Biography of Hon. Mac A. Smith

Mac A Smith
Mac A Smith

Hon. Mac A. Smith, one of the most prominent and gifted lawyers of Autauga county, and residing in Prattville, was born in Elmore county, Ala., in 1841. His parents were Malcolm and Mary Baker (Graham) Smith, of whom the former was born in Moore county, North Carolina, in 1795, and the latter in Cumberland county, North Carolina, in 1800. They were married in North Carolina, and in 1819 located in Autauga county, Alabama, but later removed to Coosa county (now Elmore county), and in 1840 returned to Autauga county and settled near Prattville, where Mr. Smith died in 1857 and his widow in 1880. Both were members of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Smith was an especially active worker, having built, in conjunction with his brother-in-law, Judge William Graham, the present Presbyterian church edifice at Prattville. Malcolm Smith was a wealthy planter, was progressive and industrious, and was one of the founders and operators of the Planters’ cotton mill at Autauga. He was a member of the Masonic lodge at Prattville, was an active democrat, but was possessed of no aspirations for office. His father, Neill Smith, was a native of Scotland, but an early settler of North Carolina, in which state he ended his days. The maternal grandparents of Mac A. Smith were Archibald and Euphelia Graham, both natives of Argyleshire, Scotland, the latter born in 1765. They lived some years in North Carolina, but in 1818 came to Alabama and settled in Autauga county, where Mr. Graham stood in the front rank of business men and his family in the social circle. He was called to his final rest in 1825, and his widow in 1848. Their only son, William, was state treasurer from 1848 until the opening of the Civil war. The children born to Malcolm and Mary B. (Graham) Smith comprised eight sons and four daughters. Of the sons, four served in the Confederate army, viz.: Alfred Y. Smith, as lieutenant in the Prattville dragoons; Prof. C. W., now principal of Prattville schools, was in the same command; Dr. Virgil J. (deceased) was also in the same company, and Mac A., whose military career will be now related.

Hon. Mac A. Smith was reared on the home plantation and received a good literary education. Leaving his academy, he entered Oglethorpe university, in Georgia, where he passed a year and a half, when, in 1862, he left that institution to join company K, First Alabama heavy artillery; he was sent to the front at Island No. 10, but was soon discharged on account of sickness and sent home, but the same year joined a company of sharpshooters and went to Tennessee; at Murphreesboro he was slightly wounded, and was again wounded at Chickamauga, his last wound necessitating his return once more to his home; but he recovered and rejoined his command at Dalton, and fought on to Atlanta and Jonesborough and back with Hood to Nashville, on the retreat south to Mississippi, and then joined Johnston in North Carolina, and fought on as a first sergeant until the surrender. On the restoration of peace he went to live with his mother at the old home, “Jessamine Hill,” read law, and was admitted to the bar in 1867, but still devoted his attention to planting until the death of his mother; after which he entered upon the active practice of his profession, in which he has met with phenomenal success. He became quite popular as a citizen, a lawyer and a politician. For a number of years he served as notary public and also justice of the peace, and in 1882 was elected to the state legislature, in which he served on judiciary, and was chairman of committee on boundaries, etc. In 1890 Mr. Smith was elected to the state senate for four years, from Lowndes and Autauga counties, and by this august body was placed on the committees on judiciary, on divisions of roads, on local legislation and on enrolled bills, and was a member of the conference committee, to redistrict the state into judicial circuits. But he has declined to accept further official honors which a grateful and admiring constituency have often urged upon him, preferring to devote his time to his rapidly increasing law practice, which demands all his attention. In March, 1877, Mr. Smith was married to Mrs. Lillie M. Foster, daughter of John Merrith, a native of Georgia, who came to Alabama many years ago and here died. Mrs. Smith was born in Autauga county, received her primary education here, and graduated from the Huntsville Female college under Dr. Price. Since his marriage Mr. Smith has resided at his country home, “Frogmoor, ” where he has some fine horses and a good track, on which he delights to train them.


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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