Memorial record of Alabama

Biography of Rev. John W. Roy

Rev. John W. Roy was born in Autauga county, Ala., in 1835, and is now the clerk of the county circuit court. His parents were Joseph and Mary Ann (Lee) Roy, who were natives of Orangeburg district, S. C., were there married and in 1818 came to Alabama and settled in Autauga county, which at that time .was almost unbounded wilderness, infested with wild animals and savage red men, but possessed of a rich soil and a salubrious climate. Here they cleared a farm in the timber and passed their lives, Mr. Roy dying in September, 1866, at the age …

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Memorial record of Alabama

Biography of Daniel Pratt

Daniel Pratt, the younger, was born in Prattville in 1866, graduated from the state university, and succeeded his father, Merrill E. Pratt as manager of the Pratt Gin company, and is also treasurer of the Prattville cotton-mill and banking company, and treasurer of the Worthington-Munger-Pratt company of Birmingham. He was married, in 1889, to Miss Ellen, daughter of Leonard and Sallie Sims, natives, respectively of Georgia and Autauga county, Ala. Mrs. Sims is a daughter of Judge Graham and is still living; Mr. Sims died in 1888. Mr. and Mrs. Pratt are consistent members of the Methodist church, while Mr. …

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Memorial record of Alabama

Biography of Merrill E. Pratt

Merrill E. Pratt, deceased, a nephew of Daniel Pratt, also a native of Temple, N. H., was born February 23, 1828, a son of Edward and Dorcas (Pevey) Pratt, the former a brother of Daniel. The father died when Merrill E. was a little boy, but the mother survived until a few years ago, when she died in New Hampshire. Merrill E. received a sound, but somewhat limited education at the north, and when about fourteen years old came south and made his home with his uncle, with whom he later became associated in the cotton-gin works. On the demise …

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Memorial record of Alabama

Biography of Hon. Daniel Pratt

Hon. Daniel Pratt (deceased), the founder of the Pratt Gin factory at Prattville, Ala., was born at Temple, N. H., July 20, 1799. His father, Edward Pratt, was a son of Daniel Pratt, a native of Reading, Mass., whose wife was Asenith, daughter of Ebenezer Flint, of Wilton, N. H. Hon. Daniel Pratt was educated at the common schools of his section, and at the age of sixteen was apprenticed to learn the carpenter’s trade. At the end of his apprenticeship of three years, in 1819, he went to Savannah, Ga., thence to Milledgeville, and worked at his trade in …

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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 …

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Memorial record of Alabama

Biography of Josiah H. Marbury

Josiah H. Marbury, the head of the Marbury Lumber company at Bozeman, Autauga county, Ala., was born in Shelbyville, Tenn., in 1841. His parents, L. W. and Mary (Kidd) Marbury, were also natives of Tennessee, where they passed their entire existence, the former expiring in 1863 and the latter about 1875. L. W. Marbury was a Primitive Baptist minister and merchant, was a soldier in the Mexican war, and at one time was a member of the Tennessee legislature. He was a self-made man, possessed of great industry and renowned for his uprightness in all the walks of life. His …

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Memorial record of Alabama

Biography of Washington L. Ellis

Washington L. Ellis, contractor, etc., for the Pratt Gin company, was born near Prattville, Autauga county, Ala., October 22. 1834, the son of Elisha and Mary (Blackwell) Ellis, born, respectively, in North Carolina in 1803 and in South Carolina in 1812. Elisha Ellis came to Alabama in 1827, a single man, the Blackwell family having preceded him by many years. Mrs. Mary Ellis was a Methodist in her religious belief, and died in 1885. Elisha Ellis still survives, is a Baptist, and was a farmer until after the close of the late war. Barney Ellis, a brother of Elisha, died …

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Memorial record of Alabama

Biography of Col. Charles S. G. Doster

Col. Charles S. G. Doster is a native of Autauga county, Ala., and its oldest lawyer. His father, Absalom Doster, was born in Mecklenburg county, N. C., 1796, and his mother, Mrs. Sarah (Alexander) Doster, in Greene county, Georgia, in 1806. Absalom Doster received a fine English education when young, and at the age of sixteen was taken by his parents to Georgia, and in 1818 came with them to Autauga county, Ala., where he engaged in merchandising at old Washington, then the oldest town in this part of the state. He was married in 1822, and continued in the …

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Memorial record of Alabama

Biography of Dr. John W. Davis

Dr. John W. Davis, a retired physician and surgeon of Autauga county, Ala., was born here in 1838, the son of Benjamin, born in Brunswick county, Va., in 1789, and Martha (Taylor) Davis, born in Oglethorpe county, Ga., in 1797. Maj. Benjamin Davis was a soldier of the war of 1812 and was one of the pioneer settlers of Autauga county, having come here in the year 1818 or 1819; here he married, and became quite popular — at one time representing Autauga county in the state legislature and at another time serving as tax collector. He was a well-to-do …

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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 known teachers, now deceased, the latter still living in Franklin County. His paternal grand-parents were Ben and Emily (French) West, his maternal grand-parents, Joseph and Elizabeth J. (Nelson) Dickson. Michael Dickson, the pioneer settler of Tuscumbia, was his great-grandfather, and Lemuel Nelson, a former Sheriff of Franklin County, was another …

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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 law. He was born November 26, 1815, and died at Russellville, December 5, 1881. We are not informed as to his childhood or boyhood life. Nor are we informed of much concerning his ancestry. Mrs. Lutie Allen of Russellville, a daughter of Judge Watkins, says that he was not related …

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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) owned a fertile farm on Bear Creek, and his grandfather, N. T. Underwood, Sr., was a prominent citizen. Yet they were by no means rich people, and as a boy the doctor did hard work on the farm and walked at times several miles to school. Later he attended the …

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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 of Legislature, 1918, from Houston Co., AL, teacher and principal of Dothan high school 1906-1911; presidential elector, 1916-17, a Democrat and Methodist. He was admitted to the bar and began the practice of law, March, 1914 at Dothan, Alabama. HISTORY OF ALABAMA AND DICTIONARY OF ALABAMA BIOGRAPHY, Owen, Vol. IV. …

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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. Owen’s “History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography:” “Christopher C. Tompkins, planter and county surveyor, was born January 18, 1799, where Louisville, KY., now stands, (J. C. Tompkins of Belgreen, grandson of Christopher C. Tompkins, says that the father of Christopher C. Tompkins, built the first house on the …

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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 faith. Although he may not have been a great preacher, he was truly a great and good man. Perhaps no preacher in the history of Alabama was more devoted to his religion and more severely persecuted than John Taylor. So great was his faith and so pure was his life, …

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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. W. Steele of Tuscumbia, has courteously furnished us most of the data concerning his career and family history. We have also collected some information from old newspaper files, Dubose’s “Alabama History,” and in conversation with people who knew him personally. He was born July 25, 1835, at Gainesville, Sumter County, …

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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 Franklin County from Spartanburg District, South Carolina in the year 1820, arriving in Russellville on December 20th. He and his family located west of Russellville toward Frankfort. William Sparks, father of Riley Sparks, was a planter and a workman. Our father and mother now have a cook table which is …

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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 Russellville on the Waterloo Road, where John Thurston, colored, now resides. The place of his burial is in the old Sadler cemetery in North Russellville. We have not been able to get very much information concerning his early life or his ancestry. He was a near relative of Theophilus Skinner, …

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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 of North Alabama. Dr. Sevier was one of the prominent physicians of Russellville in pre-Civil War days. He is buried in the same cemetery in which his mother was buried. On his tombstone is found the following inscription: DOCTOR SAMUEL SEVIER BORN JUNE 16, 1785 DIED OCTOBER 25, 1849 AGED …

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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. Sargent. The exact date of his birth was October 24, 1875. He is one of five children born to Harvey Gholson and Rebecca (Harris) Sargent, deceased, who lived on Cedar Creek southeast of Russellville. He is a brother of Hon. B. H. Sargent of Russellville, and of Mrs. Tidwell, wife …

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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 of those communities. Having been born about the time of the Civil War, he, as many others, lacked many of the present-day educational opportunities, or the opportunities of those days enjoyed by the more wealthy. But his mother was a woman of remarkable industry, energy and ambition. She pushed her …

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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 blood of some of the county’s oldest families coursing through his veins. He is a great-great-grandson of James Quillin who settled near Good Springs when Franklin was in its infancy; a great-great-grandson of Hiram Townsend, who lived in the same community; and a great-great-great grandson of John Cook, who settled …

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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 men in Franklin County, and Alabama. He possesses a personality, such a few very possess, combined with honesty and fine common sense. Mr. Orman was born on the historical Cedar Creek, at Orman’s Bridge, December 25, 1872. He is the youngest of several children born to James Morrison and Elizabeth …

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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, and which is now owned by his youngest son, Arthur Malone. He spent by far the major portion of life in Franklin County where he was held in high esteem. He was a man of some wealth, owning a sizeable plantation and a number of slaves. Mr. Malone is said …

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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, very prominent characters in the early history of the country. He was born in 1843 near Russellville and died September 15, 1902 at his home in Frankfort Beat. He was a student of Prof. Bob Ranson and perhaps of Prof. John W. Harris. He served in the Confederate Army with …

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