Shelby S. Pleasants was a native of Alabama, and of a long line of ancestors early seated in Alabama. He was born at Huntsville May 2, 1872, and was the son of Samuel Pleasants and Marie Shelby. He died in the city of his nativity, June 20, 1916. His father was a merchant of Huntsville, the son of James J. Pleasants, of Virginia Quaker Ancestry, and wife, Emily, daughter of Thomas Bibb, second Governor of the State of Alabama. During the incumbency of Governor Bibb, and for many years thereafter, Hon. J. J. Pleasants was Secretary of State of Alabama. The parents of Marie Shelby Pleasants were Dr. David and Mary (Bouldin) Shelby, the former a native Tennessee, but who early removed to Madison County, Alabama, where he lived and died. Governor David D. Shelby was the uncle of the subject of this sketch. Mr. Pleasants was educated under private teachers and in the common schools of Huntsville. He finished such training as he had in the school of Prof. Charles O. Shepherd. He was denied a college education. Having determined upon the profession of law, he read in the office of his uncle, Judge Shelby; was admitted to practice in the trial courts of the State in August, 1891 ; admitted to the State Supreme Court November 1, 1899. In 1897 he was appointed Assistant U. S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, but resigned in September, 1900, and returned to the general practice. In May, 1911, he was elected City Attorney of Huntsville, but declined the office. Mr. Pleasants was a member of the Huntsville Company of the Alabama National Guard for some years as a private soldier, 3rd Infantry Regiment, and in September 5, 1894, he was promoted lieutenant, a position he held for three years. He was an ardent Republican, and from time to time was a delegate to various State Conventions of his party. He represented Alabama as a delegate at large to the National Republican Convention at Chicago in 1912. Mr. Pleasants was a Mason, a Knight of Pythias, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He never married.
Source: Alabama State Bar Association, Proceedings of the … annual meeting of the Alabama State Bar Association, p. 223, pub. by State Printers, 1916.