COLBERT COUNTY, ALABAMA
THOMAS R. ROULHAC
THOMAS R. ROULHAC, an attorney of northern Alabama and a citizen of Sheffield, Ala., was born at Raleigh, North Carolina, November 8, 1846. The Roulhac family is of French origin, the first ancestor of the subject of this sketch came to this country as an officer under the Marquis de La Fayette. Before the Revolution however, an uncle of his had made his home in eastern North Carolina, and his residence still remains in a good state of preservation. He was an ardent supporter of the colonies in their struggle for freedom, and advocated among his friends in France the extending of active aid to their efforts. Many instances of his firm and zealous support of the American cause have been related. The family was thus among the earliest settlers of that part of “the old North State.” Joseph B. G. Roulhac was a man of considerable means, and active in the business enterprises of his state. He was a member of the constitutional convention of North Carolina of 1833 from the county of Bertie. He married the eldest daughter of Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin, who for many years presided in the highest court of that state, and whose decisions have reflected credit on its judiciary. Of this marriage Thomas R. Roulhac was the fifth child and second son. From Dr. Wilson’s school, Mr. Roulhac entered the military academy at Hillsborough, and from that institution entered the service of his state as a drillmaster before he was fifteen years of age. After this service and a stay of a few months at school, he re-entered the confederate army as a private in Ramseur’s artillery, then commanded by Captain Basil Manly, in which he remained until after the battle of Gettysburg, participating in this battle with McLaws’ division, when he was commissioned a lieutenant in the forty-ninth North Carolina regiment of infantry, which constituted a part of the brigade of General (now Senator) M. W. Ransom. With his regiment he took part in l the battles of General Lee’s army up to Five Forks, where on the 1st of April, 1865, while in command of the sharpshooters, he was captured and was held a prisoner of war at Johnson’s Island until after the close of the war. He then returned to North Carolina, and read law with his grandfather, Judge Raffin, and in June, 1867, received his first license in that state. The year following he obtained the license which admitted him to practice in all the courts. In 1868 he sailed from New York for California, and there practiced law in Merced county for three years. In December, 1870, he went to Greensboro, Ala., to be married to the daughter of Colonel Allen C. Jones of that place, with the expectation of then returning to California; but entered into a law partnership with Hon. Robert H. Smith, of Mobile, and remained in partnership with that eminent lawyer until his death in 1878. He continued in the practice of the law at Greensboro, until 1889, when he removed to Sheffield, and there opened an office with Mr. J. H. Nathan. He moved his family there in the following February, and has since continued to reside in that city. He has held not public office except one term as mayor of Greensboro, to which he was unanimously elected. He declined to again be a candidate, convinced, as he said, that such a thing could not happen twice in any man’s life. Mr. Roulhac and wife have had six children, five of whom are living.
[SOURCE: 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. In Two Volumes. Illustrated. Brant & Fuller, Madison Wis., 1893. Volume I. pp. 699-600.]
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