AUGUSTIN L. WOODLIFF was born in Hall County, Ga., October 7, 1827, and is a son of George and Isabella (Henderson) Woodliff, natives, respectively, of Virginia and South Carolina. The former was born in 1786, and the latter in 1792.
The senior Mr. Woodliff migrated to Georgia, locating in Clarke County in 1820, and it was there he was married to Miss Henderson. He was a farmer by occupation, and a man of considerable local influence. They reared a family of six children, of whom we make the following mention: Josiah H. is a farmer in Forsyth County, Ga.; Nancy J. is the wife of Col. James A. Greene, of Milledgeville, Ga. Colonel Greene was once surveyor-general of Georgia, and has been a member of the Legislature of that State. George F. is a farmer near Gainesville. Thomas J. was killed at the battle of Fredericksburg. He was a lieutenant, and entered the army from Arkansas, and participated in the Missouri campaign. Oliver P., now of Belton, Ga., served in the Fourteenth Georgia Regiment during the war. The senior Mr. Woodliff was in the War of 1812. He died in 1849. His father was also a native of Virginia, and was a soldier in the War of the Revolution and afterward in the War of 1812. The family came from Scotland to America.
The subject of this sketch spent the first seventeen years of his life on his father's farm, and received a fair education at the common schools of the neighborhood. In 1846 he accepted a clerkship in a mercantile establishment at Nuckelsville, Ga., and from there, at the end of one year, went to Gainesville, where he remained until 1850. In the latter year he migrated to California in search of gold, and there he was both miner and speculator. He returned to the States in 1853, possessed of a considerable sum of money.
Mr. Woodliff was married in January. 1854, to Miss Lavinia C. Law, daughter of James and Mary (Ingram) Law.
Mr. Law was for twenty-one years Clerk of the Court of Hall County, Ga., and was a popular and wealthy man. He died in 1859, and his wife in 1876. The subject of this sketch has had born to him the following named children: Ida A. (Mrs. M. D. Lowe). James F.; George H., at Fort Worth, Texas; Thomas J., Augustin Wyly, Henry L., at Galveston, Texas: Mollie B. (Mrs. Dr. Ralph M. Russell), Sallie Law, deceased; Olive G.; Nannie L. deceased; William Joe: Paulina Chester, deceased; Eddie Guy, Bessie Clark.
Soon after his marriage Mr. Woodliff engaged in the mercantile business, and followed it at Cumming, Ga., until 1857, in which year he came to Gadsden and engaged at farming. In 1861 he enlisted in Company C, Nineteenth Alabama Regiment, as first orderly, and was soon afterward promoted to third lieutenant. He resigned in 1862 on account of ill health, and in May following re-entered the army as first lieutenant of Company D, Forty-eighth Alabama. He was promoted to captain in less than a month afterward, and participated in the Seven Days' Fight around Richmond, Cedar Run, near Culpeper Court House, second battle of Manassas, siege and capture of Harper's Ferry, Antietam, Fredericksburg. and in March, 1863, resigned to accept the appointment of Tax-Assessor, which position he filled until the close of the war.
In the fall of 1865 Mr. Woodliff was elected to the State Senate, and introduced the bill forming Baine County. This county, abolished by the Reconstructionists in 1868, was afterward re-established and called Etowah County. In the last named year he turned his attention to merchandising and followed it four years, going thence into the lumber and machine business. Since that time he has been engaged variously at mercantile and livery business, and is now devoting his time to the sale of wagons, buggies, real estate, etc. He is one of the largest real estate owners in the the county.
Mr. Woodliff is a very active man. Having lost every dollar of his property during the war, what of his worldly possessions he has since acquired is the result of his individual effort and industry. He is variously interested in the principal enterprises of Gadsden, and owns the largest livery stable in that place, and probably the largest in the State, outside of Birmingham. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Knights of Honor.
Source: McCalley, Henry, Northern Alabama : historical and biographical. Birmingham, AL: Smith & De Land, 1888, pp. 835.