JAMES RUSH NOWLIN, Manufacturer, Gadsden, was born in Bedford County, Va., January 18, 1846, and is a son of Dr. James H. and Malinda B. (Staples) Nowlin.
Dr. Nowlin, in addition to practicing medicine, was a druggist in Virginia, and in 1862 removed from there to Georgia, where he continued the same profession and line of business. He died in May, 1886. He reared three children; the eldest, Samuel H., served through the war under Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, was three times a prisoner, and made two escapes. He is now of Little Rock, Ark.; the third son, Casper W., was in the army toward the latter part of the war, and is now also at Little Rock. Dr. Nowlin's first wife died while her children were quite young, and his second wife, to whom he was married some years afterward, bore him one daughter, Olivia, now Mrs. Noble. The Doctor was a graduate from the medical department of the University of Virginia. He was a brilliant scholar and skillful physician, and during his life contributed much valuable literature to the profession.
The subject of this sketch was educated at Roanoke College, Virginia, from which institution he was graduated as A. B. in 1860, and in 1872 received the degree of M.A. He was clerking in his father's drug store at the outbreak of the late war, and in February, 1863, joined Company D, Fifth Virginia Cavalry; with that command participated in the battles of Yellow Tavern, Spotsylvania Court House, Winchester, New Town, Harrisburg, Five Forks, all the battles of the Shenandoah Valley, and was with General Lee at Appomattox.
At the close of the war he returned home, and to the drug business, and later on had some experience as a dry goods clerk. In 1867 he located at Gadsden, and entered into the drug business. In 1868 he entered Roanoke College, from which institution he graduated with honors, and in metaphysics took the gold medal. After graduation he resumed the drug business, and since 1870 has been interested in farming. He was one of the incorporators of the Gadsden Ice Company, and is its president; he is secretary, treasurer and business manager of the Gadsden Metallic Paint Company, and is interested in various enterprises, manufacturing and otherwise.
Mr. Nowlin is regarded by the people of Gadsden as one of their most enterprising, wide-awake, public-spirited citizens. He started in life without a dollar, and, without the intervention of "windfalls " or legacies, has accumulated a competency.
Mr. Nowlin was married November 3, 1869, to Adella L. Nuckolls, daughter of Col. Nathaniel M. Nuckolls, a prominent capitalist of Columbus, Ga., and the children born to him are, Jennie L., Linda S., Adella L., James R., Emma 0., Henry Clay, Corrie May and Robert Lee. The family are members of the Baptist Church.
Source: McCalley, Henry, Northern Alabama : historical and biographical. Birmingham, AL: Smith & De Land, 1888, pp. 835.