow escapes,
but was spared to return home to us stronger and in better health than when
he entered the army.  He lived until 1898 when he died at my home in
Brundidge, Alabama, while on a visit.  He brought home from the war two guns
and a third short one called a carbine, I think, and a sword.
          There were three of my husband's Fleming relatives in the 15th
Alabama Regiment.  Ben Fleming, his oldest brother, was only eighteen or
nineteen years old when he left home with Company E at the first call made
for volunteers.  Colonel Oates, the Colonel of this Regiment, said that Ben
was a good soldier.  He was badly wounded in battle near Richmond in
February, 1865.  The wound was in his arm, the bullet entering just above the
hand and coming out near the elbow.  His hand is drawn and shrunken now from
that wound.  the hospital doctor wished to amputate his arm, but Ben would
not consent to this.  He had been slightly wounded once before, but he did
not return home at all during the war until he received the severe wound in
his arm in 1865.  Then he came home and was unable to return to the army. 
George Fleming, a cousin of my husband, was in the same company and died in
some hospital.  Dawson Fleming, another cousin, was also a member of Company
E.  He was captured at Gettysburg, had a small pox while in prison, and did
not return home until June, 1865.  Dawson had two brothers in the army,
Edward and Tom Fleming, but they were in another company.  Henry, James, and
Jeff Fleming, cousins of my husband, were the only other Fleming relatives
who served in the war that I knew personally.  They all lived in or near
Clintonville, Alabama, and all of them returned home except George.  My
husband William LeRoy Fleming, enlisted during the latter part of 1864 when
he was sixteen years old, and he served until the surrender of the forces in
Florida.  He belonged to the 5th Florida Regiment of Calvary, and at one time
he was sent to help guard prisoners at Andersonville Prison.  There were
other Fleming cousins who went into the Confederate Army from other places
from Georgia and from Louisiana, but I never knew them.  Jeff Fleming married
my cousin, Nettie Mizell, soon after the close of the war and moved to Ennis,
Texas.  Jeff's brother went into the army from Louisiana and was killed.  My
cousins, John Mizell and John Bennett both died in the hospital and Asbury
Bennett, another cousin, was severly wounded.  Our neighbors, John Chalker,
Ben Byrd, Isaac Ardis, and Jake West were killed in battle.
          In the Home Guards were my uncles, Spencer Edwards, Hope Mizell,
and Mordecai White.  My Uncle William Mizell, my mother's brother, enlisted
in the army in Columbus, Georgia, and was killed during the first or second
year of the war.  Members of other Mizell and Edwards families entered the
army from Russell County and from places in Georgia, but I did not know them
          My Uncle Young Edwards told us that the soldier's pay of $13.00 a
month was often paid for one meal, and that towards the close of the war the
soldiers seldom got their pay.  Mr. Yancy L. Bryan, one of our neighbors
after the war, enlisted when he was about seventeen years old, served two
years, and received no pay at all.  He said that on one occasion he was
excused from going into battle because he was barefoot and the soldiers had
to go through a thick briar patch.  He was told by his captain to go to the
rear and do something else.  Mr. Bryan was taken prisoner soon after, and was
sent to Fort Douglas near Chicago, and did not return home until June, 1865. 
He told us that while he was a prisoner some of the officials often tried to
persuade him and other prisoners to take the oath of allegiance to the United
States, and then go to the West to fight the Indians.  But Mr. Bryan refused,
saying that he would remain in prison rather than do such a thing, that he
would fight nowhere but for his own country.  He said that the prison fare
was very dry, but that there was enough of it, and that the prisoners were
well treated.  Confederates who, to escape prison, went to fight the Indians
were called "galvanized Yankees."

Written by:  Mary Love (Edwards) Fleming

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