Skip to content

Rogersville, AL – Keeping up with the Procession

An 1894 editorial from a Rogersville, Alabama citizen identified only as “Aleck” gives quite a humorous account of two boys in Rogersville who jointly purchase a bicycle and attempt to impress their girlfriends. Read the entire account below:

An 1890s bicycle advertisement found in the Florence Times
An 1890s bicycle advertisement found in the Florence Times

“Our town is trying to keep up with the times. Messrs. Ed Hurn and J.B. Foster have bought them a bicycle, between them. Mr. H. came in from Courtland with it Saturday night. As soon as he got here the boys began to ride it all night, and Sunday morning, bright and early I noticed quite a crowd of children congregated on all the streets, ranging in ages from two to fifty years. I ventured to see the cause, thinking, maybe, the thieves had visited us again, but I found that the boys were still riding. Each of these boys, (like myself, and other boys,) have a “best girl,” and they wanted to visit said girls that morning, on their wheel, so they had to practice all night, to be able to do so. Mr. H’s girl lives near by, so he rode up to see her, and while he made his call, Mr. T. got it and rode about three miles to see his girl, but he was so charmed with his wheel, that he only stayed about ten minutes, and then returned the wheel to Mr. H. This bicycle is a very unruly one, judging from the scars on the boys and the blood on the streets. It has thrown several of the boys, and if it can get them off no other way, it lies down with them.

We have been thinking of making a telephone link to Centre Star, and connect with the line there, but since these two young men have got a bicycle, we have abandoned the idea, we will send all our messages by wheel. After Mr. H. has run a few more nights he thinks he can get there as quick as a telephone message. We will wait for further development before putting up the phone. An old gentleman who lives in town, and whose family had gone out in the country to spend the day, stayed in town all the evening, in order to stop the wheel before they got here. I suppose he was afraid he would loose his wife and baby, should the wheel run up on them. The thing is nearly run down, being out of wind, and all is calm and serene again.”