This section will show some scenes where tragedies have occurred over the years in our area.
This cedar covered cottage sits on the site of Arthur Ingram's store at the corner of Alabama Highway 50 and Andrews Mill Road. The cottage was built from the lumber that came from the store and erected on the nearby hill by Monroe Bush. Jesse Abrams later bought the cottage from Monroe Bush and lived in it for several years. Jesse sold the property, including this site, to Raymond Eugene Hall in 1971. The cottage was then moved down the hill and located on the identical site where the old Ingram store was located. The indentations for the old store basement are still visible today. Into the old store, on the Saturday afternoon of June 2nd, 1932, came Dennis Smith and Norman Taunton. They were reported to be in a bad mood with Mr. Arthur because he had been implying to the people of the community that they had been the arsonists responsible for the burning of his grist mill a few months back. The argumentive conversation began to be intimidating to Mr. Arthur and he began to back up into an adjoining bedroom. There under a pillow on the bed Mr. Arthur retrieved a pistol and shot both Dennis and Norman who both apparently succumbed to their wounds. Mr. Arthur reported the incident to Sheriff J. Hasty Golden. On Monday Coroner P. G. Enslen declared the deaths to be justifiable homicides. But the deaths of the two men left a residue of lingering animosity between the families of the two men and Mr. Ingram's family for many years.
This is a scene from the Refuge Cemetery, at Alabama Highway 229 and Alabama Highway 50. The Smith tombstone in the foreground and the Taunton tombstone directly behind with the identical dates of death of June 2nd, 1932 are sad reminders of old animosities turning into tragedies.
This tranquil scene of the still waters of a slough on Lake Martin, just down the Weldon Road and behind the current home of Leroy and Betty Coker does not divulge the tragic drownings that occurred almost right on this spot on June 23rd, 1932. On this pleasant Saturday in late June, Bernard Walls and his new bride of 3 weeks, Floree Betts Walls were wading in this slough along with Alma Walls, the sister of Bernard, and Loree Betts, the sister of Floree Betts Walls. Loree was the only one that did not know how to swim. She stepped into an unseen underwater ditch and went in over her head. The other three began to try to rescue her until one after the other they all drowned. There were others standing on the bank of the slough watching but could not swim and consequently watched in horror as 4 people lost their lives drowning in Lake Martin. The Walls family and the Betts family, as a result, each lost 2 of their children.
These are the 4 tombstones of the drowning victims of Saturday, June 23rd, 1934. In the center are the graves of Bernard Walls and his wife of 3 weeks, Floree Betts Walls. On the right is the grave of Bernard's sister Alma and on the left is the grave of Floree's sister Loree. All contain the date of death of June 23, 1934.
This is the home where Ben Frank Atkins grew up, located on Atkins Road. Ben's father, Floy Atkins, had worked an extra 5 years, until he was 70, before he decided to retire so that he would have a greater retirement income. He retired on Friday. The next day he was attempting to pull a stuck tractor from a muddy field behind this house. When he began to tighten the pulling cable the tractor he was on flipped over backwards with him underneath, taking his life, less than 24 hours from his last day at work.