ALEXANDER, WILLIAM J.
William J. Alexander was born in Calhoun County, Ala., in May, 1842, and is a son of Arthur T. and Rebecca
(Borden) Alexander. The senior Mr. Alexander was born in North Carolina, and when a child taken by his parents
to Habersham County, and thence to Carroll County, Ga. He came to Calhoun County, this State, in 1832, and
settled eight miles east of Cross Plains (now in Cleburne County), where his father entered lands and improved
them. He died in 1851, and a few months later his wife followed him. They left two sons and four daughters,
all of whom lived to maturity. The Alexanders and Bordens are of English ancestry. The subject of this sketch
was reared on a farm, received a common-school education, and at the age of seventeen years began life as a
farmer, which he has continued ever since. In July, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Twenty-fifth Alabama
Infantry, and was in the first battle of Farmersville, Tenn., south of Shiloh. He participated in the Kentucky
invasion, was taken prisoner at Glasgow, Ky., and was exchanged about two months later. He joined his regiment
again at Shelbyville, Tenn., and was in the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, in all the fights from
Chattanooga to Atlanta and New Hope Church to Atlanta. When Hood made his raid into Tennessee, our subject
joined Wheeler's cavalry, with which command he remained until the surrender. At the close of the war he
resumed farming. In 1871 he was appointed sheriff of Cleburne County, and in 1874 was elected to that office.
He served in this capacity about six years. In 1878 he was elected to the Lower House of the Legislature,
reelected in 1882, and in 1884 was elected to the Senate from his district, which office he holds at the
present writing (1888). Mr. Alexander was married in August, 1866, to Sarah Cornelia, daughter of Henry A.
Smith, of Floyd County, Ga. This union has been blessed with two children, William H. and Bessie E. Mr. Alexander
and wife are members of the Christian Church.
Source: Northern Alabama: Historical
and Biographical, Published by Smith & DeLand, Birmingham, Ala., 1888 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
SMITH, JOHN F.
John F. Smith is a native of Cleburne County, where he was born December 15, 1839, and is a son of John and
Sarah Ann (Lambert) Smith. The senior Mr. Smith immigrated to Alabama from Georgia in 1833, and moved from
Cleburne County to a point on the Tallapoosa River, south of Edwardsville in 1851, and there died in 1853, at
the age of forty-two years. He reared two sons: the subject of this sketch and Samuel H. John F. Smith was
reared on a farm; was educated at the common schools, and at the age of eighteen accepted a clerkship in a
store. In 1858 he went to Wetumpka, and from there the year following to Talladega, where he engaged in
business in partnership with J. B. Gay. This partnership lasted but a short time, when he sold out and resumed
employment as a clerk. In 1861 Mr. Smith enlisted as a private in Company H, Tenth Alabama, and remained in
the service until the close of the war. Soon after the battle of Dranesville he was promoted to third
lieutenant, and when he left the service he held the rank of first lieutenant, and had been for some time in
command of his company. From first to last he participated in many of the hardest-fought battles of the war,
and was wounded three times. Returning from the war, he located at Selma, and from there, in 1866, came to
Oxford, where he has since made his home. In 1869 he moved upon his farm, at Boiling Springs, and from that
date has given most of his time to agriculture. He was married in 1869, to Miss Augusta G. Carver, daughter
of Thomas J. and Eliza (Davis) Caver, and has had born to him four children: Kate E., Nannie Gay, Carrie Lee
and Thomas F.
Source: North Alabama: Historical and Biological; Published by Smith &
DeLand, Birmingham, Ala., 1888 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
TATE, AUGUSTUS WALTER
Augustus Walter Tate, educator, was born February 2, 1861, at Arbadioochee, Cleburne County; son of Thomas
James and Martha Susan (Watson) Tate, the former born near Jacksonville, Calhoun County, who lived at
Arbachoochee; served in the C. S. Army, in Lee's army in Virginia, Longstreet's corps. Hood's division, under
Capt. Denman, Forty-fourth Alabama regiment, was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness and again in May,
1864, and surrendered at Appomattox Court House, 1865; grandson of Cooper Bennett and Nancy (White) Tate, who
lived at Carnesville, Ga., the latter living in Calhoun County, before her marriage, and of John B. and Mary
(Furlow) Watson, who came from Milledgeville, Ga., to Alabama in 1844. The Tate's descended from Anglo-Saxon
stock; the great-great-grandfather Tate came from England with his brother before the Revolutionary War, ran
away from home when he was fourteen years of age, and joined the revolutionists at Green Mountain. The
great-great-grandfather Watson came from Holland before the Revolution and settled in Carolina. Mr. Tate's
early education was obtained in the rural schools. For his professional education, he studied systems and
methods of some of the old European countries, and formulated his own methods. He taught in the rural schools
in 1880, attended the State normal college at Florence, 1881-1885, and was graduated in the latter year. After
his graduation, he resumed teaching. He founded the Baptist collegiate institute at Newton in 1898, beginning in
a two-room building with twenty-six pupils, and remained principal of the school for many years. He is a Democrat
and a Baptist Married: (1) to Katherine Barnes, daughter of Willam H. Barnes, a. paper manufacturer at Detroit.
Mich.; (2) to Florence Victoria Stanford, daughter of James Polk and Elizabeth Ellen (Bolin) Stanford, who lived
at Crews, Lamar County; granddaughter of James Stanford and great-grand-daughter of William Stanford, who emigrated
from Ireland to Georgia, and whose ancestors on her mother's side were descendants of the Ann Bolin family and settled
In North Carolina before the Revolutionary War. Children, by first marriage: 1. Thomas Barnes, d. in infancy; by
second marriage; 2. Katherine Belle, 3. Nellie Claire; 4. Augusta Mae; 5. Lygla Lee; 6. Mary Ellen; 7. Ouida Maude,
deceased; 8. Augustus Walter, jr.. deceased; 9. Annie Florence, deceased; 10. Samuel Franklin; 11. Alfred William.
Source: History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography
by Thomas McAdory Owen, Vol IV, Published by S. J. Clark Publishing Company, 1921. Transcribed by Veneta McKinney