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A Look Back at mules

In the period before the introduction of tractors and mechanized farming, mules were essential for any farmer to perform the work tasks he had to accomplish to be successful. Mules were also used for transportation, along with horses, although “stubborn”mules could pose potentially deadly problems.

April 18, 1878—A child of A. J. Windham was thrown from a mule a few days ago and so badly injured that no hope is entertained for his recovery.

March 27, 1879—A county man was kicked in the breast by a mule and instantly killed a few days ago.

July 24, 1879—William Hugh fell from his mule and was killed near Florence last week.

Aug. 10, 1882—A Lawrence County man reports that while heading to Courtland in a mule-drawn hack, his team tried its speed down a steep hill. Ten miles farther, they went down another hill faster than he and his passenger cared to travel. By the hardest, he got the mules to stop.  

Returning from Courtland, when the mules had climbed the highest mountain, they dashed off like wild buffaloes.  

As our friend pulled with all his might to get the mules to stop, the lines snapped, and the mules headed for the woods. Our friend and his companion were thrown out of the hack while the mules rushed on until a huge oak tree stopped them.  

A hickory pole was cut with a pocket knife, a new tongue was made, and the passenger walked before the mules the rest of the way back to Moulton. This prevented any more accidents. 

Aug. 9, 1883—Allie Shoemaker was fortunate in not having his neck broken at noon last Friday. He started home to dinner and had not gone 200 yards from the courthouse before his mule stepped into a hole, turned head over heels and threw Allie 15 feet into the air. He was considerably bruised when he landed on the hard ground but was able to walk home. 

Jan. 5, 1886—There is reported to a big demand in Hartselle at present for large, fat mules.

Feb. 10, 1896—There was sold at public auction today a team of mules, a wagon, a quantity of brandy in kegs and a shotgun belonging to a man found illicitly making liquor.

Feb. 14, 1906—A journey from Indianapolis to Morgan County has just been made by R. E. Morrison, a retired banker and businessman of that city.  He made the trip to this county in about 30 days. He said along the greater part of the journey the roads were good. 

He is traveling in a large wagon made somewhat on the order of a United States mail wagon.

He passed through Hartselle and said he will go to the Gulf of Mexico, where he will spend some time for his health. Mr. Morrison said he enjoys traveling through the country in a wagon. He drives two large mules to his wagon.

Jan. 10, 1920—S. M. Stephenson did considerable trading in Hartselle today. As security for his note, he is using the sorrel horse mule he got from Will Summers and the sorrel mare mule he bought from Mr. Stroup.

Jan. 9, 1922—S. L. Jones, Albany 4, bought an 8-year-old bay mare mule in Hartselle today. It has a white nose.  

Feb. 2, 1922—J. T. Borden, who lives on Moulton Route 4, came to Hartselle today and went home with a bay mare mule, which is about 10 years old.