Below is a transcription of a community news item that appeared in the Hamilton Free Press on September 27, 1894. Found at this link, the newspaper transcription was performed by Veneta McKinney.
W. C. Davis was William Columbus Davis, an Itawamba native about whom I've blogged before. Born in Itawamba County, he moved as a child across the state line into Marion County. He served as a state representative from Marion County and later was elected Lieutenant Governor of Alabama.
Lila Loyd, a student at Oakland Normal Institute, as mentioned below, was the niece of my great-great grandfather Isham James Loyd. Her father was Sanford Marion Loyd and mother was Margaret Catherine Stone. Mittie Senter, another student, was the daughter of Robert Thomas Senter and Malinda D. Priddy, both of old families of Itawamba County.
Jessica Moorman was the daughter of Dr. A. L. Moorman and Mary Ophelia Stone, of Bexar. Just who Mr. A. W. Kearly was, I don't know. Maybe someone could enlighten me?
Oakland Normal Institute was located north of Tremont, and a historical marker exists on the spot formerly occupied by the school. You can read more about ONI at this post by Bob Franks at the Itawamba Historical Society's blog site.
Hamilton Free Press
Health tolerably good.
Sorghum making and cotton picking has begun.
We were to have had a joint discussion on the political issues of the day between Mr. W. C. DAVIS, of Hamilton, Ala., and Mr. A. W. KEARLY, of Fulton, Miss. the night of the 12th inst, but Mr. KEARLY failed to be present. The cause of the disappointment we don’t know; though the people were highly entertained by an excellent speech delivered by the Hon. Davis. His speech was a perfect democratic feast. The people of this community would have been much pleased that Mr. Kearly had been present. However, the gentleman may congratulate himself on not being present, as we are confident Mr. Davis would have cleaned him up in good shape. He certainly did, and most successfully too, most all the arguments Mr. Kearly was likely to have made.
Mr. Davis has won from himself in Alabama the name of one of the first and best defenders of its democracy. He has just won a glorious democratic victory in Marion County and is also doing a big law practice, but he found time to come over into Itawamba and help his many friends to defend the democracy of his former home. We are very thankful to Mr. Davis for his defense and wish to congratulate him no his grand success in this effort.
The O. N. J. has had one of its most successful openings, and now pupils are coming in every day. Among those who have come in are Miss VERA PEARCE, Miss JESSICA MOORMAN and LUCIAN LAWHON, of Bexar, Ala; Misses LILA LOYD, MITTIE SENTER, CORNELIA FILES, and Messrs ELBERT WHEELER, LEE GRAHAM, CARL DEOVERS, and J. M. LITTLE and wife, from different parts of Mississippi.
We have a most excellent and accomplished young lady for a music teacher, Miss LILLIAN JOHNSTON of Meridian.
By the way, the new piano will get here next week, and we are anticipating a large music class, as tuition is real cheap only $3.50 per month and use of instrument included.
The Oakland saw mill will be running in the course of a week or so, and then the Yale post office will be finished also and adjoining room where books and stationary will be kept. This will be very convenient for the school and neighboring communities who are in want of such articles.
G. A. HOLLEY, Yale, Miss. Sept 22