Biography of Col. Thomas W. Sadler

Col. Thomas W. Sadler, the well-known attorney-at-law of Prattville, Alabama, is a native of the state, having been born in Franklin county in 1831. His father, Allious Sadler, was born in North Carolina in 1801, and when a child was brought to Alabama by his parents, who settled near Jonesborough, Jefferson county, where he married Miss Caroline Owen. He then moved to Franklin county, where he resided a few years, and in 1833 returned to Jefferson county. He was a farmer, but active in politics, being a stanch democrat, and died in 1845, a member of the Methodist church. He was the sixth child born to William R. Sadler, of North Carolina, who was a pioneer of central Alabama, and owned the land on which Jonesborough was afterward built. Mrs. Caroline (Owen) Sadler was born near Birmingham, Alabama, and after the death of Mr. Sadler was married to Rev. Reuben Phillips, a Methodist minister for over sixty years, who died in Coosa county, Alabama, at a very advanced age. Mrs. Phillips died in 1881, a devoted member of her husband’s church. Thomas W. Sadler is the only son in a family of five children born to his parents. He was reared on a farm and educated at old Jonesborough, at the state university and at Summerfield; he then studied law, but did not begin its active practice for some years, nor seek admission to the bar, preferring merchandising and farming. At the age of twenty-one he was elected a justice of the peace in Jefferson county, and held the office until his removal to Autauga county in 1855. In 1854, however, he had married at the Methodist church, at Prattville, Miss Catherine, daughter of Shadrach, and Elizabeth Mims, this being the first marriage ceremony performed in that edifice. Mr. and Mrs. Mims were natives of Georgia and Columbus, Mississippi, respectively, and were married in Columbus, but early removed to Vernon, Autauga county, where Mr. Mims was engaged in warehousing and planting, but later he moved to Prattville and became connected with the Pratt Gin company, with which he remained until his death in 1881. He was the father of four sons, who served with Gen. Jo. Wheeler through the late war, viz: Dr. Alexander, who was captured in Tennessee, and imprisoned at Rock Island, Illinois, but who, in midwinter, made his escape with a companion and made his way through the enemy’s lines to his command, badly frozen. The other three were named Shadrach, Wilber F. and James. Mrs. Catherine Sadler was born in Autauga county, became the mother often children, and died in 1871. Of the children five are still living, viz: Allious T., Dr. Wilber F., Katie, Ethel and Caroline. The second marriage of the colonel took place in 1885, to Mary, daughter of Dr. James H. Bowen, of Macon, Georgia, but now of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mrs. Mary Sadler is a native of Georgia. To this second marriage have been born two children — Anna, and Julia. After a residence at Prattville from 1855 until 1871, engaged in business. Col. Sadler was admitted to the bar. In 1874 he was appointed superintendent of education of Autauga county, and filled the office about ten years. In 1880 he was an elector on the Hancock ticket, and in 1884 was elected to represent the fifth Alabama district in the United States congress, and served on the committees on private land claims and on territories. He then declined further political honors. The colonel was made a Mason, in 1852, at the Eagleton lodge, near Birmingham, and is the oldest member of Prattville lodge. In religion he is a Methodist. His civil war period was varied, but not really active, until 1864, when he joined Jo. Wheeler’s cavalry, as a member company H, Prattville dragoons, and went through the Georgia campaign, and surrendered at Aiken, S. C., after the war had closed. As a lawyer, Col. Sadler stands at the head of the profession, and socially he is esteemed by the whole community.


Memorial record of Alabama : a concise account of the state’s political, military, professional and industrial progress, together with the personal memoirs of many of its people.. Madison, Wis.: Brant & Fuller, 1893.

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