Monroe County, AL
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Excerpted from The Monroe Journal Centennial
December 22, 1966 page 24 c
There is more than historic note to one of Monroe County's oldest towns. PERDUE HILL. It's heyday was a gay day, at least according to the files from The Journal in a year, 1879, when more than enterprise flourished. A correspondent to The Journal on Jan. 27 revealed: MR. D. W. RANKIN has recently purchased the interest of MR. JOHN M. SLAUGHTER in the saloon on the hill, and is now opened out with a fresh lot of fine wines, brandies and whiskies, and those visiting the Hill desiring to refresh, reanimate, rejuvenate the inner man should not fail to give him a call. His brands of whiskies will compare favorable with any brought to this country, and need but to be tried to be appreciated. The inner man could apparently be well-fed, also, On Nov. 17, 1879, the same correspondent reported: "We are requested to state the MRS. J. W. COTTER still continues her bakery and eating on the Hill; meals, 25c, and sleeping accommodations, and horses and wagons well cared for. In fact, Mrs. Cotter keeps a regular hotel, regular and cheap, and invites the patronage of the public.
Her husband was evidently active in his efforts to develop the intellect and higher qualities of the Monroe Countians of the day. "By reference to our advertising columns, it will be seen the DR. J. W. COTTER, AM, L.L.D., will open a boarding and day school for boys and girls at the Hill Monday, Jan. 8, 1879. This celebrated teacher and prominent citizen
is too well known in this county to require any words of praise at our hands. Those who desire to place their children under the care and influence of an able and worthy instructor, should not lose this opportunity to do so." "This school will be opened to boys and girls and will continue the whole year. Rates of tuition: Primary class, $1.50 per month of 4 weeks. All the Englishes Branches, $2.25 per month. Latin, Greek, and a complete collegiate course, $3.00 per month. Boarding and tuition, from $10.00 to $12.00 per month. Payments required monthly. Terms made low to suit the time. DR. COTTER'S qualifications as a teacher in this county are too well known to require puffing."
Change was evident also at the Hill 87 years ago. DR. R. N. MCMILLAN moved his drug store from his former stand near DR. STRODE'S to the silversmith's shop occupied by MR. J. M. LOWERY, Feb. 3, 1879: "MR. JNO. A SAVAGE, Manchester, Ala (Perdue Hill) has under his employ some of the most skilled workmen in this section, and is putting up some as neat and substantial buggies as can be purchased anywhere."
True insight into the character of the type of leading resident of Perdue Hill of that era con be found in the obituary and "in Memoriam" printed in The Journal for one of the town's citizens. Feb. 10, 1879: "Died on Sunday evening, Jan. 26, 1879, Perdue Hill, Monroe County, Ala. DR. WM. R. STRODE, age 40 years. DR. STRODE, was born in Culpepper County, VA. in 1833 graduated at the Medical College of Philadelphia in 1853, and shortly afterwards located in Macon, Miss., and commenced the practice of his profession. In 1858 he married MISS FAVIN of that State, by whom he now has two surviving children. Having lost his first wife, he married in Oct. 1870, MARY GORIN of Monroe County, Ala., and then he moved to Alabama, in which state he resided to the day of his death. "As a physician, DR. STRODE had few equals, no superiors, being wonderfully endowed with that peculiar organism that made him a born physician. His skill as a surgeon was indeed rare and extraordinary, and he was considered by his brother physicians both in Mississippi and Alabama, as a brilliant ornament to his profession. If his physical powers had not been equal to his mental endowments, he would have been a rival of a Store or a Nott, but the enervating and prostrating disease of diarrhea, contracted while he was a surgeon in the Confederate Army, so injured his physical powers, that at the time he would have won and achieved the most fame in his profession, which he was so devotedly attached to, he was compelled to abandon it. His literary attainments were large and varied, making him a most agreeable companion in the social circles. In the domestic relations of life he was a fond and most devoted husband, a kind and loving father, and true and faithful friend. His disposition was gentle and amiable. His kindness and benevolence to the poor and needy were proverbial, whilst his known liverality won him many friends. But he is gone, and leaves a sad and almost broken hearted wife to mourn over his irreparable loss, and two grief stricken little girls to deplore the deprivation of the care, indulgence and devotion of a loving and kind father. A good man has fallen, and a kind and merciful Father will reward him for the many deeds done whilst living. _ A Friend.
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