Distinguished Men, Women and Families of Franklin County, Alabama

Biography of Charley Ross West

Prominent Educator and former State Senator Charley Ross West, one of Alabama’s prominent educators and former State Senator from Jefferson County, was born April 17, 1878, at Old Nauvoo, four miles below Belgreen. He is a son of Tinsley D. and Sene (Dickson) West, the former, one of Franklin’s best…
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Biography of Richard Sharp Watkins

Lawyer and Delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1861 Richard Sharp Watkins, delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1861, or the secession convention, came to Alabama from Abingdon, Virginia, in the early days of the state’s history. He located at Tuscumbia and later at Russellville where he continued to practice…
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Biography of Dr. N. T. Underwood

Physician and prominent citizen Dr. N. T. Underwood was a good example of a self made man. He was reared on the mountain west of Bear Creek, about seven miles southwest of Tuscumbia. His people (his father was George Underwood and his mother was Miss Ellen Key of Franklin county)…
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Biography of Oscar Lelon Tompkins

(1863-1969)State Representative for Houston County, Alabama Another member of the Tompkins’ family to make his mark is Hon. O. L. Tompkins, formerly of Belgreen, but now of Dothan. He has represented Houston County in the State legislature two or three times and is an outstanding member of that body. Member…
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Biography of Christopher C. Tompkins

(1799-1874)Delegate to the Constitutional Convention Christopher C. Tompkins, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1865, was well known in Franklin County. He was a planter and also county surveyor. At one time he was tax assessor of Franklin County. The following sketch of Mr. Tompkins is taken from Dr.…
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Biography of John Taylor

“The Famous Backwood’s Preacher” It would require a sizeable volume to do justice to the life and works of the great modest, unassuming John Taylor. He was not considered a great preacher even by those of his own faith, and was bitterly hated by many who were not of his…
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Biography of John A. Steele

Farmer, Judge of Probate, Lawyer and Delegate to the Secession Convention John A. Steele, the other delegate to the secession convention, never lived in Franklin County as it now exists, but lived for many years at Tuscumbia, which was at one time a town of Franklin County. His son, W.…
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Biography of Riley Sparks

A Progressive Farmer for his day Riley Sparks was a citizen of Franklin County for a great many years. Born October 22, 1811, in Spartanburg District, South Carolina and died at his home near Frankfort, Alabama, December 29, 1892. Mr. Sparks was a son of Wm. Sparks, who came to…
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Biography of William Skinner

Lawyer, Planter and Delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1867 William Skinner, lawyer, planter and delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1867 from Franklin County, was born probably in 1809, at or near Lexington, Kentucky. Died, September 17, 1874, at his home about two and a half miles northwest of…
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Biography of Dr. Samuel Sevier

Physician in Franklin County in pre-Civil War days and State Senator The people of Franklin County are primarily interested in only one of the eight children of John and Catherine (Sherrill) Sevier, Dr. Samuel Sevier, the second son. He was the progenitor of the Sevier family of Franklin County and…
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Biography of Harvey Owen Sargent

Educator In the same year and just a few days later in the same month in which Prof. Luther Noble Duncan was born, another boy baby who has become a nationally known educator first saw the light of day in Franklin County. That boy was Harvey Owen Sargent, now Dr.…
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Biography of Robert L. Reaves

Successful Teacher after the Civil War Robert L. Reaves, son of the late Stephen and Elizabeth (Cobb) Reaves, was a successful teacher in Franklin as well as several other Alabama counties. Mr. Reaves was reared in the Dillard’s Mill and Ebenezer communities north of Russellville, and attended the rural schools…
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Biography of William H. Quillin

Lawyer and Alabama State Representative William H. Quillin, lawyer and representative in the lower house of the State Legislature, for 1927, was born December 11, 1902; son of Hiram and Ada (Bolton) Quillin of Russellville. Like so many of the prominent younger men of the county, Mr. Quillin has the…
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Biography of John E. Orman

An Outstanding Community Builder and Business Man We are pleased to present to the reader John E. Orman, of Russellville, as the first of the many characters who appear in this book. He is one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of community builders, social leaders and successful business…
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Biography of James Malone

(1797-1879)Prominent Planter, sired 27 children James Malone, prominent planter, who lived on Tollison’s Creek near Frankfort, came to Franklin County from North Carolina at an early date. He was born in 1797, and died August 13, 1879. He is buried in a private cemetery on the farm which he owned,…
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Biography of Enoch Harvey McNatt

Well-known Teacher after the Civil War Enoch Harvey McNatt was a well-known teacher after the Civil War and served the country one term as superintendent of education. He was a son of Enoch and Sallie (Skinner) McNatt, pioneer settlers of Franklin County, and a nephew of William and Cordy Skinner,…
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Biography of Jesse L. Kirk

Planter and Saddle Maker Jesse L. Kirk, planter and saddle maker, came from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina to Franklin County. He was a soldier of the war of 1812. The following inscription appears on his gravestone in the Roberson Cemetery, near Fairview: JESSE L. KIRK, BORN MAY 6, 1791, DIED…
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Biography of James Kirk

One of the Leading Planters in the County James Kirk, brother of Jesse Kirk, was one of the leading planters in the county. He owned a fine plantation east of Payne’s Creek, part of which was formerly owned by James Edwards. James Kirk, married Miss Terah Sugg, daughter of Thomas…
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Biography of James Allen Kimbrough

A Man Renowed For His Morality James Allen Kimbrough, lovingly known to his friends as “Uncle Jim Pony,” was widely known for his even disposition and moral character. We knew him from early childhood until his death and have never known a more lovable gentleman. Our mother knew him from…
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Biography of Dr. Thomas S. Jones

Physician, prominent educator and statesman Dr. Thomas S. Jones, a very successful physician and also a prominent educator and statesman was born and reared on a plantation near Russellville, Alabama. The year of his birth was 1827, the names of his parents were William Stratton and Anne Harris (Cox) Jones.…
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Biography of Henry Cox Jones

Lawyer and Judge Henry Cox Jones, lawyer, was born January 23, 1821, near Russellville, Franklin County, and died June 20, 1913, at Florence, son of William Stratton and Ann Harris (Cox) Jones, the former a native of Amelia County, Virginia, born in 1798, and died in 1874, came from Virginia…
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Biography of Luther L. James

Prominent Educator Luther L. James, superintendent of the public schools at Roanoke, Alabama, is one of the most universally popular teachers that Franklin County has ever produced. He possess an unusually winning personality. Mr. James was born May 26, 1887, about five miles northwest of Russellville, and was reared on…
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Biography of Lee James

A Former Franklin County Boy Who is Making Good in The Business World Lee James is one of the most successful and progressive business men that Franklin County has produced. He is the eldest son of Aaron A. and Ollie Virginia (Bendall) James, who reside near Russellville, and a great…
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Biography of Alpha W. Hargett

Former Sheriff and Probate Judge of Franklin CountyDeputy Prohibition Administrator for the Southern District of Alabama Alpha W. Hargett, former Sheriff and Probate Judge of Franklin County, and at present Deputy prohibition administrator for the Southern District of Alabama, was born February 24, 1874, two and a half miles south…
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Biography of Benjamin Harris

Wealthy Planter and Land Surveyor Benjamin Harris, wealthy planter and land surveyor, was not related to the two illustrious John Wyatt Harrises. Mr. Harris came to Franklin County at a very early date from Tennessee. He lived for many years near the present Isbell Station. He is said to have…
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Biography of Prof. Luther Noble Duncan

Teacher in the Agricultural World Professor Luther Noble Duncan is not an educator in the more popular sense of the term, but he is a great teacher in the agricultural world, and as Alexander the Great said, “Civilization begins and ends with the plow.” Mr. Duncan was born October 14,…
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Biography of Ellis Madison Duncan

Biologist Duncan, Ellis Madison, biologist, was born February 15, 1873, near Russellville, Franklin County. He received his elementary education in the public schools of Russellville; was graduated from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, B. S., 1900 and M. S. 1908, took special courses in the college of physicians and surgeons and…
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Biography of William Burgess

Prominent farmer and delegate to the ConstitutionalConvention of 1875 from Franklin County William Burgess, prominent farmer and delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1875 from Franklin County, was born a few miles east of Russellville in 1826. Died near Pleasant Site, January 17, 1902, having been a life-long citizen of…
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Biography of William Drewey Bowen

Gallant hero of the 1860’s William Drewey Bowen, a gallant hero of the sixties, was born December 6, 1834. Died February 3, 1918. Mr. Bowen was the eldest of several children born to William and (Sallie or Sarah Bowen of Russellville, the former club-footed and a tailor. William or “Billy”…
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Biography of Edward Tarpley “E. T.” Bolding

Educator, Farmer, Gentleman Edward Tarpley (E. T.) Bolding, one of the prominent educators of Franklin county of later years, was born September 17, 1878, at Pleasant Site, Franklin County. Son of J. T. and Mary Fannie (Rogers) Bolding, deceased. J. T. Bolding, father of E. T. Bolding, was a successful…
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Biography of Lemuel Cook Bendall

Confederate Soldier, Rural Letter Carrier, Historian Lemuel Cook Bendall, son of the late Ben F. and Matilda (Barrett) Bendall, is one of the oldest and most widely known men in Franklin County. Probably he has had the most varied experience of any one person living in the county, and we…
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Source: Source: James, R. L. Distinguished Men, Women and Families of Franklin County, Alabama. Russellville, Ala., Private Publication, 1928. 111 p.

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