A look back at communication
In this era of email, Facebook, Skype, and other modern innovations in communication it is hard to realize that in times past interaction between people separated by many miles was much more difficult. Each step taken to diminish some of the barriers was greeted with enthusiasm. As is the case today, communication could frequently be disrupted.
May 4, 1898 – Adjutant General Corbett sent General Joe Wheeler a telegram today congratulating him on his selection as a major general.
July 2, 1899 – Tonight news from the interior of Limestone County, remote from telephone or telegraphic connection, has reached this place stating that a 13-year-old boy has murdered his sister, and when his mother interfered she was disemboweled with an ugly knife.
April 20, 1901 – Wednesday afternoon Frank, the 13-year-old son of Morgan County Probate Judge W. E. Skeggs, left his school at the time of its dismissal but where he is now is anyone’s guess. Telegrams have been sent to different places but as yet these communications have not located Frank.
Feb. 18, 1903 – Last night about two inches of snow fell, and the fall was accompanied by a regular western blizzard. Telegraphic and telephone communication were cut off almost entirely this morning.
Jan. 6, 1904 – The Evening Sentinel, a daily paper which has just been launched in Decatur, made its first appearance yesterday afternoon. It is a six-column, four-page paper and is full of local and telegraphic news from around the nation and around the world.
Aug. 25, 1905 – G. C. Hardwick of Danville came to Hartselle on horseback today on business. He had a special message he needed to communicate to a local commercial firm.
Jan. 2, 1907 – A small army of men is now engaged in laying a tunnel cable across the Tennessee River. The cable is for the new independent long distance telephone people and as soon as this cable is laid Decatur and Hartselle will have an independent telephone connection with the principal cities of the north. This will mean that the present rates charged by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company will be reduced. This independent company has reduced the rate for a call to Birmingham from 50 cents to 25 cents.
March 7, 1907 – Millions of feet of cedar timber for telephone and telegraph poles are being cut in this vicinity. The poles are shipped all over the United States and will ultimately be used to facilitate communication between people in every state. Hartselle has recently come to be a great cedar market.
May 31, 1909 – Last night Hartselle was entirely cut off from communication with the outside world owing to the damage done late yesterday evening by a windstorm of great velocity, which was accompanied by a rain, which was akin to a cloudburst.
Feb. 22, 1912 – A jury in the law and equity court gave a verdict for $500 against the Western Union Telegraph Company in favor of Mrs. Louis Boteler. Mrs. Boteler claimed that the telegraph company failed to communicate to her a message at the proper time telling her of the death of her brother.
March 19, 1915 – Rural mail carrier Bryce Thompson, reports while on top of Burleson mountain a few days ago his horse became frightened and ran away – and he was unable to control him. The horse ran some distance, according to Mr. Thompson, until he came to a mailbox. At this point the horse drew up close to the box and stopped. It was the force of habit on his part. Mr. Thompson observed: “That horse knew his duty as well as I know it.”
May 23, 1915 – That the Western Union Telegraph Company will spend $40,000 in the improvement of their lines between Nashville and Birmingham is a well-founded rumor here. It is said that work will commence on this improvement soon.