William Edward Blair

Contributor: Amy L. Fulmer on September 9, 2004 and December 2006

 

The Newspaper Life of


WILLIAM EDWARD BLAIR


(14 Apr 1847 - 19 Feb 1894)

 

Town Constable, City Marshall, City Tax Collector, Confederate Soldier,

and Citizen of Florence, Lauderdale County, AL

 

Fall 1997 per the Informer in the Times Daily
LOOKING BACK by Erwin Coleman:
December 1869 - The election of mayor and aldermen of Florence were

certified by Sheriff C. W. Wasson. William E. Blair was appointed tax collector,

wharf master and sexton of the cemetery, with a bond of $10,000 required. 
At a June 14 board meeting, Blair asked for and received a $100 allowance. At

a board of aldermen meeting in June 17, Blair asked for $1,600 for repair to

the streets of Florence with certain exceptions. His proposal was accepted

with a mandatory bond of $1,000. On December 8, 1870, Mr. Harrison was

certified as mayor of Florence and Blair was reelected town constable with

a pay of $600 for the year. He also was empowered to employ extra police officer during the holidays as needed. Their pay was set at $2 per day and $3 per night. This is the first record of police officers in Florence. 
In 1871 Blair's bond was lowered to $2,000 for each position. On May 19, Blair was told to require Mayor Harrison to comply with the ordinances taxing saloons and billiard tables. The Mayor was a saloon keeper and was behind on his own taxes. 
On Dec. 17, the board made plans to start a town calaboose or lockup. This was the first jail to be built in the history of Florence. 

per the Florence Gazette, March 27, 1861: "Florence Blues", a company of boys organized under the name "Home Guards" but changed to the "Florence Blues". These boys ranges in age from 11 to 15. their commander, Capt. Henry W. Sample, was an adult who joined the 16th Al. Infantry Regiment in Sept. 1861 as a First Lieutenant. - W. E. Blair

Per POLICE STORY - A History of the Police Dept. for Florence 1818-2000
NIGHT POLICE - The new Municipal Board has gone to work in earnest. Among other things already gotten underway, is a Police System, for the particulars of which the readers are referred to the advertising columns. ( The"System" follows) TOWN POLICE. The following police companies have been appointed by the Mayor and Aldermen of Florence, whose duty shall be to police the town on the nights designated, and every Tenth Night thereafter, until relieved of duty by the Mayor. 
Company No. 8, Dec. 14, 1866. Ed Blair................
(Florence Journal, Dec. 6, 1866)
Dec. 1869 - Wm. E. Blair - constable
Dec. 7, 1870 - Wm. E. Blair - constable
Dec. 12, 1871 - Wm E. Blair - constable, tax collector, sexton and wharfmaster.
Dec. 18. 1874 - W. E. Blair - constable and assessor
Dec. 18, 1875 - W. E. Blair - constable
Dec. 5, 1876 - W. E. Blair - constable
Dec. 4, 1877 - W. E. Blair - city marshal, tax collector, tax assessor and sexton of the grave yard. (This is the first instance of the use of the term "Marshal" and the change from constable to marshal as the chief law enforcement official for the city of Florence.)
Dec. 4, 1882 - W. E. Blair - city marshal

Dec. 11, 1865 - The following police regulations were adopted:1) A committee of three will be appointed to apportion all the citizens of the town between the ages of 18 and 50 into ten Police Companies. One of each Company shall be designated "Captain: 2) their duty will be to patrol the city from 9p.m. until 6a.m. each and every day. 3) They will have the authority to make arrests and bring to appearance before the mayor at 9a.m. 4) Each "Captain" must report to the mayor at 9a.m. all persons he has arrested and the cause for the arrest. 5) Any "member" of the police force failing to do his duty will be fined $3.00, unless sick or absent from town. The mayor, or in his absence, one of the J.P.'s shall hold court at 9a.m. each morning when necessary to receive reports from the captains, and to try to punish all offenders brought before him, and fine all members of the police who may be failing to attend and discharge their duties. 6) The constable is allowed $1.00 for collecting fines against the police to be paid by said defaulters. 7) Lists of all Police Companies and Captains will be published in The Florence Journal. This is sufficient notice to all with the times and dates all are to report to duty, the time of reporting being 9p.m. at Crow's Motel. The list of police is as Follows: ......................5) Captain James Hancock....................W. E. Blair.................

per The Journal December 9, 1869 - CORPORATION ELECTION - An election for Mayor and Aldermen for the corp. year, was held in the Sheffield Office on Monday last, and resulted in the return of the following named gentlemen - Town Constable Ed. Blair...............

per The Florence Journal - March 3, 1870 - GEORGE W. KARSNER, TREASURER, IN ACCOUNT WITH LAUDERDALE COUNTY - Sept. 17, by am't paid W. E. Blair, baliff. voucher number 3884 - 13.50

per The Flo. Journal July 14, 1870 - Work on our streets is progressing very well. Mr. Ed Blair (our worthy Town Constable) who is the contractor, is alive not only to his own interests, but to the preservation and beauty of our streets. Hope he will be on our side of town soon to fill up some ugly gullies, that are difficult to pass in rainy weather.................

per The Florence Journal - Jan. 11, 1871 - Charles Jackson, Thos. Simpson, And Robt. Pool, colored persons, will appear before the Mayor this morning charged with Burglary. A few nights since the smoke house of Mr. Melvin Miller was entered and about five hundred pounds of bacon carried away. A portion of that bacon was found on the premises of Thos. Simpson, who cannot account for its presence in that locality. Much credit is due to Constable Ed Blair, John Blair, and Willie White, for their diligence in finding the stolen property, and arresting the parties. Quite a number of burglaries have been committed in Florence lately, and the thing must be stopped. 

per The Florence Journal March 22, 1871 - FIRE AND INLAND INSURANCE - Why continue to send Millions out of the South for Insurance? Have not our people Capital and skill enough to Insure for themselves? Is a guarantee better for being far away? HOME PROTECTION 
OF NORTH ALABAMA - HUNTSVILLE ALABAMA - This company offers to it's customers the Ample__ Guaranties, and issues Policies at the Lowest rates charged by other sound underwriters. It's nearly two hundred stockholders represent the Most Reliable Capitalists and Businessmen of Alabama. DIRECTORS - Wm. A. (?) Blair.....................

April 11, 1871 per The Lauderdale Times: EXCITEMENT IN TOWN: On Wednesday morning last at 3 1/2 o'clock seven men rode into Florence, for the purpose, according to their account, of taking possession of two horses which were stolen from them. The horses had been attached by Constable Anderson of the Lexington beat and placed for safe keeping in the livery stable of J. T. Farmer. The seven, whose names are Long, Hopkins, Edmonson, Hinkinson and Crabb, (three of the last name) and who reside in Giles county, Tennessee aroused the hostler, saying to him that they wanted to feed their horses. They were admitted, and proceeded, at once, to take charge of the horses claimed by them, threatening the negro with death if he made any noise, and firing at him when he attempted to run. Mr. Farmer, the proprietor of the stable, by this time, made his appearance, and placing his hand on the bridle of one of the horses forbade the party to take them, but presenting a gun, they compelled him to desist. The men, carrying with them the horses, left town, going towards Tennessee. messrs. Wm. E. Blair, Town Constable, Geo Barks and William Joiner, were soon in pursuit, and came up with the other party a few miles from town, but having only three to seven did not attack them. At this juncture the Florence party having been reenforced by the Messrs. Gray, took another road and headed the Tennesseeans meeting them squarely in the road. The latter dismounted at once and called to those who were in the rear to come up. The pursing party were also dismounting and preparing for the fight, when the Tennesseans remounted and took to the woods. The pursuit was resumed, and the retreating party overtaken after ten miles of riding. Here Mr. Blair fired upon them. They returned the fire and ran. Then commenced a "running fight", to which there was the following result. About half a mile from the place of encounter Edmonson wounded and captured ; the same distance further on Hinkinson's mule killed under him; another mile, Long captured; and, about two miles from this point the whole Tennessee party abandoning their horses, and took to the woods. All the horses were taken. Upon one of them was found a bloody saddle which had lead to the supposition that another man was wounded. It is thought that Edmondson's would is mortal. It is but just to state that the Tennesseans say that they came to take only that which was theirs, and that they thought they had a right to do so. If the horses belonged to them they had a legal remedy and should have appealed to it. The time, for high handed measures has passed, and we think, that they have brought upon themselves the calamity which has befallen them. Too much cannot be said in commendation of the courage and tenacity of purpose displayed by Messrs Barks, Blair, Joiner, Comer and Gray. The thanks of the whole County are justly due to them. We need more men like them. On occasions like this the people are too apathetic. We heard an old citizen say that if such a thing had been done before the war fifty instead of three men would have instantly come forward to vindicate the law. Let "all whom it may concern" be warned that justice and law must and will govern in our county of Lauderdale. P.S. Since writing the above we have heard the argument to the case of the State of Alabama vs Hickinson and Long. The Defendants were brought before Judge Allington on writ of Habeas Corpus, Capt. McAlexander appearing for the State, and Col. Patterson and Gen. O'Neal for the Defendants. The Defendants were discharged by the court. 

per The Lauderdale Times May 30, 1871 - BARBECUE - All persons who desire to assist at the Barbecue on Thursday next June 1st will please communicate with the Committee to whom all contributions must be delivered before Wednesday evening the 31st. W. E. Blair, G. W. Barks, F. H. Morck, W.R. Barks-Committee. 

Sept. 26, 1871 per The Lauderdale Times - COST OF FREE WHISKY
A countrymen by the name of S. A. Fowler, was in town one day last week with a load of marketing. He visited several stores, prices small articles, and then finished by asking for a "treat" stating that he intended trading some before leaving town. When the different kinds of whisky came in contact, they became boisterous, or rather caused the imbibers to become so, which case our efficient Constable, Mr. Ed. Blair (who is "about" upon such occasions), to take charge of the offender, and introduce him at a certain boarding house kept by one Mr. J. G. Hines, who although a very clever Landlord, is very particular that none of his boarders shall leave until all bills are paid, or secured. In this case the sum of $15 in way of a fine and costs, having been secured, the recipient of free whisky was allowed to depart in peace and it is to be hoped, a wiser man. 

per The Florence Journal December 6, 1871 - The Municipal election was held quiet on yesterday. The modern law of Elections, not applying to this Corp., it was healthy to witness the challenging of votes. We notices one colored individual who had resided 3 days in the Corp., make an effort to vote; quite a number were prevented voting on the same ground. The following is the vote: Town Constable - Ed Blair 212 no opponent.................

Dec. 12, 1871 per the Lauderdale Times - MUNICIPAL ELECTION
The following is the result of our late municipal election. For Mayor - N. H. Rice, 109, W. D. Hamer, 103, Rice's majority 6. For Aldermen - Picket 171, MaAlister 166, Jas. Irvine 150, Joiner 137, litten 132, A. C. Chisholm 127, G. W. Karsner 123, J. T. Petty 104, W. D. Churchwell 104. 
Town Constable - Ed Blair 212; no opponent.

per The Lauderdale Times September 10, 1872 - From the Lauderdale Times Extra of September 5.
GREAT EXCITEMENT IN FLORENCE
Summary Punishment Visited Upon the Guilty!
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
THREE MEN HUNG ON ONE TREE
Thos. Clark, the Notorious Outlaw, Executed!
Robbers captured and Hung by outraged Citizens!
We give below the facts as we gather them of the hanging of Tom Clark and the two Burglars, in our town last night. Tuesday evening a gentleman of Athens came to this place and brought information that on the night previous, nine houses had been burglarously entered in the town of Athens and much valuable property stolen, therefrom. He stated that the parties supposed to have committed the burglary were coming towards this place, and advised the citizens to be on the alert. But no on thought anything of it; and all retired as usual, little suspecting burglars in our quiet town. During the night, the houses of Judge Allington, Jas. Hancock and R. T. Simpson were entered, gold watches stolen from the latter two. About half past two o'clock that night two men were seen on the streets driving a sorrel mare to a buggy. Suspicion was at once fixed upon these as the guilty parties, and at sunrise yesterday morning four men went in pursuit. It was assertained that they had gone in the direction of Waterloo. 
THE CAPTURE of the robbers was effected by Messrs. Wm. E. Blair (City Marshall), Wm. Barks, Wm. Joiner and W. B. Warson. The robbers had stopped for dinner, and were about unhitching their horse near the residence of Esq. Pettypool a few miles below Gravelly Springs. They offered little resistance, but expressed much surprise as Mr. Blair and others rode up, and the Marshall demanded their surrender. A search of their persons discovered nothing, but on examining the buggy, the pin of a breastpin was observed sticking through the lining of the buggy top. The party immediately went "up stairs", in the language of one of the gallant gentlemen, and found there eight watches, and handfuls of breastpins, & on opening a drummer's satchel, which was in the buggy, files, saws, and other burglarious instruments were found, amongst which was a murderour slung-shot. At this part of the game the counteuances of the robbers fell. They seemed to give up all thought of escape, and to make up their minds to suffer the penalty of the law, (if they could not by some ingenious trick manage to break jail). Their arms having been taken, they were places in the buggy and with their captors, before and behind, turned towards Florence. Just above Gravelly Springs, the party was joined by one of the many ambiquitous candidates, now canvassing the county, and further on by the marshall of Athens and his companion. The prisoners, who were elegantly dressed, expressed much annoyance at the heat and dust seeming not to care much for any thing else. Florence turned out en masse, as the party rode in town, much excitement prevailed. THE HANGING - The jail being insecure, Sheriff Hudson had summoned eight men, in addition to the jailors, to guard the prisoners. About midnight a great crowd came to the jail and demanded the keys. The guard refused to give them up, and fired on the mob. It is said that the fire was returned. At any rate, the jail doors were broken open, and the guard disarmed. The cells where Tom Clark and the robbers were confined, were also broken into, and the three men taken out and carried immediately to an adjoining square, and hanged by the neck until they were dead. The three were suspended from a tree, which stands in the rear of the site of the old Masonic Lodge. In the morning the citizens found them there. One was identified as Tom Clark; one was a short, stalwart man, with the initials F. R. and a star in Indian Ink, on his right arm, and two hearts pierced by an arrow on his left hand; and one is supposed to be _____ Gibson. We understand that one of the robbers directed his portion of the $365, in money, which was found on their persons, to be sent to his sister, Miss Kate Schilee, of Indianapolis, Indiana. The same man attempted to escape, was shot by some person, unknown, recaptured , and hung with the others. It is the opinion of Dr. Hannum, who examined his wound, that death would have resulted from the pistol shot. The younger robber marched up boldly to the tree and requested the executioners to hold him up and drop him, instead of drawing him up. the prayers of Clark were agonizing, and were heard by the citizens living near. Clark is said to have killed sixteen men during his life. The indiguation of citizens at the outrage of these men, was so great that, the ladies of the community, and many of the colored people requested the Mayor to have the bodies buried outside of the Cemetery. Esq. Rice, in accordance with this request, has ordered that the bodies be interred in one of the ole fields near out town. Messers. Hancock and Simpson identified their watches among those found in possession of the burglars. We hope that people at a distance will not accuse our citizens of lawlessness for this act. We are as lawabiding as any people in the land, and only, when driven by the highest law of natures God, self preservation, would our community take the law in their own hands and mete out to these murderers and robbers, the just punishment for their enormous crimes. If ever Mob Law was justiable, it was in this instance. Tom Clark, who boasted that he had murdered, in cold blood, sixteen-men deserved hanging sixteen times over. The others, no doubt would have slain their scores if they had found it necessary to cover their valiancy. They were murderers at heart, and entered our dwellings with the formed design to slay every man who might be awakened, and attempt to defend his house-hold. These men have only met their deserved end. Let all such take warning. This was no Ku-Klus affair, but indignant and outraged public feeling retribution overtaken them, but it was only justice asserting her claims upon three of the most heartless villains that ever curses the world. We are opposed to mob law, but these men met a death richly deserved, and over their fate we shed no tears. The thanks of the community are due Messrs. Blair, Joiner, Barks, and Warson, for their prompt action in making the capture. Coroner, Ed. Brown, summoned a jury and held an inquest this morning. The verdict was that the parties came to their death on the night of the 4th inst., by strangulation by handing at the hands of persons unknown. Messrs. L. E. Powers, John T. Petty, Joseph Milner, Andrew Brown, J. T. Westmoreland and A. W. Porter, composed the jury

Dec. 4, 1872 per The Times Journal MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS
Considerable excitement, and car--- electioneering were observed on the square last Monday during the day, and at night as the votes were counting there was too much shouting and shooting of firecrackers and fire arms. More votes were polled than at any election since the war. The final result was as follows:
MAYOR - N. H. Rice 134 W. D. Hamer 100
CONSTABLE - Ed Blair 167 Ed Brown 51 L. E. Powers 8 John Hooks 1
ALDERMEN ..................
While the defeated candidates were worthy and true gentlemen, those elected are also competent and efficient. We congratulate the municipality that they have a Mayor who will justly adjudge the law. A Constable who will faithfully execute it, and a board of aldermen, which will pass ordinances calculated to rebound to the benefit of the citizens of Florence. 

per The Times & Journal Dec. 18, 1872 - CHANCE FOR A BARGAIN- Remember that Blair & Joiners horses, mules, carriages, wagons, harness, etc. will be sold, by the partners for a division at auction on the 1st day of Jan. 

per The Times & Journal - Dec. 18. 1872 - NOTICE TO TAX PAYERS. Notice is hereby given to all citizens of Florence, who have not paid their corporation taxes for the year 1872, that unless said taxes are paid before the last day of January 1873, I will proceed to advertise and sell property to raise the money. Ed Blair - City Tax Collector - Dec. 4, '72

Ed Blair - City Tax Collector

per The Times Journal Feb. 19, 1873 - Glad to notice the town improvements. Our popular young townsman, Ed Blair, is repairing and painting nicely his residence. Ed evidently means business. 

per the Florence Times Journal March 5, 1873 - Married lately at Memphis, Tennessee, Mr. Wm. E. Blair, of Florence, Ala., and Miss Cornelia Snellgrove. of Memphis. Ed is a gallant fellow and deserves the pretty and charming bride with which he is blessed. 

per Florence Times Journal Sept. 17, 1873 - In 1865, Preston Hesterly, killed, in Carroll county, Georgia, Mr. Boothe. The murder was committed in a most fragrant manner, by lying in wait and shooting young Boothe from the bushes, as he was riding quietly with a lady. Gov. Bullock offered a reqard for the apprehension of Hesterly, but after his term of office expired, this reward with others, was revoked. "Murder will out" becomes every day, if it is not paradoxical so to write, a truer aphorism. Some trifling quarrel, in the case of Hesterly with some of his people, led to the discovery of his crime by the officers of the law of this county, a correspondence with the authorities of Georgia, the requisition of Gov. Smith, and the mandate of Gov. Lewis. Thursday F. C. Williams, Esq., Sheriff of Carroll County, and agent of the State of Georgia, to effect the arrest of Hesterly, arrived at Florence. Securing the services of Thos. White, the Deputy Sheriff, and Ed Blair, the town constable, two men as cool, determined, and gallant, as can be found, they started in search of Hesterly. Willaims remained at Mr. Harden's, while Blair and White went to the house of Hesterly. They found him in the yard, and having heard how desperate a man he was, came upon him with drawn pistols, before he knew they were present at all. The Sheriff demanded his surrender, and to Hesterly's question. For what? replied, I have a requisition for you, for murder committed in the State of Georgia. The murderer immediately sought to escape over the fence, but White seized and pulled him back. He then made at White with a knife, cutting at him several times. Blair shot him, but still he fought. White shot him, up on which he turned towards the house screaming to his wife to bring him his gun. As he ran the Sheriff shot again, when he fell on his face, seemingly dead. The Sheriff and Marshall then departed. Going to the house afterwards they found that Hesterly had escaped. Nothing definite has been heard of him since. 

per The Times Journal Oct. 29, 1873 - Mr. White, Deputy Sheriff and Mr. Ed. Blair, arrived from Wetumpka, whither they went to carry Joe Taylor, who will remain. 

per The Florence Times Journal December 17, 1873 - At a meeting of the board of Aldermen last week, W. E. Blair was elected constable by a vote of ten in eleven, and Peter Garner assessor by the same majority. 

per The Times Journal December 17, 1873 - At a meeting of the board of aldermen last week, W. E. Blair was elected constable by a vote of ten in eleven, and Peter Garner assessor by the same majority. 

per The Florence Republican June 9, 1874 - LIST OF LICENSES - The following is a list of the licenses issued for said county for the quarter ending June 1, 1874
April 8, Wm E. Blair to standjack from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 1874 - $5.00. 

per The Florence Gazette Jan. 20, 1875 - SALE OF STOCK - On Saturday last, Mr. W.E. Blair, receiver, by order of the Chancery Court, sold at public auction, the mules and horses in contest between Dr. Yeizer and John R. Wesson. the Doctor was the principal buyer, and considering the scarcity of "green-backs" the prices paid, were fair enough in the aggregate. 

per the Gazette February 17, 1875 - Attention is called to the Notice Mr. W. E. Blair Tax Collector of the Corporation. 

per the Florence Gazette February 24, 1875 - TAXES - LAST NOTICE
All unpaid Corporation taxes for --- must be paid by the first day of March next in order to save costs --------- ordered by the Board of Col- ---- ------ that day. W. E. Blair, T. C. 

per The Florence Gazette June 23, 1875- Florence Baseball club - Ed Blair- 2nd base, made 3 runs and 3 outs. Andrew Blair played 3rd base, made 3 runs and 4 outs. They played Leighton Club. They won 28 to 18.

per The Flo. Gazette June 28, 1875 - TAX SALE ----- W. E. Blair - Tax Collector........

per the Flo. Gazette Sept. 1, 1875 - In Acct. with Laud co. April 18, W. E. Blair Challenger of election.

per the Flor. Gazette Dec. 15, 1875 - Messrs. Rice, Reid & Blair received by the steamer "Rapid--" yesterday morning, three or four wagon loads of wheelbarrown, preparstory to commencing operations on their section of the canal.

per The Flo. Gazette Jan. 19, 1876 -NOTICE - TO THE TAX PAYERS OF FLORENCE - ..................................W. E. Blair - Tax Collector 

per The Florence Gazette Aug. 1, 1877 - A negro called "Shoat" Frazier murdered a man in Murfreesboro, Tenn., recently. Information of the murder and a description of the murderer were at once forwarded by the sheriff to our city Marshal, Ed. Blair. The negro had an uncle living on the plantation of Dr. Morgan near this place, and it was thought that he would make his way hither. Sure enough Mr. Shoat Frazier did come down, and put in an appearance in Florence on Friday. Blair finding Frazier on Stafford's corner, went up to him put his hand on his shoulder and said, "Willis, I'm after you." The negro jerked loose and run his hand in his pocket, when Blair shoved him off and fired on him wounding him in the left side. The negro then turned and fled. Blair pursued and fired several shots at him, one of which took effect in the leg. Frazier ran about three hundred yards and seeing that Blair would catch or kill him fell down and gave it up. He was carried to jail and his wounds properly attended to. A reward of two hundred and fifty dollars is offered for Frazier's arrest.

per The North Alabamian Aug. 3, 1877 - MURDERER CAUGHT - Mr. Ed. Blair of Florence passed though this place on Monday last, with a negro named Shoat Frazier in custody, on his way to Rutherford county Tenn., where the negro killed a man names Spence with a pitch fork a short time ago. Spence, who was a white man, was having an altercation with another negro when this fellow ran up and killed him. Mr. Blair, it seems, had seen an account of the killing together with a description of the negro, and hearing a negro in Florence introducing another a few days ago, very formally as a gentleman from Middle Tenn., his attention was called to him and he was unmistakably identified. On being approached he ran and was pursued some distance, Mr. Blair firing at him as he ran five times, hitting him once in the leg and once in the side. Neither wound was dangerous, but severe enough to bring him down. Whilst here awaiting the train going east, he was playing possum to perfection, and pretended to be paralyzed and speechless, although his pulse was full and strong. His captor was not to be fooled however, but had him securely hand cuffed, and delivered him safely at Shelbyville where he will doubtless receive a reward of five or six hundred dollars which was offered for his arrest. 

Jan 23, 1878 per The Florence Gazette - As wide as Tuscaloosa Street is it seems too narrow for some of our wagoners, and they take the liberty of driving their wagons on the sidewalk near Mr. Garner's garden --- and Mr. Thomas R. Powers had to put posts along the line of his side walk to keep them from running over his young shade trees. If we mistake not there lean ordinance against driving upon side walks in this town, and if Mr. Ed Blair will only keep his eyes kinned he, Brock and the Corporation may pick up some doe from these careless fellows. 

per The Florence Times Journal May 14, 1878 - Ed Blair fell out of a boat at the Mill last week, and got a laughable dunking. 

per The News - Feb. 4, 1880 - See Ed Blair's advertisement for one hundred ears of fine corn. He offers a good price. 

per the Gazette March 20, 1880 - Mr. Ed Blair lost about $50 worth of stock off his island Tuesday on account of high water. 

per The Gazette, April 3, 1880 - Mr. Blair left last Monday evening for New Orleans with a carload of cattle.

per The Gazette, April 10, 1880 - Ed Blair returned last Wednesday from New Orleans where he says he made an advantageous sale of his cattle.

per The News May 12, 1880 - Ed. Blair says that he is going to name the last boy Jemima. 

per The News October 6, 1880 - See notice of final settlement by Wm. E. Blair as guardian of Jas. Blair. 

per The News October 6, 1880 - A notice of final settlement by W. E. Blair as administrator of the estate of A. J. Blair appears in this issue. 

per The News - Oct. 6, 1880 - THE STATE OF ALA. LAUDERDALE COUNTY. PROBATE COURT, SEPT TERM. 1880. W. E. Blair as guardian of the estate of James Blair having filed his accounts and vouchers for final settlement of said estate. It is ordered that the 28th day of October 1880 be set as a time to examine and pass said account, at which time and place all persons interested may attend and contest the same if they think proper. Oct. 6 - 3t W. J. Wood Judge of Probate. 

Oct. 31, 1880 per The News - THE STATE OF ALABAMA, LAUDERDALE COUNTY
PROBATE COURT, SEPT TERM 1880
Wm. E. Blair as administrator of the estate of Andrew J. Blair Jr. having filed his accounts and vouchers for final settlement of said estate, it is ordered that the 28th day of October '80 be set as a time to examine and pass said accounts, at which time and place all persons interested may attend and contest the same if they think proper. Witness my hand Oct 4, 1880 - W. J. Wood Judge of Probate

per The Laud. News. Jan 10, 1881 - Mr. W. E. Blair, who has in every other respect proved a very efficient officer, has become very negligent about enforcing the "Hog Law". We call the attention of the people to the fact that hogs are allowed to run at large on our streets, while there is an ordinance requiring the City Marshal to take them up. We hope that Mr. Blair will do his duty now that his attention is called to the matter. 

per The News February 16, 1881 - Wm. E. Blair, of "Hog Law" fame, returned from Franklin County, last week with seventeen head of fine beef cattle. He is buying for the New Orleans and Memphis markets. 

Feb 23, 1881 p. 3 per The Lauderdale News: On last Friday night, one Wm Thomas, col., stole an overcoat belonging to Mr. Ed. M. Irvine, and also one from F. M. Posey. He then came down town, borrowed a pistol from a man by the name of Mitchell who carries the Waterloo mail. Mitchell became uneasy about his piston and reported to Wm. E. Blair city marshall, who pursued the thief and captured him in Tuscumbia. After this arrest was made, the mail rider was discovered to have on one of the stolen overcoats. He said that the negro gave it to him, but the negro says that he and the white man were partners. He further says that Mitchell is an escaped convict from Miss. Both, we believe, are strangers here. The mail rider was released and the negro's punishment will amount to about two and a half years work in the coal mines. 

per The Laud. News Feb. 23, 1881 - Jack Perkins, charged with burglary in this county, was arrested last Saturday morning by Wm. E. Blair. Mr. Blair had gone over in pursuit of Wm. Thomas, a colored thief, and while there he caught Jack Perkins, and brought him back to the Florence jail, where he properly belongs.

Feb 26, 1881 per The Gazette - Last Friday night was very rough and stormy, but Wm. Thomas, colored, thought it just the weather that required not one, but several overcoats. Not having one of his own, he stole those of Messrs. Ed. M. Irving and F. M. Posey. He then borrowed a pistol from a young man named Mitchell, who came in that trip, as the carrier of the Waterloo mail, and struck for Tuscumbia. City Marshal, Blair, went over Saturday morning and brought him back. He was tried before Esq. Rice, and will dig coal for some time. Mitchell was also arrested, but released without a trail. Mr. Blair, while in Tuscumbia, ran across Jack Perkins, for whom he had a capias, charging him with burglary in Colbert's Reserve, some time since. He brought him over and he is now boarding with Sheriff Ives. 

per The Gazette March 5, 1881 - Mardi Gras has come and gone, and the Florentines who went to Memphis have all got back home, some of them wearing new and most wretchedly ugly hats. All agree that the crown in Memphis was a success, and all agree that the show was nothing to brag of heavily. If you want to hear what "Monsieur Roy Alphonzo," the water-walker did, ask Ed. Blair. 

per The News April 6, 1881 - Jack Butler, for whom the Governor had offered a reward of $200, was arrested in Prentiss county last Saturday by Wm. E. Blair and lodged in jail here the following day.---- The prisoner is charged with having burned to death his little step child some time during the past winter. He lived on Capt. Alex. Coffee's place, about 5 miles from town. Last Grand Jury found a true bill against him, but he had left the country, and when his place of refuge was found, Mr. Blair went immediately after him. 

April 9, 1881 per The Gazette: The weather was very cold about last Christmas, and fuel was hard to get, and Jack Butler was lazy, and there was one child too many at his house, anyhow. So Jack concluded to use his little step-child for kindling wood, which he did successfully. Jack lived on Capt. A. D. Coffee's plantation, and when he had got warm be the aforesaid fire, he lit out for the neighborhood of Booneville, Miss. Gov. Cobb thought so practically useful a citizen ought not to be lost, and so he offered $200 to anybody to bring him back home. Messrs. W. E. Blair and A. D. Carson went down to Prentiss county, and interviewed Jack, and they handed him over on last Sunday morning to Col. Ives. as a boarder.

May 14, 1881 Per The Gazette: On Thursday morning, City Marshal Blair and Mr. John Hooks, Jr. went over to Leighton, and brought back here, a man named L. W. Cole, who broke jail recently at Birmingham, and for whose arrest a reward of $50 was offered. Friday an officer came here after him, and carried him back to his old quarters. 

per The News May 18, 1881 - L. W. Cole, a professional burglar from Birmingham was caught at Leighton last Wednesday night by W. E. Blair and Jno. Hooks, Jr. He had been in jail in Birmingham but had succeeded in making his escape. A reward of fifty dollars had been offered for his recapture. 

Aug. 20, 1881 per The Gazette - TREASURER'S REPORT - Thomas R. Powers, County Treasurer, in Account With Lauderdale County, Alabama. 
1881 - Feb'y 14, by commission on disbursements last settlement.
W. E. Blair - coal for the Court House - $16.50
W. E. Blair - bailiff - $20.00

per The News November 9, 1881 - Last Saturday, about 5 p.m., Mac Barker, Steve Smith and Buck Turner, all colored, in attempting to cross the river from this side to Blair's Island, were upset and Steve Smith drowned. His body has not yet been recovered. They were in a few feet of the bank when the accident occurred, but the water was so swift that Steve failed to get to land, but the other two escaped unhurt. 

per The News November 9, 1881 - W. E. Blair has rented the Joiner place and will move there in a few days. 

per The News - Nov. 16, 1881- NON-RESIDENT NOTICE.- The State of Alabama, Lauderdale County. Whereas Wm. E. Blair, on the 4th day of November, 1881, sued out a writ of attachment from my office against George Schmidt, for the sum of Thirty-five dollars, and also a garnishment against Samuel C. Stafford and S. Ives, which attachment and garnishment were placed in the hands of A. D. Carson, constable of said county, and by him levied upon Lots No. 104, 105, 106, 107 and 108, as the property of George Schmidt and also served notice of garnishment upon S. C. Stafford and S. S. Ives. And it appearing to my satisfaction that the said George Schmidt is a non-resident of the State of Alabama. It is therefore ordered by the Court that publication be made in the Lauderdale News, a paper, published in Florence, Alabama for three consecutive weeks, a copy of which is to be sent to the address of said George Schmidt, notifying him to appear before me at my office in Florence, on the 7th day of December next, and make defense to said suit, if he sees proper. Given under my hand, this 5th day of November, 1881. Peter R. Garner, J. P. 


Nov. 17, 1881 per The Gazette: A colored man, names Steve Smith, was drowned in the river, a few miles above town, on Saturday evening. He was crossing over to Blair's Island, with two other colored men, named Nat Parker and Buck Tanner. The boat was leaking, and when well out in the stream, she water logged, and finally sank. The men started to swim out, and Parker and Turner got to the Island safely, but much exhausted. Smith was a good swimmer, and got nearly to the bank, when his strength gave out, the current being swift and strong and he finally went down. Efforts have been made to recover his body, but up to the time we write (Tuesday) they were unsuccessful. He was about --- years old we hear, lived on Capt. A. D. Coffee's plantation, and leaves a wife and one child. The men who swam to the Island, staid there till Sunday evening before they got off. A colored man passed on Saturday evening, when they hailed, and asked him to let Mr. Blair know they were there, and he forgot to do it till Sunday evening. 

per The News December 7, 1881 - Wm. E. Blair and W. T. White arrested 4 negros in Colbert county last Tuesday week. These negroes were indicted, but they were employed on the Muscle Shoals work and up there it is almost impossible for the officers to catch those who make an effort to evade arrest. There was a very general break up on the Shoals about the last of November on account of the scarcity of the appropriation, and these negroes were captured in attempting to leave to county.

Per The Gazette Dec 31, 1881 - City Marshal Blair will rent the Fair Ground tract, at auction next Monday. 

per The Gazette July 15, 1882 - We are glad to see City Marshal Ed Blair on the streets again, after his recent dangerous illness. 

per the Gazette December 16, 1882 - The new Board of Aldermen organized on Wednesday night, all the members present. Mayor Morrison's salary was fixed at $200, and a further sum of $200 was voted him for extra duty done during the year, a most righteous appropriation. Mr. Wm. E. Blair was re-elected City Marshal, with a salary of $200, Mr. J.W. McAlester was re-elected Clerk, Treasurer and Assor., salary $150 and P.R. Garner, Esq. was re-elected Collector, salary $100.

per The News December 20, 1882 - the new Board of Mayor and Alderman was organized on Wednesday night last, with the following results. Mr. Wm. E. Blair was re-elected Marshal at a stated Salary of two hundred dollars. Mr. McAlester was elected Clerk, Treasurer and Assessor, and Mr. Garner was re-elected Collector. Mayor Morrison's salary was set at two hundred dollars, and a like sum was allowed him for extra duty during the year ending December the first 1882. The action of the board will doubtless give universal satisfaction. 

per The Gazette, December 30, 1882 - On Tuesday, City Marshal Blair rented the Fair ground tract to Mesrs. Trousdale & Young for $65 and the Market House to Mr. Reuben for $48.

per The Gazette January 20, 1883 - Mr. W. E. Blair left Thursday for Memphis, with a carload of cattle.

per The Gazette February 10, 1883 - Mr. W. E. Blair picked up two colored individuals, in Tuscumbia, Tuesday, who have been doing a thriving business lately, stealing cattle on the other side of the river, driving them over here and selling them. Their latest performance was stealing a steer belonging to a colored man, who lives near Russellville, an who had driven the animal into Tuscumbia, hitched to his wagon. They brought it here and sold it. They were put in Colbert county jail, for the present and will, we hope, wear striped clothing, furnished by the State. 

per The Banner May 8, 1883 - CITY DIRECTORY Mayer -- Z. P. Morrison, City Marshal---W.E. Blair, City Tax Collector -- P. R. Garner, City Tax Accessor - J. W. McAlester.

per The Banner April 10, 1883 - City Directory: City Marshal - W. E. Blair

per The Banner August 7, 1883 - Mr. W. E. Blair left last week for a trip to Texas. His wife and children accompanied him to some point in Arkansas, where Mrs. B. goes to visit a sister. 

per The News August 9, 1883 - Mr. W. E. Blair and family left a few days ago, for a visit to Arkansas and Texas. 

per The Banner August 14, 1883 - W. E. Blair and family returned from their westward trip last week. 

per The News August 19, 1883 - OFFICERS OF THE COURTS:
City Officers - W. E. Blair Marshall......

per The Banner January 1, 1884 - Mr. W.E. Blair has moved to the residence owned by Mr. Jno. Kachelman, on Tennessee Street, leading east from the square. 

per The Gazette February 2, 1884 - Marshal Blair sprained his ankle seriously Monday.

per The Banner February 5, 1884 - Mr W. E. Blair sprained his ankle so badly that first of last week that he was compelled to use crutches for a few days. 

per The Banner February 12, 1884 - Mr. W.E. Blair has had built a house 100 feet long and 81 feet wide to be placed onthe island to keep cattle in during bad weather, and when there is a rise in the river. It will be put 7 feet above ground and five feet above high water mark. It was framed on a vacant lot near the brick pond and hauled to the island. 

per The Banner March 25, 1884 - We stated last week that the search warrant that Mr. Green had issued, to recover property he had lost, was put in the hands of constable A. D. Carson, when we should have said, Marshall W. E. Blair. We were misinformed as to the officer that executed the warrant. In the case of Mr. Fink, the property he recovered was two pieces of upper leather, four pairs of shoe taps, and four lasts. Will Ewing, the man in whose possession the clothes of Mr. Norcross, the leather of Mr. Fink, and the brooms of Mr. Bliss were found, had a hearing before Ewqrs. Rice & Garner on Tuesday evening, and after a patient hearing of all the evidence bearing upon the case, he was adjudged guilty of burglary and theft in two cases, and held to bail in $300 in each case asking $12.00. Failing to make the bond good he went behind the bars to await the action of the Grand Jury. He will now have time to reflect upon his misconduct if it "takes him all summer.: Mr. White also had a hearing late Tuesday evening before the same court and was adjudged guilty in two cases, and his bond, in each case, put at $500. 

per The North Star April 10, 1884 - Messrs. W.B. and S. H. Young and W.E. Blair took a trip to Tennessee this week. They returned on Wednesday. Mr. Wm. B. Young with a fine saddle horse, Sam H. Young with four horses for the livery stable and W.E. Blair with 3 mules. 

per The Gazette April 12, 1884 - Messrs. Wm. B. and Sam H. Young, and W.E. Blair got back from a trip to Pulaski, on Wednesday, with several fine horses and mules.

per The North Star April 24, 1884 - Our clever Marshal, W.E. Blair, left here last Monday for Marietta, Ga., on the track of a negro who committed a horrible and atrocious murder in Hardin county, Tenn., a short time ago and for whom a large reward has been offered. A private telegram from Atlanta, dated yesterday, contains information that he succeeded in catching the negro and will probable be here with him today. 

per The North Star April 24, 1884 - Mr. Andrew Pearce was arrested by Marshal Blair, assisted by Mr. John Crow last Saturday, for disturbing the peace of the town. We are informed that upon searching him a pistol was found on his person. On Monday, he was brought before Esquire Anders on the charge of carrying a concealed pistol and waived examination and asked that his bond be fixed. The bond was fixed at $250 which was promptly gives, Messrs. Thos. D. Pruitt and W.T. White going on it. It is but justice to Mr. Pearce, who is an industrious, hard working young man, to say that he was under the influence of liquor on the evening of his arrest. 

per The Gazette April 26, 1884 - A young man, named Surratt, was murdered in his own house, in McNairy county, Tenn. last month, by a colored man, who blew the top of his head off, with Mr. S' shot-gun. City Marshal Blair got on the track of a party named Goad, who was suspected of the crime, and traced him to Atlanta.--Mr. B. went there Monday, and found his man, but there was some disparity in dates concerning the matter, and the man charged with the crime is now lodged in the Atlanta jail, pending a further inquiry into the almanac.


per The North Star May 8, 1884 - Mr. W. E. Blair carried about forty head of cattle to Pulaski and sold them last Monday. 

per The Gazette May 24, 1884 - NOTICE - Wheras, Wm. E. Blair, having resigned the office of City Marshal, I have been appointed to fill the office for the unexpired term and therefore required to give notice that the Hog law will be strictly enforced. All persons having hogs, will save cost by observing the law. E. Brown, Marshal.

per The North Star May 29, 1884 - Mr. W. E. Blair who was elected Town Marshal of Florence when quite a boy and who has held the position ever since, for a period of fifteen years, resigned on Wednesday night of last week. His other business required his entire time so that he thought he could not give the office proper attention. During Mr. Blair's entire term he has made a faithful and fearless officer and has been of great benefit to the town. Mr. Ed. Brown, a worthy and well known citizen of our town and county was elected by the Board to fill Mr. Blair's unexpired time. Those who know Mr. Brown know that he will make an efficient officer, who will do his whole duty. 

per The Gazette May 31, 1884 - The notice we published last week, showed a change of City Marshal. Mr. Wm.E. Blair who has held the place since December 1869, and made a fearless, capable officer---resigned his post, because of other pressing duties. Mr. Ed Brown, an old, determined and popular citizen, has been chosen, by the Board of Aldermen, to fill the unexpired term.

per The Banner July 8, 1884 - The first item weighed on the new platform scales of Messrs Jackson and Blair, was a wagon load of coal yesterday morning which tipped the scales at four thousand twenty two pounds. This load was brought from the depot by Mr. Blair's team of two mules. 

per The North Star July 10, 1884 - Mr. W.E. Blair has put up the Chicago Platform Scales at McAlister & Jackson's corner. Ed says his is prepared to weigh anything from the Presidential candidates up. 

per The Gazette July 12, 1884 - Messrs Blair and McAlester have put up Chicago platform scales, at McAlester & Jackson's corner.

per The North Star July 24, 1884 - Up to time of going to press the firm of W.E. Blair & Co. composed of our young friends Jno. W. McAlester Jr., and W.E. Blair have delivered sixteen car loads of Jellico Coal. This is by far the largest delivery ever made up to this time of year showing a great increase in the use of Coal and energy on part of the dealers. W.E. Blair & Co. have orders to deliver seven more cars, and if there still be some who have not placed their orders would like them to do so by Aug. 1st. 

per The Gazette July 26, 1884 - Mr. Wm. E. Blair lost a fine colt, Wednesday night, supposed to have died from eating a piece of highly seasoned meat. 

per the Gazette August 9, 1884 - Mr. Wm. E. Blair had the ill-luck Wednesday evening, to lose by a fire, cause not known, his fine cribs on the island, above town, and several hundred bushels of corn. His loss was nearly covered, however, by insurance in the Crescent, of New Orleans, of which Mr. B. M. 
Jackson is agent. 

per The Banner August 12, 1884 - HEAVY LOSS BY FIRE - We regret very much to know that Mr. W. E. Blair met with the misfortune on last Thursday, of having all his cribs on the island destroyed by fire with about 400 barrels of corn. This is a very heavy loss in breadstuffs, and Mr. B. has the sympathy of the community in his loss. As to the origin of the fire we are not advised. 

per The North Star August 14, 1884 - Persons indebted to W.E. Blair and CO. for Coal, unless by special arrangement to the contrary. must come forward this week and settle. Aug. 14. 

per The North Star August 14, 1884 - Last Wednesday, Mr. Ed Blair lost 3 corn cribs and between 400 and 500 barrels of corn on his island near this place. How the fire originated is unknown. Mr. Blair's loss is covered by a policy of insurances, placed on the property by B. M. Jackson in the Crescent Ins., Co. of New Orleans. This is one of the most reliable companies in the country and will no doubt promptly adjust the loss satisfactorily. 

per The North Star September 4, 1884 - The Crescent Insurance co. of New Orleans in which Mr. Ed Blair had his corn and cribs, recently destroyed by fire, insured, sent Mr. R.V. Manston of Corinth, here last Tuesday to adjust the loss. Mr. Blair, Mr. Manton and B.M. Jackson met and settled the loss satisfactorily in a few hours. the Company pays Mr. Blair, we learn about $1025, which is rather a handsome investment for an outlay of about $30. The recent fires throughout the country should warn our people to keep themselves properly protected. 

per The North Star September 18, 1884 - Mr. Camody of Pulaski, Tenn. has purchased from Mr. W.E. Blair the Walnut timber on Blair's Island, and has a force of hands now at work getting it out. They estimated that there were fifty trees large enough for use, and the price paid is $500.

Mr. Ed Blair expects to get to work on his huge barn, on the Island, next week. 

per The Gazette September 20, 1884 - We are pleased to state that Messrs. Beebe & Stewart completed a very nice piece of work for us, and would recommend them to those who wish good work done. Ellis & Blair. 

per The Gazette September 20, 1884 - Mr. W.E. Blair has sold the walnut timber on his island, to a party from Pulaski, who is now getting it ready for market. 

per The Banner September 23, 1884 - McAlester & Blair have made a coal house of the frame building on Court Street, near the col. Methodist church. 

per The Gazette October 11, 1884 - A man named Sam McDougall, who stole several horses from persons in Madison County, was arrested Wednesday at Holly Springs. Messrs. Wm. E. Blair and Sam H. Young had just returned from a search for him, when they got a telegram, informing them that he was picked up, and they left at once for the feative gent. 

per the North Star October 23, 1884 - On last Monday evening at 5 o'clock Ambrose Jones, confined in Jail on the charge of murder, was brought before Judge Speak to try the question of his lunacy, his peculiar conduct having led to the opinion among some that he was crazy. The Jury was composed of C. D. Hooks, W. E. Blair, J. C. Kendrick, J. V. Rice, J. W. Powers, S. S. Ives, J. R. Price, Jere McClusky, N. L. Crow, G. W. Barks, W. R. Summerhill and J. M. Ellis. Doctors Hayes and Price were summoned as experts to testify in the case. The trial resulted in a verdict that Jones was sane. 

per The North Star November 6, 1884 - Messrs. Sam H. Young and Wm. E. Blair left last week for San Antonia, Texas. Each of them expects to return with a car load of Texas ponies. 

per The North Star November 13, 1884 - Messrs. W.E. Blair and S.H. Young have returned from Texas and have brought with them 84 ponies. We wish them luck in their venture. 

per The Gazette November 22, 1884 - Messrs. Blair and Young, who lately brought back 83 head of brick Texas ponies, and also a genuine Mexican breaker, have sold a good many and shown us some No. 1 "bucking".

per the North Star December 11, 1884 - The lot of "Mustangs" brought here by Messrs Blair & Young has been greatly reduced in this past few days. Surely this county has a surplus of money or there would not be such ready sales for ponies. 

per The North Star December 25, 1884 - Mr. W.E. Blair has purchased the Cox place, near the cemetery, Mrs. Cox will move to the Chisholm place. 


per The Gazette December 27, 1884 - We hear that Mrs. James Cox has sold her place to Mr. W.E. Blair, and will soon move to the house currently occupied by Mr. A. C. Chisholm. 

per the Banner April 14, 1885 - Mr. W.E. Blair, has put up a good deal of new fencing on his place (the Cox place east of town) and built a large barn and stable.

Aug 4, 1885 per The Banner: Jno. W. McAlester, Tr. in account with the Corporation of Florence;
1884 Jan'y W. Ed Blair account $18.90.
W. E. Blair account $29.30
by W.E. Blair for services $100.00..........

per The Banner Aug. 18, 1885 - JURORS - The following is a list of the jurors drawn to serve at the Fall term of the Circuit Court for this county, which commences on Monday, 7th Sept. - Grand Jury - W. E. Blair.................

per The Banner September 15, 1885 - JOINED THE CHURCH - Nine grown people joined the Methodist church last Sunday night, namely: Our worthy Mayor, Mr. Z. P. Morrison and two of his children, Mr. Hiawatha and Miss Pershanga, Mr. J. L Booth,and wife, Mr. W. E. Blair and wife, and Mr. T. E. Barry and wife. After the solemn ceremony of baptism of four of these parties---Mrs. Booth, Mrs. Blair, Miss Morrison and Mr. Hiawatha Morrison-----and the regular reception of all the parties, Rev. Mr Andrews requested that the members come forward and give them the right hand of fellowship which was done, by quite a number. Before this part of the ceremony was finished several became happy, and raised a shout that told plainly how delighted they were at what had just been done----It was a glorious time for a few minutes, in the alter. 

per The Banner Oct. 27, 1885 - At a recent meeting of the Quaterly Conference, of the Florence District. It was unanimously agreed to invite the next meeting of the North Alabama conference to convene in Florence provided the people here desire it. On Sundy last Rev. Mr. Andrews, pastor in charge, brought the subject before his congregation and asked them to take action in the matter so far as inviting the Conference thought its delegates to meet here, was concerned. It was almost unanimously decided that the conference be held here. Two committees were then appointed, one in ascertain, during this week, who would entertain the ministers while here and other one to secure a suitable hall in which to hold the business meetings of the conference. The first committee was composed of W. E. Blair, James Benham, D. J. Jones, Frank Jackson, Mrs. S. C. Brown, Miss Barta Jones, Miss Pershanga Morrison, Mrs. Simpson, Mrs. Jas. Hancock and Mr. A. Brown. The other was Mr. Z. P. Morrison, Jas, Hancock, Jno. H. Young, and L. C. Hudson. These committees were asked to report progress by next Sunday, which we hope may be favorable in both cases. While there is nothing wrong it it, yet we think the matter of locating the ministers that will be in attendance ia a little premature, as who can foretell the condition of the people a year hence? We think that a month of six weeks before the assembling of the conference would be sufficient to arrange that part of it for who ever knew Florence to fail to do her whole duty in such matters? We have been a close observer of such things for the last 27 years, and we cannot recollect of a single failure in that time. Her people are always up to the standard. 

per The Banner November 10, 1885 - Prof. J.K. Powers, has made his bond of $12,000 as County Superintendent of Education, Mr. Jno. s. Kernachan, S.C. Brown, Jospeh Milner and W.E. Blair, being his________________.

per The Banner December 17, 1885 - We have heretofore called attention to the subject of cattle running at large in the cemetery, and do so again by request of the ladies who try to keep flowers on the graves of loved ones there buried. We were there Sunday last, and found one or more head of cattle in there. We went partly round the fence and found two or three planks off leading into Wm. E. Blair's cotton patch, and fresh tracts where cattle had been passing into the cemetery. This should not be allowed, and we hope our town authorities will see to it that the fence be kept in repair so that cattle cannot get in. It is really provoking to those who put flowers on the graves to go there and find them destroyed by a lot of marauding cattle that go and come at will.

per The Banner Dec. 31. 1885 - THE OTHER SIDE OF CHRISTMAS - In an other article we have given in a hurried manner a description of what we saw at the various churches on Christmas eve. We will now make mention of what we saw on the streets on Thursday and Thursday night and a little of Friday morning. On Thursday, a great number of people were in town, making ready for Christmas. The colored people largely predominated, at least three to one. Trade in all kinds of Christmas goods was brisk during the day, and hundreds of dollars were left in the various business houses in town. We feel safe in saying that there were more drunk men in town on that day, than we ever saw in one day before. About four out of five that we saw drunk were colored men, boys from 15 to 25 years were to be found all around, drunk, reeling from side to side. We saw colored women standing at the bar drinking as if they loved the "critter" and one or two in particular were pretty drunk. During the night the boys "painted the town red," and by morning it looked as if a cyclone had got in among the wagons, carriages, buggies and boxes and scattered them all up and down the pavement. Fire crackers, roman candles and skyrockets were destroyed by the hundred and a regular "skrimage" was kept up all night. A Christmas tree was erected in the middle of the street, and only one present was attached to it, which resembled a real crow, a dead one at that. Attached to this bird of ill omen, was an envelope with these words, "W. E. Blair," written on it. Some of the boys said that Mr. "Blair had killed the crow," and that he must have it. Exactly what was meant by this, we did not learn. On the pavement near the Nashville Palace, several wagons had taken position, and were quietly waiting to see what would be done with them. A barber pole had gone to roost over the door of Hirsch Bros. and an wagon load of boxes halted at their door. Wagons and carriages were left against other doors on the street. McCluskey & Young's old livery stable sign had gone to roost on top of the Confederate monument and a big box on top to hold it in position. We supposed the boys concluded that as their old friend, old man whiskey - was going to leave town to-night that they would give him a grand parting salute, so that he would remember them in the days that are to intervene between this and the next general holiday that we get here twelve months hence. Friday was a beautiful day; the sun shone brightly as a sleeping babe. Everything was quiet during the day. We only noticed one or two men on the street that appeared to be "how come you so". They boys had their fun in the fire-works line as usual. Friday night the town was again "painted red", wagons, cotton bales, salt barrels, boxes, lamp posts, grindstones &c, seemed to have gotton on a "regular high," and were piled up about three deep against several store doors. After a little clearing away by those barricaded, the town presented its usual appearance and business proceeded as before. With these remarks, we close as to Christmas and its events. 

per the Gazette - Jan. 2, 1886 - Mr. Geo. W. Barks, who was elected City Marshal, in place of Mr. N. L. Crow, who did not qualify, was sworn into office, last Saturday, giving $2,000 bond, Messrs. Z. P. Morrison and W. E. Blair as sureties.

per The Banner Jan. 7, 1886 DR. BLONDY BILL - Claiming to be an Indian Doctor, of first class ability, struck our town some time during week before last and at once engaged in selling his wonderful remedies on the street in the same style as the "Wizard Oil" troupe did. Thus matters ran along until last Friday night, when the Doctor and a portion of his turnout concluded to "skip out" which they did some time about one o'clock in the morning. They had given a concert that night in Capt. Ludike's Hall which by the way was said to be very good, but to a small house, after the close of which they went to the livery stable of McCluskey & Young where they kept their "turn out" paid a portion of their bill, whet to the Exchange Hotel, got all they had there - with the exception of a few boxes of their medicine and a protion of their troupe that were boarding at a private residence and bid Florence, a silent "good night". On Saturday morning after hearing of the matter we fished around till we learned that they had left unpaid abut $75 or $80 in board, hall rent, etc. Mr. W. E. Blair was put on track of them but could learn nothing of them during Saturday. By some means word reached Florence, on Sunday that the Doctor was somewhere in the neighborhood of Frankfort, Franklin County. On Monday morning bright and early Geo. W. Banks City Marshall and W. E. Blair left in search of the Dr. and some time during the day overhauled him near Bellgreen, Franklin County. After quite an adventure with the Sheriff of that county, they succeeded in persuading the Dr. to return to Florence, with them, arriving here about 11 o'clock Tuesday. 

per the Flo. Gazette Jan 9, 1886 - The "Medicine Men" who had been concerting and selling here for some weeks, departed between the set of sun of last Friday and the rising of Saturday's luminary; leaving sundry creditors here to morn their loss. City Marshal Barks and Mr. W. E. Blair followed and overtook them in Franklin county, and brought back their speckled ponies and wagon. The company left on the Cloud, for their Western home, sadder, if not richer, that when they first landed here. 

per The Banner May 27, 1886 - We learn that Mr. W. E. Blair was appointed deputy U.S. Marshal to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of S.S. Ives. If the report be correct that Mr. Keller has not been confirmed, as Marshal for this district, Mr. B's term of office was as short lives as the resolutions offered by Mr. Crittenden in the convention last Saturday. 

per The Banner May 27, 1886 - PROCEEDINGS OF THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION, ASSEMBLED IN FLORENCE, ALA. MAY 22, 1886 - The following named gentlemen were elected as delegates to the Congressional convention to be held in Decatur, to-wit : Alternates : W.E. Blair....................

per the Wave September 4, 1886: The following names gentlemen were appointed: by Col. McFarland, members of the committee proposed at the citizens meeting on Monday night last: W. E. Blair...........
It becomes their duty to canvass the town in the interest of the Land and Improvement Company. Will probably say more about this next week. 

per The Banner Sept. 23, 1886 - MUCH NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS
As improvement of our streets and sidewalks is the order of the day with our town authorities, we would call their attention to a much needed improvement, and one which we think they and all our people will agree that should be made and at once. We refer to the building of a good gravel sidewalk from the brick yard pond, to the stairway leading into the cemetery. A few more rains like the one that fell last week, and the walk by the side of W. E. Blair's fence will be almost impassable in dry let alone in wet weather. Winter is coming on and this walk should be made good before the bad weather sets in. We hope our city fathers will take this matter under consideration, and conclude to have the work done at once, as it is certainly very much needed. In this connection we wish to say a few words to the Trustees of the Public School, taught by Mrs. Waters, or to those who are interested or have the power to remedy the matter. We refer to the building of a side walk to the school house in Cox's grove. In wet weather the brick yard pond overflows and is almost impossible for the children to get to the school house. We think this evil could be remedied by building a plank walk way two feet wide leaving Tennessee street in front of J. W. Blair's residence and running round on the south side of the pond. By this way, it would be on higher ground than the way they have to go now. These are two improvements that would be greatly appreciated by our people, and of much convenience and comfort to one and all. 

per The Wave September 25, 1886 - The following Annual Committees were appointed at the last monthly meeting of the Y.M.C.A.
Visiting Committee: W.E. Blair..........

per The Banner - Dec. 2, 1886 - THEY TOOK THE TOWN! SHEFFIELD NO. 2, ANOTHER MAGIC CITY. FLORENCE, ALA. PURCHASED BY A MINING & MANUFACTURING COMPANY. THE WORK OF BUILDING RAILROADS AND FURNACES TO BEGIN AT ONCE. Special to the American. Florence, Ala. Nov. 20 (special) A number of gentlemen met here today and organized a Florence Land, Mining & Manufacturing Company, which promises to rival in magnitude and yet organized. They have bought the availabel vacant lots and land in and immediately joining Florence to the amount of 4, 000 acres and about 2,900 acres of iron lands from 15 to 30 miles from Florence, which is said to be one of the most valuable iron properties in the south. The stock had been subscribed and today being fixed for the meeting of the stock holders for organization, and this being known the town was wild with excitement all day. Those interested in the matter and the office where the meeting was held were besiged by parties wishing to take stock, and a number of telegrams were received from persons from a distance to friends here asking to get in , one party asking for $20,000 worth of stock, but they were too late, and the application was refused. The capital stock was fixed at three million dollars, four hundred thousand being pail up, three hundred thousand in cash, and one hundred thousand in lands, and the following board of directors elected: W. E. Blair.......................The Board of Directors were aurhorized to at once take steps to secure by subscriptions to bonds or stocks, railroad connections from the North, and to secure the iron furnaces, and appropriations were made from these purpoese, fifty thousand dollars to secure a railroad, and $75,000 for a furnace. .....................

per The Banner Dec. 16, 1886 PUBLIC MEETING - A large and enthusiastic meeting of the people of Florence was held in th Court House last Saturday night, to give suitable expressions to their joy and satisfaction at the receipt of a telegram from W. B. Wood, at Nashville, Tenn., the purpose of which was as follows; That at a meeting held in Nashville, arrangements were perfected to erect three iron blast furnaces, one rolling mill, one stove factory, and a brick manufactory. All of which was located at Florence, Ala. The meeting was called to order by the election of Emmet O'Neal, Esq. as Chairman, who in a few appropriate and well received remarks, stated the object of the meeting - and B. F. Powers, Secretary. On motion of A. W. Porter, a committee was appointed to which committee Emmet O'Neal was added to Draft suitable resolutions. The following resolution was reported and unanimously adopted and on motion was ordered to be telegraphed to Nashville. Resolved: that the thanks of the entire community be tendered Judge W. B. Wood for his earnest, untiring and effectual efforts ot advance the interest of the town. A. W. Porter, W. E. Blair, Z. P. Morrison, Emmet O'Neal - Committee . 

per The Flo. Wave Dec. 25, 1886 - Y.M.C.A. will hold their regular Devotional Services at their rooms back of the court house tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 o'clock. Subject: Be diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Leaders:............Assistants: W. E. Blair............ 
 

per The Flo. Wave Jan. 1 & 8, 1887 - NOTICE - Books of Subscription to the Capital Stock of the Florence & Sheffield Transfer and Ferry Co., will be opened at the office of the Alabama & Tenn. R/R Co. in the town of Florence on Monday 20th of Dec. 1886 - W.E. Blair ...........
NOTICE- The undersigned Corp. will open books of subscription to the Captial........W.E. Blair

per The Wave January 15, 1887 - Mr. W.E. Blair has sold his Island property 4 miles east of town, for the neat sum of $22,500. Several years ago, Mr. Blair paid $6,000 for the property and has since used it as a corn farm. It contains about 400 acres and is one of the best corn producing farms in the state.

per The Florence Wave February 12, 1887 - Mr. W.E. Blair met with the misfortune of losing a barge loaded with 975 bushels of corn last week. Whether due to carelessness or unavoidable circumstances, we have been unable to learn. We are sorry for his loss since corn in 50 cents per bushel and his only recourse "No Insurance!"

per The Banner March 17, 1887 - W. E. Blair, sold one acre near his residence (the Cox place) for $1,250 and some say, the Alabamian for instance, that the Florence, people expect the boom to be renewed at the land sales that are to take place here April 26. Hundreds and thousands of dollars will have been invested in real estate here long before the sales come off. 

per Florence Wave April 23, 1887 - Messrs, Manion & Blair have done a nice job of work in filling the large ditch in front of the McFarland lots on Court Street. 

per The Banner - May 5, 1887- LAND SALE - The following is a list of lots sold on Tuesday, names of purchasers and the amounts paid, ..............SALES ON WEDNESDAY - W. E. Blair - 1 lot - $310..............

per The Banner July 7, 1887 - Mr. W. E. Blair's buggy horse took it into his head to have a little show of his own, and started up court street as if he was in a hurry. At Farmer's corner, he turned west until he came to an alley going north into which he turned. In doing so the carriage was overturned, and the top smashed up pretty badly. Mr. B. concluding that he was not a safe horse for his family, introduced him to a "street scraper" next day, and now he is doing good service in moving dirt. 

per the Banner November 10, 1887 - ANNUAL MEETING - At the meeting of the Stockholders of the Florence Land Co., held here last week the following named gentlemen were elected Directors: W.E. Blair, of Florence...................................
It will be seen that a slight change was made in the original Board. 

per the Banner February 16, 1888 - Mr. W. E. Blair and family went to Memphis to attend Mardi Gras. Mrs. Z. P. Morrison and her daughter and son also went down. 

per The Banner June 7, 1888 - THE RAILROAD - Being very anxious for the completion of the N. & F. railroad, and having heard so many and very conflicting reports in reference to the progress being made on the road, we concluded to take a trip over it, and satisify ourself as to the true condition of things. Accordingly on last Monday morning in company with Mr. A. D. Carson, we left here and traveled over the line of the road to Prewitton. We first struck the road at Mrs. Wesson's 5 1/4 miles from Florence, where we came up with the track layers. They have been two weeks getting that far. They were progressing slowly, from the fact that they did not have sufficient teams to keep the ties ahead of the track-layers. After passing thie section of hands, we found Mr. Andrews, hard at work "dressing up" his work, getting ready for the track. Soon after passing Mr. Andrews, we met Mr. Ed Blair, who was placing cross ties on the road. After passing him we struck into a mountaious country, and from there to Butler Creek, it is about the roughest country for a railroad we nearly ever saw. We soon arrived at the Big Cut, which has caused so much trouble and delay in the completition of the road. And while we were assured before getting there, that it was finished last Saturday, yet when we got to it, we found several men at work in it, and many wagon loads of dirt, rock, and clay to be taken out, which, we think, will require several days to do, with the force at work. There is a vast amount of dressing up to do before the ties can possible be pinced in position. Here and there we found three and four men in a gang at work dressing up, but nothing like the number that could be used. There being no wagon way along the road in the mountains, the teams were driven on the raod, and the result is that the roadbed was badly cut up in wet weather and looks like a county road, all of which will have to be filled up and leveled, and drainage made on each side. At one place we saw eight mules hitched to one plow, and grading going on as rapidly as the small squad of men could do it. Track laying began at Little Butler, Monday evening coming this way. While we hope the track may all be put down by the 15th inst. Yet the prospects, we being the judges are not at all encouraging for this to be done. 

per The Banner August 16, 1888 - Mr. W.E. Blair is building two neat cottages on the lot just east of the colored Baptist Church. 

per The Banner Sept. 6, 1888 - Mr. W.E. Blair has built four neat little cottages directly east of the colored Baptist Church.

per The Banner Oct. 18, 1888 - Mr. W. E. Blair, has the contract for grading the site of the new drug building, to be erected neat the stove works. 

per The Watcher November 16, 1888 - W.E. Blair is having three new houses put on the lot south east of his residence. 

per The Banner Jan. 3, 1889 - Mr. W.E. Blair has built four more cottages a little south of the old base ball ground. This makes about 18 he has put up in the past few months. A few dozen such men as Ed Blair, and our vacant lots would be covered with houses. 

per The Banner Jan. 10, 1889 -REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS - W.E. Blair sold a lot to S.J. Graham, 44 feet front at $70 a foot. W.E. Blair, a lot to Mr. McManus on Tuscaloosa street at $500. A.C. Chisholm to Bayless, Reeder & Blair, one acre for $2000. Blair, Bayless & Reeder sold one acre to Mr. Sale, of Virginia for $5,500.Nelson and Pike one acre to W.E. Blair for $3000. Mr. B. then sold one half of the same lot in a day or two for $4000. White, Hudson & Blair sold 238 acres at Wildwood Park, better know as the Vineyard Springs for $100 per acre. 

per The Banner - Jan 17, 1889 - REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS - Mr. A.C. Chisholm, sold one lot to Bayless, Reeder & Blair for $2000........

per The Banner March 7, 1889 - We learn that Mr. W.E. Blair is soon to begin the erection of a $10,000 residence in the eastern part of town. 

per The Banner March 14, 1889 - Rock foundations are laid for four or five business houses on the north-east side of the Hyde property. The town is spreading out eastward, and that rapidly. Just north of the W.E. Blair residence (the James Cox place,) a large 16 room hotel is going up. This belongs to Mr. Darby & Son. 

per Florence Times - May 5, 1889 - MORTGAGE SALE - Under and by virtue of the power contained in a certain mortgage executed by A. J. McGarry, on the 27th day of December, 1888, to William B. Wood, and recorded in Deed Book 38 page 81, in the Probate Office of Lauderdale County, Alabama, we will sell on SATURDAY, MAY 20TH, 1899, to the highest bidder for cash, in front of the courthouse in Florence, Alabama, all that tract of land lying in Lauderdale county, Alabama, known and described as lot No. 5 Wood and Blair subdivision of part of lot 384; said lot fronting 63 feet on Magnolia street and running back between parallel lines 129 1-2 feet to a 12 foot alley. Sale in legal hours. The proceeds of said sale will be distributed according to the terms of said mortgage. H. C. and W. J. Wood, Executors of Estate of W. B. Wood, deceased. apr28w4

per The Banner May 16, 1889 - The house known at the Cox residence near the cemetery , has been torn down and removed by Mr. W.E. Blair, who owns the property. He is now commencing the erection of a fine residence on the site of the old house. One by one the old landmarks are giving way to the onward march of progress. Mr. Blair propposes to put up a very fine residence on the lot. 

per The Herald - June 26, 1889 - The Canning Company will soon be in operation. The truck farm, which is under the supervision of Mr. James W. Arnold, on Blair's island, is n a very fine condition, the late rains having been very beneficial. They have twenty acrs of tomatoes which are nearly ripe, and twenty-five acres of corn. they will buy largely from farmers for their purposes. 

per The Herald - July 3, 1889 - Mr. Blair is constructing a very handsome $8,000 residence near the old school houe on Sweetwater street. 

per The Banner July 11, 1889 - The stone foundation of W.E. Blair's residence on the site of the Cox residence, near the brick school house, has been completed, and the frame work is now going up. 

per The Banner Aug. 22, 1889 - Mr. W.E. Blair was on the sick list last week. 

per The Florence Herald Sept. 21, 1889 - RESIDENCE BURNED
The residence of J. B. Darby, on the corner of Chestnut and College streets, was entirely consumed by fire Wednesday night. The house was occupied by J. B. Darby and sister, and a large number of boarders, mostly employees of the F. H. Foster company, many of whom saved most of their baggage and clothing. The fire alarm was given about 10:30p.m. and the town was soon aroused by the firing of "guns" and the shouts of the people. The fire originated in a wing of the house, used as a store room, from some unknown cause. Most of the occupants were in their rooms at the time, but the fire had gained such headway when discovered that there was no possible chance of controlling it. If, however, there had been an efficient fire department, the fire could easily have been controlled by a single stream of water. Some of the furniture and household goods were gotten out before the fire enveloped the main building. At one time it looked as if Mr. Blair's fine new residence, on the south side of the street, would go too, but the wind fortunately veered, carrying the immense volume of sparks and glowing embers in another direction. The residence was comparatively new, having only been built a few months. The house was insured with Maj. H. C. Wood, representing the Phoenix of Hartford, for $1.000 and Leftwich Bros. for $1,000, in the Hartford Fire Insurance Co., of Hartford. 

per The Banner - Sept. 26, 1889 - ANOTHER FIRE
On Wednesday night of last week, near 11 o'clock, the startling cry of fire was heard and in a few seconds the Methodist Church bell was wringing the dread alarm, and pistols were fired in many places in town to arouse the people. It was several seconds before the fire could be located by the people in the west side of town. But soon the red glare of the devouring element showed that it was doing its work on the east side, and thitherward the multitude hurried. It was soon discovered that the new boarding house of Darby & Son, on Alabama Street, near the new residence of W. E. Blair, was on fire. As there was no water to be had, all that could be done was to clear the house of the furniture, and everything else that could be gotten out. To this end willing hands did their utmose and quite a quanity of furniture was saved, but much of it in a damaged condition. The loss on house, furniture and supplies was estimated at $3,000. Insurance $2.000.

per The Herald - Sept. 28, 1889 - NON-RESIDENT'S NOTICE - THE STATE OF ALABAMA, Lauderdale County. J. W. Stewart, Adm'r & c. vs W. E. Blair, et al. In Chancery, At Florence, Alabama. Notice is hereby given the heirs of Wattie Thompson, deceased, whose names, ages and residence are unknown to complainant, that a bill of complaint has been filed in this Court against them. It is therefore, ordered by the Register, that publication be made in The Florence Herald, a newspaper published in the city of Florence, once a week for five consecutive weeks, requiring them, the said unknown heirs, to answer or demur to the bill of complaint in this cause by the 21st day of October, 1889, or in thirth days thereafter, decrees pro confesso, may be taken against them. Done at office in Florence, this 20th day of September, 1889. Sep21w5w Robert Andrews, Register.

per The Banner Oct. 3, 1889 - Mr. W. E. Blair is erecting four more cottages close to, and south of the old ball ground.

per The Herald November 13, 1889 - A CROWDED CITY EXPANDING - Ed Blair, will build four new houses at once.......

per the Florence Herald Nov. 16, 1889 - To the Confederate soldiers and sailors of Laud. Co., Al. A State Veteran's Assoc. has been formed at B'ham, with the design of relieving disabled Confederates, their widows and orphans. It is needless to urge upon you the propriety of our forming an Auxiliary organization for this county. You are therefore requested to meet at the court house in Florence, at noon, on Saturday Nov. 30, 1889 - W.E. Blair...............

per The Banner November 21, 1889 - Mr. W.E. Blair continues to build residences, and rents them as fast as they are ready for occupancy. We think he has, up to date, built about 45 and contemplates building a few more. 

Nov. 28, 1889 per The Banner - Messrs. T. E. Barry, Z. P. Morrison, W. E. Blair, L. C. Hudson, B. F. Powers, Geo. Haver, J. K. Powers and Jno. W. Hall of Florence, were registered at the Huntsville Hotel, last Thursday. Messrs. Frank Jackson and T. B. Ingram were also in the city. Some attending Conference, others on other business. 

per The Herald December 14, 1889 - Mr. Ed. Blair's new residence on College street, is practically completed. It is a three story frame, with imitation cut stone front, and mansard roof. It is elegantly finished on the inside and is a very imposing structure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Record of Alabama. Vol. II. Brant & Fuller. Madison, Wis., 1893. p. 356

 

William Edward Blair