LEWIS B. THORNTON, born May 28, 1815, in Spotsylvania County, Va., is a son of Philip and Sarah Taliaferro Thornton, (nee Miss Sarah Taliaferro Conway).

His father, Mr. Philip Thornton, was born in Caroline County, Va., April 28, 1777. He was a merchant for some years, and farmer most of his life time, and was the first man to introduce and run a cotton gin in Spotsylvania County. He represented his county in the State Legislature. He has born to him ten children, of whom fivce grew to maturity, viz.: Sarah T., wife of John C. Stanard, of Virginia; Rowland, died in Arkansas; F. Fitzhugh Conway, died in St. Louis; Lewis B., our subject; Philip, who went on a whaling expedition and was lost at sea in 1842, and Thomas J., died in Washington Territory. Mr. Philip Thornton died in September, 1829. The Thornton family were originally from England.

The mother of our subject was a daughter of Captain Francis Conway, a native of Virginia, and a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

The subject of this sketch received the best education that the common schools of his time afforded. Being ambitious to further advance his studies, he taught school and thus procured enough money to attend the University of Virginia. At the age of eighteen years he began the study of law at Richmond, Va. In 1841 he migrated to Shelbyville, Ill., and in 1843 to Northern Alabama, where he spent a few years teaching school, finally locating at Tuscumbia, where he taught school in connection with his law practice until 1850. In the latter year he turned his entire attention to the practice of law, which he has continued ever since. In 1855-6 he represented his county in the Legislature, and in 1857 was appointed Register in Chancery which office he held twenty-eight consecutive years. He also served as Mayor of Tuscumbia before the war.

Mr. Thornton was married July 29, 1849, to Miss L. Virginia Nooe, of this State. She died about a year after their marriage, and on October 28, 1856, he was married to Miss M. Louise Meredith, daughter of Col. Sam Meredith, of Tuscumbia. Colonel Meredith served under General Jackson in all his battles with the Indians. He came to Alabama when a young man, and died in 1853, at the age of sixty-seven years.

Mr. Thornton had born to him eight children, viz: Meredith, Bedford, Conway, Hunter (deceased), Sarah, Oola, Fitzhugh (deceased), and Laura. The family are members of the Presbyterian Church, in which Mr. Thornton is an elder, and has been for more than thirty years.

[SOURCE: Northern Alabama Historical and Biographical. Illustrated. Smith and De Land, Birmingham, Ala. 1888., p. 439] Typed for inclusion here by Linda Ledlow.

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