By Nowell Briscoe


        As we stand on the precipice leading our city and county into its 200th birthday, as with other recent columns, I wanted the November column to reflect some of our town’s very early history to share with Tribune readers.

        Thanks to a friend who shares my interest in Monroe’s history, he passed along a column from The Walton Tribune, fragile almost to the point of crumbling, which belonged to a deceased relative and takes the reader all the way back to 1908…..110 years from our present day, giving a glimpse of what was going on then. Since many of the old issues of the Tribune were destroyed in two office fires, this column is like a piece of gold, giving names, places, events and situations in town 90 years after its founding. This compilation shows tidbits of various Tribune issues during that year but with no month or day known. We have to use our imagination in determining the possible months these segments were taken. I hope you enjoy this look back in time to see how we lived as we continue our journey into the next 200 years. In 1908 we learn:

        “The rummage sale, given by the ladies of the Baptist Church, will be held next Friday and Saturday at the R. L. Pendergrass old stand.

        Those desiring lamps for homes or churches, where electric lights are not used, will find it in their interest to call.

        Mr. John W. Arnold, Jr., of The Arnold Buggy Co., who last week placed with this paper a very attractive, half-page advertisement, and who continues the ad in this issue, informs us that he will at once erect a brick stock pen and storage room, two stories, 40 by 60, in the rear of his place of business.

        The dirt has been broken for the foundation of the building and the bricks are on the ground.  Mr. Arnold says: ‘Talk about retiring from business in Monroe, why I am just fixing to do business.  I expect to stay right here and sell the goods.’


        Those who know E. H. Hulsey, formerly of this city and who was for sometime in the G. W. Felker Bank, will regret to learn of the recent death of his mother.  Hulsey is now pleasantly and profitably located in Galveston, Texas and the news of his mother’s passing we are sure was a heavy shock.  Hulsey is a clever fellow.  It is said of Mrs. Hulsey that she was a noble, Christian woman.


        Mr. Fred Thomas, the young man who came here some months ago from Arnoldsville to accept a place with the Monroe Telephone Exchange Company, and who, in that capacity has been found quite efficient, has recently been chosen, according to published ordinance, to the position of clerk of council, clerk of water and light commission, city tax receiver and collector, by the city council.  The place occupied by Mr. Thomas with the Exchange Company will be filled by Mr. George Rooks, the promising young son of Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Rooks, of this city.


Among those greeting Dr. Andrew M. Soule and his party on arrival here in a special train were the following: Ex-Gov. Henry D. McDaniel, Mayor E. W. Roberts, Judge Thomas Giles, J. T. Robertson, C.T. Mobley, Ernest Camp, E. A. Caldwell, Judge R.C. Knight, Judge John J. Nunnally of Lithonia, Profs. Adams, Whitworth Upshaw, W. H. Nunnally, R. L. Mobley, George W. Felker, J. H. Felker, Orrin Roberts, A. B. Mobley, W. A. Moore, C. D. Launius, James Sheats, A.C. Stone, E. S. Tichenor, J.M. Adams, E. T. Roane, E. P. Nowell, B. J. Edwards, W. O. Dean, J. F. Hester, H. G. Nowell, J. M. Nowell, Charles M. Walker, G. H. Langston and Herbert Breedlove.


        Mr. O. L. Nowell who has for years been identified with public affairs in Monroe, is in the race for office of County Treasurer.  Mr. Nowell says that on account of a decline in health, forcing him to retire from active business sometime ago, he needs the office and will appreciate the support of his friends to that end.  He is, it is claimed by his friends, fully competent to fill the place.


        At the morning service, Brother L. E. Roberts, pastor of the Monroe First Baptist Church, preached to the Monroe Lodge K. of P. No. 120 by special invitation.  The members of the lodge met in their hall and marched in a body to the church where seats were reserved for them.  Brother Roberts is an enthusiastic Knight himself.


        Especially enjoyable was the Irving Club meeting at the home of Mrs. G. M. Eakes last Tuesday.  The roll call was “Distinguished Men of Walton County” and many great men whose names are indelibly written in the history of our county were discussed.

        Mrs. G. A. Lewis read a paper on “Monroe – What She Has Been, What She Is and What She Will Become,” which contained many interesting facts about our history.

        At the conclusion of the program a delicious luncheon was served by Misses Claire Felker and Mary Edwards.


        Quite a number of the pupils of the Monroe High School and citizens of the city were present at the lecture at the court house by Prof. W. O. Payne of the University of Georgia.  Prof. Payne spoke on “An Hour with Napeoleon” and thoroughly delighted his audience. 


        In our last issue we presented the announcement of Mr. John T. Robertson, offering to succeed himself as clerk of the Walton Superior Court.  There is no question as to him being one of the most painstaking, capable and affable officials that ever served the people of Walton County.”


        Even though he was widely known not only as editor and publisher of The Walton Tribune, the late Ernest Camp was also a poet of great renown to readers not only in Walton County but throughout the state.  Often times many of his poems would find their way into the pages of The Walton Tribune, signifying important events or special months.

        While he was busy penning his poems he was always appreciative of friends who were also poets in their own right. Often poems of his friends would find their way into the pages of the Tribune such as the one listed below.  Mr. Camp published this poem entitled “Thankful” by R. W. Haynie in the December 21, 1945 issue of the Tribune, but the theme of the poem seems to fit very nicely with this month of Thanksgiving and remembrance and I am enclosing it as it is just as timely now as it was then:



I am thankful today for by-gone years,

When mother’s love calmed all my fears.

When father’s care noted all my needs

And supplied them with unselfish deeds.


I am thankful today to teachers who were true,

Who my every need studied and knew,

Yes, thankful for counsels from faithful hearts

Who studied my life in all of its parts.


I am thankful for the years of manhood’s estate,

For friends who were true in life’s fickle fate,

For handicaps and sympathy

When the going was tough

For Cheers and laughter when I routed the bluff.


I am thankful for on whose life was tender and true,

Who shared every triumph with praise that I was due.

Who noted every failure with sympathy and cheer,

That steeled me for the future with never a tear.


I am thankful for the children, healthy and strong,

Who live for the right and scoff at the wrong;

Who walk in the footsteps of the brave and the true,

Who faithfully, habits of virtue pursue.


I am thankful for friends who, through the many years

Have noted my sorrows and counted my tears.

Who shared my triumphs, hearts filled with joy,

And prayed that the Father my talents would employ.


……R. W. Haynie