William Jemison

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William Carlos Jemison (born December 2, 1850 in Tuscaloosa; died March 28, 1901, in Galveston, Texas) was a newspaper editor and Mayor of Tuscaloosa.

Jemison was the oldest son of William Henry and Elizabeth Ann Jemison. He grew up with his older sisters Virginia, Sarah Elizabeth, Margaret, and Mary and younger brothers Robert Jr (named to distinguish him from an uncle), John, and Mims.

His education was interrupted by the Civil War, during which Jemison served in the Confederate army, rising to sergeant. He then pursued planting and teaching, studying when not working, before enrolling in the law department of the University of Alabama from which he graduated in 1874. He was only a practicing lawyer for a few years before entering the coal and iron business.

Jemison served as Mayor of Tuscaloosa from 1880 to 1890 and again from 1894 to 1900. During his terms, he invited the Rivers and Harbors Convention to meet in Tuscaloosa and demonstrated to them the possibilities of the Warrior River as a navigable stream. He also inaugurated the system of graded public schools during his administration, as well as barge line communication with Mobile. He was editor and proprietor of the Tuscaloosa Times at the time of his death.

Jemison married his first wife, the former Eliska Leftwich, on February 24, 1879 in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The couple had two children, Kate and Alan. Eliska died on August 14, 1882, less than a month after giving birth to Alan. Jemison married the former Clara Roberts on July 10, 1889 in Talladega. He also had two children with her, William and Margaret.

Preceded by:
Obediah Berry
Mayor of Tuscaloosa
18801890
Succeeded by:
Henry Foster
Preceded by:
Henry Foster
Mayor of Tuscaloosa
18941900
Succeeded by:
William Cochrane

References

  • Owen, Thomas McAdory and Marie Bankhead Owen (1921) History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. 4 volumes. Chicago, Illinois: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
  • RootsWeb WorldConnect record