Memorial record of Alabama

Biography of William T. Northington

William T. Northington, president of the Prattville Cotton Mill & Banking company, Autauga county, and also president of the Northington-Mungen-Pratt company, of Birmingham, Ala., is a native of Prattville, Ala., and was born in 1851. His parents, William H. and Rachel M. (Gholson) Northington, were born in Mecklenburg county, Ya., and in Autauga county, Ala, about the years 1818 and 1828 respectively. William H. Northington was a ripe scholar, came to Alabama about the year 1840, and settled in Prattville, where he married, and practiced his profession, that of the law, until his death, September 10, 1880. He took an active interest in politics, but was not an aspirant for office. During the late war he was captain of a company in the Confederate army, and for a considerable period of time was stationed at Fort Morgan, near Mobile. He was a Mason and, with his wife, a member of the Methodist church, and was universally esteemed. His father,. John L., was of English descent and passed his life in Virginia. Mrs. Rachel M. Northington died in October, 1891. She was a daughter of Jasper Gholson, a native of South Carolina, who settled in Autauga county, Ala., about 1820, and followed planting until his death in 1859 or 1860 — his wife following him soon after the close of the late war. William T. Northington is ‘the second born in a family of five children. His primary education was acquired at Prattville, subsequently he attended school at Auburn, Ala., then at the Emory and Henry college of Virginia, and in 1871 graduated from the law department of the university of Virginia. He practiced his profession in partnership w T ith his father until 1877, serving for two years as county solicitor; he then became connected with the Daniel Pratt Gin company; in 1881 he became a partner in this concern and still continues to hold his interest therein. On the organization of the Prattville Cotton Mill & Banking company, in 1887, he was made its president, and still holds that responsible position; he was elected to the presidency of the Northington-Mungen-Pratt company of Birmingham, Ala., when that company was organized in December, 1891. The former company is one of the most extensive factories in the south, producing osnaburgs, shirting, sheeting, drills, etc., and consuming about 5,000 bales of cotton annually, worth about $ 300, 000. It carries on its payrolls an average of 250 operatives, at a monthly cost of $1,000. His marriage took place in 1872, to Miss Ella A., daughter of Dr. S. P. and Adelaide Smith. Dr. Smith was a native of North Carolina, but when two or three years of age was brought to Alabama by his parents. He died in March, 1891, aged seventy-six years, and was soon followed by his wife, who died the following July. For many years Dr. Smith was the leading practitioner of medicine in Autauga county, but wealth rewarded his skill and labor, and he retired a number of years before his decease. He was a royal arch Mason and a substantial pillar of the Methodist church. Mrs. Northington is a native of Prattville, where she received her early education, and later at Mobile and Summerfield, and is a highly accomplished lady. Mr. Northington is a member of Prattville lodge, No. 96, F. & A. M., and Daniel Pratt chapter; w r as senior P. C. C. of the K. of P., Merrill Pratt lodge; he is also a member of the Knights of Honor, and, with his wife of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Source: Brant & Fuller, et al. 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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