JAMES L. TANNER, prominent young Attorney-at-law, Gadsden, Ala., a native of. Macon County, this State, son of Lemuel H. and Ophelia (Masters) Tanner, was born September 18, 1858. The senior Mr. Tanner, a Georgian by birth, was an extensive planter; came to Alabama in 1844, settled in Macon, now Bullock, County, and from there entered the Confederate Army, wherein he served gallantly as a member of the Third Alabama, in General Lee's army, for three years or more in the late war. He was a prominent Free-mason, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He died at Union Springs July 13, 1885. His widow yet survives him, and resides at Tallassee, this State. The Tanners are of French and English extraction, and the Masters are descendants from the English and Irish.
The subject of this sketch was reared at Union Springs and educated at the State University of Alabama, graduating from the law department, class of 1880. For a short time before entering college he was on the road as a traveling man, selling dry goods, and, after graduating, was connected for a while with the Eufaula Times and News. In February, 1881, he opened a law office at Union Springs, and from there, in June, 1883, came to Gadsden. Here he formed a partnership, in May. 1887, with Hon. Wm. H. Denson. At this writing (1888) Denson & Tanner are recognized as the leading law firm at the Gadsden bar. He is a member of Governor Seay's staff.
Mr. Tanner was married. December. 1886, to Miss Sallie Ward, daughter of Mrs. Sarah Ward, widow of O. W. Ward, deceased, of this city.
Source: McCalley, Henry, Northern Alabama : historical and biographical. Birmingham, AL: Smith & De Land, 1888, pp. 835.