LAUDERDALE COUNTY, ALABAMA
HISTORICAL ADDRESS OF
HON. WM. B. WOOD,
JULY 4, 1876
As published in the Florence Gazette
July to September 1876.
The principal churches in Florence have always been the Presbyterian, Methodist and Protestant Episcopal. In the county the Baptists, Methodists and Christian have prevailed. The ministers who have filled the pulpit of the Presbyterian church have been successively, Rev. Dr. Campbell, Jas. L. Sloss, Dr. McAnley, Mr. Hardy, Mr. Van Court, Dr. Witherspoon, Dr. Harrison, Dr. Mitchell and Mr. Frierson.
The Methodist preachers who have had charge of the church in Florence are, Nathaniel Garrett, ___ Morris, J. S. Allen, Thos. Madden, ___ Hollaman, W. D. F. Sawrie, Saml. Kingston, P. T. Scruggs, S. S. Moody, B. F. Weakley, Jno Sherill, Jas. O. Williiams, Obediah B. Ragland, ____ Van Buren, W. P. Kendrick, Justinian Williams, W. H. Jordan, W. G. Gould, A. Mizell, A. J. Gilmore, J. G. Acton, W. Burr, W. G. Dorris, R. P. Ransom, R. H. Rivers, Jno. Matthews, J. D. Barbee, F. A. Kimbell, R. L. Andrews, R. A. Young, John Walston, Jno. B. Stephenson, Thos H. Deavenport, W. Weakly, T. L. Moody, H. Brown, J. W. Whitten and Jno. A. Thompson.
The Protestant Episcopal ministers were, Mr. Wall, Mr. Cook, Dr. Brown, Mr. Smith, Dr. White, Mr. Cobb and Mr. Wager.
The Cumberland Presbyterians have several churches. Many years ago they held a camp-meeting annually at Good springs which was largely attended. They have a church at Centre Star composed of a good and substantial membership, Rev. Felix Johnson was for many years a very prominent minister of the church. He was a blacksmith by trade, and a good workman, but yet he found time to cultivate his mind and become a fine scholar. He was a powerful preacher, and accomplished a great amount of good. He is now living in Texas. Rev. _____ Baldridge, Alva Johnson, _____ Gillis who was killen [sic - killed?]in the army of Virginia, a good and brave man. Claiborn Coffee and others, have been earnest and successful ministers in this church.
The Methodists established in 1820 or 1821 a camp-ground on Cypress. It was sustained by the people for twenty miles around. Thousands would attend, and great revivals would follow the preaching. It continued in successful operation until 1862 when some of the Federal soldiers burned it down. They also for many years had a camp-ground on Second Creek near Waterloo.
The Christians had a Camp-ground on Cypress about thirty years ago, which was kept up several years, but was suffered to go down. This denomination have now a flourishing school under the care of Rev. Larimore, at Mars Hill, near the foundry, which will be noticed more particularly under the head of education.
The Baptists have always had a large and influential church at Gravelly Springs, one on Blue Water, another near Lexington and another in the neighborhood of Cowpen Springs.
Our fathers gave early and earnest attention to the education of their children. The first school that I remember, in Florence, was taught by Mr. Charles Sullivan, who is still living at this home about ten miles from town. The school house was on the lot were Mr. John Weakley now resides. The next schools was taught by Mr. Wall, an Episcopal minister, in the house where Mrs. T. A. Jones now resides; after him Mr. Emerson taught a mixed school in the same house; he was followed by a man named Algernon Sidney Vigus, who was as vicious and cruel as a catamount. He was a very small man, but in the exercise of his authority would whip the largest boy in school, though he were twice his size. He was universally despised and hated by ever student he had. I have never heard one speak well of him. He went from here to Columbus, Miss., and from there to Mobile, and the last I heard of him he was in Memphis, Tennessee. He was succeeded by T. N. Waul, who afterwards went to Mississippi, and thence to Texas. He was a member of the Confederate Congress, and Brigadier General in the confederate army. A scholar and a gentleman loved and respected by his pupils and patrons. Then came an Irishman by the name of Breeze. Some who hear me today have not forgotten what a dust he would raise sometimes when he made it blow hard. He was a good teacher, and, generally well liked by his students. He was followed by others but I do not remember all their names. Rev. James L Sloss had charge of the Male Academy for a number of years. Being a ripe scholar and strict disciplinarian, he made good scholars out of his students. He was at the same time the minister in charge of the Presbyterian church, and was a preacher of more than ordinary ability. Much loved and venerated by his people, and in fact, was greatly esteemed by all denominations. John Lorance had a select school at his residence, six miles from Florence. I have heard that he was very strict in his discipline, and used the rod unsparingly whenever he deemed it necessary. He had the reputation of being an excellent teacher, and was at one time induced to come to Florence and teach, which he did for a number of years. He was an elder in the Presbyterian church. In 1854 the project of [moving] La Grange college to Florence was started. The college had been in a languishing condition for a number of years, and it was understood that the Methodist church, to which it belonged would cheerfully remove it to any place where it could be made a success. At first the idea of removing it to Florence seemed to meet with general favor, but when the conference met it was found that the Trustees, living near the mountain where it was located were violently opposed to its removal. The removal was, however, carried, and the faculty and students, with Dr. Rivers, the President, at their head, came over, and La Grange college at Florence began its course of usefulness. But as the citizens of the southside seemed determined to keep up the old college and employed another Faculty, it was deemed proper to change the name of the Florence school, and it was afterwards chartered the Florence Wesleyan University. It had a very prosperous career for five years and until the war. When the south called for its sons to go forth in defense of its rights, two of the Professors and every student who was able to bear a musket volunteered Many of them fell on the battle field, some attained distinction, all did their duty. An effort was made to revive it since the war, but after a struggle of a few years it failed. It is now the State Normal College and is in a flourishing condition. Prof. S. P. Rice, President, Rev. H. Brown, D. D. Rev. M. L. Frierson, and Jas. K. P. Powers, professors.
Great attention has been given to Female education, and great success has attended the effort to buildup a Female College. The first Female Seminary was established under the government and instructions of Mrs. Crocker and her sister, Miss Brigham. They had a large and flourishing school. Mrs. Crocker married Capt. Benjamin Harris near Russelville, and Miss Brigham married Mr. Lawrence Thompson. Mr and Mrs. Hentz then opened the Locust Dell Female Seminary and met with the greatest success. They were very popular teachers, and the school was in the highest degree successful. Much of the regret of the people of North Alabama, and particularly of Florence, they determined to move to Tuscaloosa, which they did in the year 1842. Shortly afterwards the Florence Female Academy, with S. S. Stebbins, Principal, and a corps of excellent teachers began its career of usefulness. This school ripened into the Florence Synodical Female College, which from that day to this has continued to nourish and grow until it has become a permanent and substantial institution of learning, with patronage from Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and other States. It is well known that this institution is mainly indebted or its great success and wide-spread patronage to the indefatigable efforts and liberal contributions of Governor Patton, who has bestowed upon it all the anxious care and tender solicitude of a devoted parent. For a number of years before, during, and since the war Dr. W. H. Mitchell was the President. A ripe scholar, strict disciplinarian, and an eloquent divine, he sustained well the reputation of the school, and sent out many excellent scholars to grace the world with their well cultivated minds, and hearts and manners. When the health of Dr. Mitchell failed, Prof. J. D. Anderson was elected President, and is still filling the position. Prof. Anderson is peculiarly adapted to so important a work. With culture, piety, and zeal, he adds pleasant and agreeable manners, which make him popular with everybody with whom he comes in contact. The college is on a firm basis, and will continue to grow and flourish for generations to come.
The political history of the country has been uniformly Democratic. From the time that Adams and Jackson were the contestants for the presidency, this county has followed the lead of Old Hickory. Sometimes the Whig party would put forth extra efforts, as in the elections of 1840 when Harrison was elected, and 1848 when Taylor was elected, but, though they would make some gains, they never succeeded in carrying the county in State or Federal elections. Notwithstanding the decided Democratic majority, many Whigs, by reason of their personal popularity have been elected to office. James Jackson, who was the leader of the Whig party during his life-time was frequently elected to the Legislature and was made speaker of the House. His contemporaries have said that he was par excellence the best presiding officer that ever occupied the chair. W. W. Garrat [Garrard] was a Whig and was re-elected three time clerk of the County Court, thus filling that office for twenty consecutive years. He was succeeded by Wiley T. Hawkins another Whig, who was re-elected several time and continued in it until the Probate Court system was established, when he was elected Probate Judge, and twice re-elected. John T. Haraway and Wm. B. Wood, both Whigs, filled the office of County Court Judge for six years. Gov. Patton was elected, as a Whig, a number of times to the Legislature and afterwards Senator. Baylor B. Barker was several time elected to the Legislature in his speeches he would say “he stood six feet and one inch in his stockings, and every inch a Whig.” W. P. Pettus, an avowed Whig, was three times elected sheriff of the county over Democratic opponents. But in all contests for State and Federal offices, when the contest was narrowed down to Democratic or Whig, the county has never failed to give a Democratic majority. It is Democratic still, but the parties are not now arrayed as formerly, with equal talent and patriotism on either side. Very different the array. On the Democratic side we find the old Whigs and democrats side by side as if they had never differed. Old issues done away and forgotten, or buried, in the patriotic effort to save the country from the domination of corrupt and unscrupulous men who lead the ignorant and silly negroes to the polls and vote them as they please. There never was in the history of the world, and will in all likelihood never be again, such a bum league, to say nothing of the outrage, upon intelligent free government as the endowment of the ignorant free negro with the ballot. They are the mere tools of the corrupt carpet –bagger; and have no higher notions of their duty and privileges than to use it against the men who have ever been their best friends in slavery and in freedom But it is guaranteed to them as the result of the war, let them have it. The day of their power is gone, they can never succeed again. I have given you the principal events of the past half century which make up the history of the county. I now turn my attention to the men who subdued the savage and the forest, who built the houses, inaugurated trade, overcame obstacles, made for themselves and their children respectability and property, and, after serving their generations died, honored, and revered, by the community in which they had so long lived and acted their parts.
But first, let me mention two notorious characters who have created no little stir in the United States, with whose lives our town is conversant, by the fact that that [sic] one of them was once a resident of Florence, and the other, a noted criminal, was here arrested. I mention first in time and in notoriety, Dred Scott, a negro, who belonged to Peter Blow, the hotel keeper, in early times. He brought Dred Scott from Virginia with him, and carried him to St. Louis when he was moved to that place. he became the subject of the celebrated decision of the Supreme Court of the United States which involved all the constitutional rights of property in slaves guaranteed to the slave-holding States by the constitution and the laws, and in which Chief Justice Taney delivered an opinion which will ever remain a monument of wisdom, patriotism, and justice, more enduring than marble. the question became a part of the politics of the day, and the name of Dred Scott, the hostler of Mr. Blow’s hotel, became famous. Dred never dreamed of acquiring such notoriety, and was no doubt as much astonished as any man in the United States at the fuss which the miserable philanthropists of the north affected over his fate. But it answered their ends, and served to inflame the public mind, and ultimately produced the disruption between the North and the south. Future generations will be amazed to see how the constitution and laws, the decisions of the highest courts, and the rights of the south, were so ruthlessly and outrageously trampled under foot by the fanatical hordes of the North, under the name of philanthropy and patriotism. But lest I may be betrayed into politics, I leave Dred Scott and the northern people to the judgment of the future.
Another character not of so great notoriety, but yet, at the time of his operations, the greatest outlaw that had ever infested the south, was once an inhabitant of [the] Florence jail. The name of John A. Murrell had become a terror from Virginia to Louisiana. Highway murders and robbery, burglaries, and stealing of negroes and horses, were of frequent occurrence, and all were laid to the charge of Murrell and his gang. It happened that this highwayman took Florence in his rout on one [of] his raids. – Near the bridge over Cypress creek he had halted and camped for the night. – He was traveling in a handsome jersey wagon drawn by two fine horses. At the bridge he met a colored man named Tom Brandon, and entering into conversation with him, proposed to take him off and set him free, Tom was as free as he wanted to be, but feigned delight at the proposition and promised to meet him again that night. Tom came to town and informed some of the citizens of the proposition that the stranger had made to him. He had not yet revealed his name. A party, headed by George W. Sneed and B. F. Karsner, went out about ten o’clock that night and found him asleep in his jersey wagon. They arrested him and brought him to town and lodged him in jail’ it was not until the next day that they discovered from some papers found on his person, that he was the dreaded outlaw. In a short time a party from West Tennessee came for him and carried him to Jackson, Tennessee, where he was tried and sentenced to the penitentiary. It was reported that he became very religious whilst in the penitentiary and preached to his fellow convicts. It was said of him during his career as highwayman, he would sometimes pass himself off as a preacher, and would attend comp=meetings where he would preach, and then take some of the finest horses he could find, for his pay, and decamp. My recollection of his personal appearance is, that he was rather prepossessing, intelligent and of good manners. But so black were his crimes, or at least the reported crimes that we were accustomed to think of him as a monster in form as well as in the diabolical spirit that ruled him. It was reported that he died shortly after his release from the penitentiary, somewhere in Arkansas.
This county can boast of having furnished some distinguished names to the country. John McKinley was United States Senator, and afterwards Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. Hugh McVay and Robt. M. Patton have filled the Gubernatorial chair, with credit and honor to themselves and usefulness to the people; Richard W. Walker was one of the Judges of the Supreme court of Alabama, and Confederate State Senator. Sidney C. Posey was a leading man in the politics of the state and twice filled the office of Circuit Judge. John E. Moore was Circuit Judge for about 12 years.
Flush times prevailed during the decade from 1830 to 1840. Every body had plenty of money. Young men and ladies dressed fine. Balls and parties, and weddings were of frequent occurrence. Our friends, Neander H. Rice and Toliver L. Chisholm were considered the handsomest men in the county. Colonel John G. F. Wilson had the finest horses and gig – there were no buggies then. Young ladies and gentlemen went visiting on horse back. Very often the gentleman took the lady up behind him, and carried her to a quilting or dance. Nearly every young man owned a fine horse and fiddle. Lewis Visor was the greatest beau of the county. He was very handsome; loved, waited on, and courted all the girls. Our friend Solon Whitten reminds me of him. The Eagle Hotel was built during these times, and numbers of people would come from farther south and spend several weeks of the summer here. There were no railroads; people traveled in their private carriages, on horse-back and in stage coaches.
The first hotel in Florence was in the large brick on the brow of the hill, which was burned by the Yankees during the war. Nathaniel Marks and somebody else, I don’t recollect his name, built it. It was at this hotel that Gen. Jackson, when he was President, gave a grand reception. Our town was filled people that day. They came forty and fifty miles to see him. The streets were crowded with people from the place where I now stand to the hotel, bowing, shouting, waving hats, banners and handkerchiefs to the hero of New Orleans. It was a notable day for Florence ‑‑‑ never to be forgotten by those who witnessed it.
Burns Hotel stood on the lot opposite the Masonic Hall. It was much patronized. Blow’s Hotel stood on the lot where Jack Farmer now lives. He afterwards went to St. Louis with his family. They became quite prominent there; some of them wealthy, and one a member of Congress. In those days there was a Jocky Club in the county, and the races came off spring and fall. Great crowds would attend, and many fine horses were brought from other counties and States for the occasion. The old Virginians also brought with them that relic of Spanish cruelty, cockfighting, which, we are sorry to say, has not yet entirely disappeared from the land.
In speaking of the men who first settled in this county, I may not be accurate as to the year when many of them came. I have already stated that from 1816 to 1835 there was a great influx of population. Merchants, mechanics, professional men and planters poured in, in an unceasing tide. Leading men of every profession soon became prominent in civil and social life; whilst others, just as good and valuable citizens in a more humble sphere, contributed to the building up of the wealth and intelligence of the country. Of course, I never knew all the early settlers, and have forgotten many that I did know. I will mentions the names of those whom I can now call to memory, and leave to others, if they see proper, to add to these reminiscences the names of many worthy citizens whom I may omit.
The one who attained the highest honors of any one citizen, was John McKinley. He was a man of talent and indomitable will. He would bear not contradiction; was very imperious, and often so overbearing as to make bitter enemies. It is astonishing how he ever succeeded as a politician. Only by the force of ability and strong partisanship can his success be accounted for. He was an ardent supporter of General Jackson, and aided materially in his elevation to the Presidency. He was elected to the U. S. Senate, and whilst senator, was rewarded for his zeal in the support of Gen. Jackson with the appointment of Judge of the Supreme court of the United States. After receiving this appointment he moved to Louisville, Ky., where he continued to reside until his death.
James Jackson was contemporary with, and the rival of McKinley in the political contests of that day. Jackson was the equal of McKinley in ability, and his superior in popular oratory and manners. Personally, Jackson was far the most popular of the two. He was frequently elected to the Legislature although his party was five or six hundred in the minority, in the county. He was a large man, of fine personal appearance, very agreeable manners, and a fine speaker. His friends were devoted to him. He died in the year 1840. Mr. Jackson gave great attention to raising fine stock. He imported a number of the best English horses as well as cattle; amongst them were the celebrated horses Leviathan and Glencoe, whose colts have stood at the head of the list of successful race-horses. The death of Mr. Jackson was a great loss to our county.
Hugh McVay, was a prominent man from the first organization of the county. He was a delegate to the Legislature when Alabama was a territory, and, as I have already mentioned, a delegate to the Convention that formed the State Constitution. He was often elected a Representative, then Senator; and was elected President of the Senate; whilst in this position the Governor of the State was elected U. S. Senator and McVay by virtue of his office became Governor, at the close of his term he retired to private life and at an advanced age died at his residence in this county.
My first recollections of the political contest in this county are associated with the names of McKinley, Jackson, and McVay. They were the leaders. Many very exciting canvasses were made and their friends were exceedingly zealous in their behalf. Gov. McVay was not an orator, but he was a man of the people, a great electioneror, and of unbounded popularity.
Judge Coalter was an early settler. I have already stated that he was the first Clerk of the County Court. He had the reputation of being a good lawyer. I do not know whether he ever engaged in politics. He moved away at an early day, and I do not know anything of his subsequent life.
William S. Fulton, was, for many years, Judge of the county court; also editor of the Florence Gazette. A strong partisan of General Jackson, he was not forgotten by Old Hickory when he was made President. He appointed Judge Fulton to a lucrative office in Arkansas, whither he removed, and where he died. I know nothing of his career after he went to Arkansas.
General John Coffee, moved to this county in the year 1821. Gen. Coffee was Surveyor General of Alabama. He held his office first at Huntsville, but in the year 1821 it was moved to Florence. – Gen. Coffee was, of course, an ardent supporter of his old friend and comrade, whom he had followed through all the Indian wars of Alabama, and the battles of New Orleans, in 1814-15. He died about the year 1835, and was succeeded by James H. Weakley as Surveyor General.
James H. Weakley came to this place with Gen. Coffee when the Land Office was removed. He had surveying contracts under Gen. Coffee from the establishment of the land office in Alabama. When Gen. Coffee came to Florence he brought Judge Weakley with him as first clerk, and Ferdinand Sannoner, as draftsman. Judge Weakley was never a lawyer, but obtained his title as Judge by his skill as a surveyor. Whenever the surveyors in the field would have any disputes about the corners or calculations, or anything pertaining to their work, they would refer it to Weakley for decision, and thus he obtained the title of Judge. He bore the title as long as he lived and was worthy of it. A man of dignity, fine ability, excellent judgment, warm in his attachments, agreeable in manners, he was universally esteemed by the whole community.
Ferdinand Sannoner, was a native of Italy. He came to this place with the land office and lived here for more than thirty years. He was engaged in the confectionary business for many years and no boy or girl raised in Florence will ever forget Sannoner’s candy shop. In his old age he went to Memphis to live with his children who were in business there, and died in the year 1866.
Of the legal profession, amongst the first was William B. Martin. He was a lawyer of great shrewdness, wit, and power before a jury. I have heard many anecdotes of him but have not time now to mention them He was a brother of Gov. Joshua L. Martin, and Judge Peter Martin. He was a dissipated man, and would often make some of his best hits under the influence of liquor. But it was a sad sight to see such a brilliant intellect go down to an early grave under this debasing and ruinous habit.
Peter Anderson, was a great lawyer. Very tall, dark complexion, scrupulously neat in his attire, with dignified, courtly manners, he was a lawyer after the old English style. Law with him was a science, and an accomplishment. He never indulged in bumcoumbe or rhetoric; logic, reason, the inexorable law, and the stubborn facts, were his fort. He moved from Florence to Holly Springs, Miss., and from there to New Orleans, where he took rank with the first of the great lawyers of that city.
James Irvine was for a long time, the partner of Mr. Anderson. Mr. Irvine has but too recently passed away, for me to say anything of him but what is familiar to the present generation, but for those who may come after us, especially of the legal profession, I record with pleasure that he honored and dignified his profession. He was of the Anderson school, and I believe read law with him. Mr. Irvine was not an eloquent man, so far as beauty of style was concerned, but in the presentation of his cases to the Court and jury he had great power of analysis and much force of expression. He was always in earnest, and this carried conviction. He was a great student and as a consequence well versed in law. Mr. Irvine was also an enterprising citizen. He took stock in everything that had for its object the good of the town or county. He was President of the board of Canal Commissioners; of the board of Bridge Directors; was at one time largely interested in Steamboats; was extensively engaged in planting; a trustee in the colleges. He died in 1869, leaving a family of sons and daughters who may be justly proud of their ancestor.
Sidney C. Posey was among the early members of the bar of Florence. He was at one time Judge of the county Court under the old system; was elected circuit Judge in 1845 by the Legislature and under the change in the Constitution went out of office in 1850. In 1865 upon the reorganization of the State government by Gov. Parsons, he was appointed Circuit Judge in the place of Wm. B. Wood, who had been a Colonel in the Confederate army. He went out again in May 1866 when Wood was re-elected. Judge Posey was for a number of years a Representative and Senator in the Legislature of Alabama where he acquired considerable reputation. He was at one time editor of the Florence Gazette and was the leader of the Democratic party. He was also a local preacher of the Methodist Church. Judge Posey was a timid man in politics. He never thrust himself forward. If he had been as bold and ambitious as some of the politicians of the present day, and pressed his claims on the party, he might have attained to the position of Governor, or United States Senator. He was not an orator, but spoke with terseness and force. Earnest and excitable, when he did speak, it was to impress his hearers with the sincerity of what he said. Judge Posey was a public spirited citizen. He gave his countenance and means liberally to every object that was calculated to advance the public good. Schools, Churches, and other benevolent enterprises, received his earnest support. He lived with the sincere esteem of his people and died universally regretted by all who knew him.
Colin S. Tarply came to Florence about the year 1880 from Tennessee. He was considered a man of fine ability and an orator. He did not remain many years but removed to Jackson, Mississippi, where he took high rank in the legal profession.
Sam L. Probasco came from Ohio. He was a great student, a fluent and forcible speaker, careful and laborious with his cases. He soon acquired the reputation of being an excellent lawyer, as he was. No one ever succeeded more rapidly to a lucrative practice. He died in 1846 in the meridian of life and in the midst of a successful career.
John T. Harraway was raised in this county, near Rodgersville. He was Judge of the County court for eight or ten years, was a well-read lawyer, and an excellent Judge, but he was no speaker. Never attempted to argue a case at the bar. In the social circle he was one of the most pleasant and agreeable of visitors. He was at one time editor of the Florence Enquirer and was a polished and forcible writer. He died in 1845 greatly lamented.
Benjamin W. Edwards was a member of the bar in the early history of the county. He was regarded as a very promising man, but died early in life.
Charles Savage was another very promising young lawyer who was cut down by the hand of death in early life. He was the son of Capt. Samuel Savage, a wealthy planter living in Colbert’s Reserve, of whom we will speak hereafter.
William Cooper, although not a citizen of Florence; yet he has been a constant practitioner at this bar for 50 years, and is as much a member of it – and more so – than any one now residing here. Mr. Cooper is still living; he is a lawyer who is “first among his equals” and his equals are few. He is still active and vigorous, laborious, and as full of energy as a steam engine. Full of fire, quick as thought, sharp as a Damascus blade, he was always ready for a tilt at the bar with the best that could be arrayed against him. He has been a student all his life and, of course, one of the best of lawyers. He is now the Nestor of the bar and enjoys the profound respect and admiration of every member of it. He has never sought office, but followed his profession all his life, satisfied with the high eminence of being at the head of the bar of North Alabama, where there are many men of talent and extensive reputation. Long may he live to adorn a profession to which he had added dignity and grace by his successful and beneficial career.
John E. Moore was a native of Alabama, born and raised in Limestone County. Educated and graduated at the University of Alabama, at Tuscaloosa. He first began his career as a lawyer in Greensboro, from there he came to Florence. Was elected a Representative in the Legislature, and then Judge of the 4th Judicial Circuit, which office he filled for more than ten years. he was a prominent candidate for Governor when A. B. Moore received the nomination.
Richard W. Walker, was a native of Madison county Alabama. Educated and graduated at Princeton College, N. J. He commenced the practice of law in 1844, and was elected Solicitor of the 4th Circuit about the close of the year. He settled in Florence soon after he commenced the practice, and continued to reside here until the close of the war, when he removed to Huntsville where he lived until his death in 1874. He was appointed one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Alabama, by the Governor, and afterwards elected. In 1863 he was elected Confederate States Senator and continued in that position until the Surrender. He then resumed the practice of his profession, in which he was eminently successful, until death cut him down in the prime of life and in the midst of his usefulness, universally lamented.
William H. Price was a young lawyer of much promise. He was one of the first to volunteer for his State in the late civil war. He rose to the rank of Major and was attached to the staff of Gen. S. A. M. Wood and was killed at the battle of Perryville in October 1862. He was a gallant and noble young man.
Theophilus A. Jones, was a Kentuckian by birth, settled in Florence some years before the war. Volunteered at the first call, rose to the rank of Colonel, and acquitted himself with honor and gallantry during the whole war At the close of the war he resumed his practice in which he continued until cut down by death in the year 1873.
Of the living members of the bar I deem it unnecessary to speak; as long as they live they can speak for themselves; after they and the writer pass away some abler pen will do them justice.
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