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THE ALABAMA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION

Alabama Historical Association Presidents

 

Donald C. Rice, "Biographical Sketches of the Presidents of the Alabama Historical Association: Part I, First through Twelfth Presidents, 1947-1960," The Alabama Review 50, no. 1 (January 1997): 38-46.

 

Introductory Note: As the Alabama Historical Association celebrated its first fifty years, it seemed appropriate to recognize the presidents who have served the organization by including a series of biographical sketches. Donald C. Rice, a student intern on the Review’s editorial staff, graciously and enthusiastically agreed to undertake the project. Rice worked long hours, well in excess of the requirements of his internship, combing the pages of numerous biographical dictionaries and contacting past presidents or their surviving relatives; he has prepared a find set of biographical sketches of the Association’s first fifty presidents. This initial installment contains brief biographies of the first twelve Association presidents, presented in the order in which they served. Subsequent installments will appear in each of the remaining 1997 issues. --- Robert J. Jakeman.

 

JAMES F. SULZBY, JR., founding president, 1947-49. Born in Birmingham in 1905, Sulzby attended Howard College (now Samford University) for two years before graduating from Birmingham-Southern College in 1928. The following year he began a fourteen-year stint with the Frist National Bank of Birmingham. During this time, Sulzby graduated from the American Institute of Banking. He was president of Sulzby Realty Company from 1945 until his death in 1988. Sulzby was active in many professional organizations: he served as president of the Alabama Realtors Association, president of the Birmingham Board of Realtors, a director of the National Association of Realtors, and a member of the board of directors of the Alabama Savings and Loan Association. In 1947 Sulzby founded the Alabama Historical Association and served two consecutive terms as its president. In 1949 he was elected secretary, a position he held until 1988. Sulzby was also a member of other historical societies, such as the Alabama Baptist Historical Society, the Birmingham-Jefferson Historical Society, and the Birmingham Historical Society. He served on several historical commissions as well. A prolific author, Sulzby wrote such books as Birmingham As it Was, in Jackson County, Alabama (Birmingham, 1944); Birmingham Sketches: From 1871 through 1921 (Birmingham, 1945); Annals of the Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, 1886-1936 (Birmingham, 1947); and the two-volume Toward a History of Samford University (Birmingham, 1986). Sulzby was Phi Beta Kappa and received two honorary degrees, one from Athens State College and one from Samford University. He served as president of the Alabama Academy of Science, directory of the Alabama Hall of Fame, and as historian for Birmingham’s seventy-fifth anniversary. Sulzby was a member of the board of directors of the Alabama Baptist for forty years and was a member of the Southside Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon for sixty years. (Sources: Birmingham News, October 28, 1988; Who Was Who In America, vol. 10 [New Providence, N.J., 1993]; James E. Sulzby III, letter to editor, June 17, 1996.)

 

PETER A BRANNON, second president, 1949-50, charter member. Born in Seale, Alabama, in 1882, Brannon received his degree in pharmacy from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) in 1900. He practiced pharmacy for ten years until his appointment as curator for the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), a position he held until 1941, when he became archivist. In 1955 he became director of ADAH, where he served until his death. Brannon’s historical interests centered on the South and the region’s Native Americans. His books include Handbook of Alabama Anthropological Society (Montgomery, 1920), Historic Highways in Alabama (Montgomery, 1929), The Southern Indian Trade (Montgomery, 1935), A Little Black Volume: The Story of Curiosity’s Reward (Montgomery, 1930), and My Memories of John Witherspoon Dubose (Montgomery, 1966). Brannon also published numerous papers on the stoneware, bottles, silver, and copper used in the trade with Native Americans. In addition to his long affiliation with the Alabama Historical Association, Brannon was active in many other organizations, including the Alabama Civil War Centennial Commission, the Southern Historical Association, the Alabama Academy of Sciences, and the Alabama Library Association. He organized the Montgomery Glass Collectors and served as its president for four years. During his tenure with the ADAH he served as editor for the Alabama Historical Quarterly from 1955 to 1966. Brannon died in Montgomery in 1967. (Sources: Library of Alabama Lives [Hopkinsville, Ky., 1961]; Who Was Who In Alabama [Huntsville, 1972].)

 

ALBERT B. MOORE, third president, 1950-51, charter member. Born in Belk, Alabama, in 1887, Moore received his B.S. degree (1911) and M.S. degree (1912) from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University). He taught at A.P.I. from 1911 to 1914 and then entered the graduate program at the University of Chicago, receiving a Ph.D. in 1927. Moore joined the faculty of The University of Alabama in 1923 and retired as a professor of history in 1959. During his tenure at Alabama, he served as department head for twenty-eight years and was the first dean of the Graduate School, a position he held for thirty-four years. Moore contributed many articles and biographies to the Dictionary of American Biography and the Dictionary of American History. His books include Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy (New York, 1924), History of Alabama and Her People (Chicago, 1927), History of Alabama (University, Ala., 1934), A Brief Story of Women’s Roles in the Confederacy (University, Ala., 1964), a collection Moore edited titled A New Nation, A War, A Young Hero, And a Surrender (Tuscaloosa, 1965), and Prologue to the Great American Tragedy (University, Ala., 1964). In 1942, Moore served as president of the Southern Historical Association and was later chosen as executive director of the Alabama Civil War Centennial Commission. He also served as president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and as president of the Conference of Southern Graduate Deans. Moore died in 1967. (Sources: Who Was Who In Alabama [Huntsville, 1972]; Tuscaloosa News, April 19, 1967; Robert R. Rea, History at Auburn: The First One Hundred Years of the Auburn History Department [Auburn, Ala., 1991].)

 

RUCKER AGEE, fourth president, 1951-52. Agee was born in Birmingham in 1897. After serving as an army officer in World War I, he received his B.S. degree from The University of Alabama in 1919. The same year he began a career with the investment security firm of Sterne, Agee and Leach, serving as its president for many years. Agee also served on the board of governors of the Investment Bankers Association of America. An early member of the Alabama Historical Association, he was on the Executive Committee for many years, in addition to his tenure as president. He was involved in many other historical organizations as well. Agee was a longtime trustee of the Alabama Department of Archives and History and a trustee and vice chairman of the Alabama Museum of Natural History. Additionally, he served on the Horseshoe Bend Battle Park Association and the Alabama Civil War Centennial Commission, and he served as the Historiographer of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama for twelve years. A longtime collector of rare maps, atlases, and other geography-related volumes, Agee donated his large and valuable collection, heavily concentrated in sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century works, to the Birmingham Public Library in 1964. In his Twenty Alabama Books (Miami, 1975), he described the works he considered “essential” to Alabama history. A member of the Alabama Academy of Honor, Agee was awarded an honorary doctorate of law in 1981 from The University of Alabama. Agee died in 1985. (Sources: Who Was Who In Alabama, vol. 2 [Birmingham, 1969]; Birmingham News, November 2, 1985.)

 

RALPH BROWN DRAUGHON, fifth president, 1952-53. Draughon was born in Hartford, Alabama, in 1899. He received his B.S. degree (1922) and M.S. degree (1929) from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University). Additionally, he attended summer sessions at the University of Chicago from 1929 to 1939. His career as an educator began in the Choctaw County school system in 1922. He later served as principal of schools in Sumter County, Louisville, and Orrville. In 1931, Draughon became an assistant professor of history and political science at A.P.I. He was Executive Secretary and Secretary of the A.P.I. Board of Trustees from 1937 to 1944, when he became the Director of Instruction. In 1947, Draughon was named acting head of A.P.I. and became president the following year. He held this position until his retirement in 1965. Draughon received honorary degrees from several Alabama schools, including Birmingham-Southern, Howard College (now Samford University), The University of Alabama, and Auburn University. He was a member of many professional organizations, including the National Education Association, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the Executive Council of the Commission on Higher Education of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and the Alabama Academy of Science. He also served on the executive committees of the Southeastern Conference and the Southern Regional Education Board, and he contributed many papers to historical journals. In 1965 the new library at Auburn University was named in his honor. Draughon died in Auburn in 1968. (Sources: National Cyclopedia of American Biography [Clifton, N.J., 1977]; Who Was Who, vol. 5 [Chicago, 1973]; Who’s Who In Alabama, vol. 1 [Birmingham, 1965].)

 

WILLIAM H. BRANTLEY, JR., sixth president, 1953-54, charter member. Brantley was born in Troy, Alabama, 1898. He received his A.B. degree from The University of Alabama and his law degree from Harvard Law School. He returned to Alabama and moved to Birmingham in 1920, where he became a founding partner in the firm Lange, Simpson, and Brantley. During his legal career, Brantley served as president of the Birmingham Bar Association. He also served as vice president and as a commissioner from the tenth judicial circuit of the Alabama Bar Association. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of the Southern Company, the Woodward Iron Company, and Malone Freight Lines. Brantley’s published works include the pamphlet The Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, March 27, 1814 (1955), and many books, including Alabama Doctor (Montgomery, 1945), Banking in Alabama (two volumes, Birmingham, 1961 and 1967), Three Capitals: a Book About the First Three Capitals of Alabama (privately published, 1947), and Chief Justice Stone of Alabama (Birmingham, 1943). Brantley’s interest in Alabama and Native American history led him to collect many antique and rare books, manuscripts, maps, and newspapers. He later donated his collection to Samford University. He also served as a trustee of Howard College (now Samford University), which awarded him an LL.D. in 1964. Brantley was also a member of the Southern Historical Association and the American Society for Legal History. He died in Birmingham in 1964. (Sources: Birmingham News, June 19, 1964; William H. Brantley III, telephone conversation with the author, June 4, 1996.)

 

GEORGE R. STUART, JR., seventh president, 1954-55. Stuart was born in Cleveland Tennessee, in 1901. After receiving his A.B. degree from Birmingham-Southern College in 1924, he attended Emory University in Georgia and obtained an M.A. degree the following year. He was admitted to the Alabama Bar Association in 1927 after completing his law degree at Birmingham Law School. The following year he became assistant prosecuting attorney for Jefferson County, a position held until 1936. Turning to private practice, Stuart was with the firm Mullins, DeRamus, and Stuart until 1938, when the position of assistant to the president of Birmingham-Southern was created. Chosen to fill this post, Stuart also assumed the duties of Dean of Men in 1941. When the president of the college resigned in 1942 Stuart was named his successor, and as president, Stuart guided the college through the rigors of World War II and through the period of expansion and change that followed. He served as president of Birmingham-Southern until 1955, when he returned to his law practice. In 1958 he joined the Alabama Power Company as a member of the industrial development staff. Stuart received honorary doctorates from the University of Alabama and Birmingham-Southern. After retiring, Stuart remained in Birmingham until 1979, when he moved to Mobile. He died there in 1989. (Sources: Sullins Arendall, telephone conversation with author, June 14,1996; Mobile Register, July 31, 1989; Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, vol.1 [Summit, N.J., 1959]; Robert Corley and Samuel Stayer, View From the Hilltop: The First 125 Years of Birmingham-Southern College [Birmingham, 1981]; Joseph H. Parks and Oliver C. Weaver, Jr., Birmingham-Southern College, 1856-1956 [Nashville, 1957]; [Birmingham-Southern College] Hilltop News, October 7, 1955; vertical files, Southern History Department, Birmingham Public Library.)

 

N. FLOYD MCGOWIN, eighth president, 1955-56. McGowin was born in Brewton, Alabama, in 1900. After receiving his primary education in Chapman and Greenville, he attended The University of Alabama, where he received his B.S. degree. After a year of graduate study at Columbia University, he attended Oxford University’s Pembroke College for two years before moving back to Chapman. In 1924 McGowin joined the W. T. Smith Lumber Company and became its president in 1934, a position he held until 1966. During his career, McGowin served as an officer of the National Association of Manufacturers and of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association. Additionally, he served on the board of directors for the Merchants National Bank of Mobile and for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. A Philanthropist, McGowin was especially interested in sponsoring deserving youth for music schools and camps. In 1974 the McGowin family donated funds to establish the McGowin Library at Oxford’s Pembroke College. McGowin’s historical interests focused on the civil war, Alabama, and the lives Samuel Johnson and James Boswell. McGowin also served on the council of the John Birch Society from 1960 until his death. His published work includes “Some Aspects of Waning British Influence in the Middle Gulf Region” in the Alabama Review (July 1956). McGowin died in Chapman in 1981. (Sources: Library of Alabama Lives [Hopkinsville, Ky., 1961]; Norman Floyd McGowin, Jr., telephone conversation, June 4, 1996; John M. Collier, Earl McGowin of Alabama: A Portrait [New Orleans, 1986]; The Blue Book of the John Birch Society [Boston, 1961].)

 

CHARLES G. SUMMERSELL, ninth president, 1956-57. Summersell was in born in Mobile in 1908. After receiving his B.A. degree (1929) and M.A. degree (1930) from The University of Alabama, he joined the faculty there in 1935 as an instructor of history. He was awarded a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1940 and subsequently became an assistant professor of history at Tuscaloosa. Achieving full professorship in 1947, Summersell became department head in 1954, a position he held until 1971. He retired from The University of Alabama in 1978. In addition to his academic career, Summersell served in the Naval Reserves, overseeing the Naval Intelligence School in Norfolk, Virginia, during the Korean War. Summersell was a member of many historical organizations, including the Tuscaloosa Historical Society, the Sons of the American Revolution, and the American Association for State and Local History. He also held membership on several state commissions, including the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and the Alabama State Historical Commission. His publications include many articles and reviews for encyclopedias and professional journals as well as the following books: Mobile: History of a Seaport Town (University, Ala., 1949), Alabama History for Schools (Birmingham, 1957), The Cruise of the C.S.S. Sumter (Tuscaloosa, 1965), and The C.S.S. Alabama: Builder, Captain, and Plans (University, Ala., 1985). Summersell died in 1987. (Sources: Birmingham News,October 11, 1987; Who’s Who in Alabama, vol. 1 [Birmingham, 1965]; Alabama’s Distinguished [Albertville, Ala., 1974].)

 

C.J. COLEY, tenth president, 1957-58. Coley was born in Alexander City in 1902. An alumnus of the University of Alabama, Coley began a banking career in 1925 with the First National Bank of Alexander City, where he became a director by 1945. In 1946 he entered politics and was elected Judge of Probate of Tallapoosa County, an office he held for fourteen years. While Judge of Probate, Coley helped establish and served as the chairman and chief executive officer of the Peoples Bank of Carrville in East Tallassee. After retiring from politics in 1960, he served as president and director of the Alexander City Bank for many years. Coley has been a forceful and effective advocate for local and Alabama history. He was instrumental in creating the Horseshoe Bend National Military Park and petitioned the United States Postal Service to commemorate Alabama native Helen Keller with a postage stamp. An early member of the Alabama Academy of Honor, Coley has served on the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History for forty years, and was its chairman in 1996. He has been honored by The University of Alabama as a Distinguished Alumnus and has received the Alabama Humanities Award from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. In 1989 he published his autobiographical Recollections (privately published). Coley’s article “Creek Treaties, 1790-1832,” appeared in the Alabama Review (July 1958); he also published several articles in the Alabama Historical Quarterly including “The Battle of Horseshoe Bend” (1952) and “History of the Alabama Academy of Honor” (Spring 1976). Coley resided in Alexander City until his death in December 1997. (Sources: C.J. Coley, telephone conversation with author, June 6,1996; Who’s Who in the World, 7th edition, [Chicago, 1984].)

 

WILLIAM H. JENKINS, eleventh president, 1958-59. Jenkins was born in Decatur in 1905. He received and A.B. degree (1927) from Birmingham-Southern College and an M.A. degree (1931) from Emory University in Atlanta. After serving as a teacher and a coach at Selma High School, he embarked upon a career as a principal, first in the Waverly school system and then in Greensboro schools. In 1948 he became principal at Decatur High School, a position he held until 1967, when he became supervisor of the Decatur city school system. In addition to his affiliation with the Alabama Historical Association, Jenkins was also a member of the Alabama Secondary Principals Association, serving as its president from 1958 to 1959. His other memberships included the board of the Alabama Hall of Fame, the Birmingham-Southern Alumni Association, the Rotary Club, and the Masons. Jenson’s affiliation with the Alabama Historical Association included a long tenure on the Executive Committee and service as chairman of the Historical Marker Committee. With John Knox he coauthored The Story of Decatur, Alabama (Decatur, 1970). His Alabama Review articles include “Alabama Forts, 1700-1838” (July 1959), “Some Alabama ‘Dead’ Towns" (October 1959), and “The Red Rovers of Alabama” (April 1965). From 1938 to 1942 Jenkins represented Chambers County in the state legislature. Jenkins died in 1981. (Sources: Who’s Who in Alabama, vol. 2 [Birmingham, 1969]; George R. Jenkins, telephone conversation with the author, June 4, 1996.)

 

MARGARET PACE FARMER, twelfth president, 1959-60. Margaret Pace was born in Troy in 1912 and received her B.S. degree from Troy State College. After graduation, she taught in the Enterprise, Brundidge, and Birmingham school systems. In 1934, she married Curren A. Farmer of Troy, with whom she entered the contracting business. She also involved herself in many patriotic and civic organizations. In addition to her work as president of the Alabama Historical Association, she also served on its Executive Committee for many years. Farmer organized the Pike County Historical Society, served as its first president, and later served as secretary. Other organizations to which she belonged include The Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, Colonial Dames of America, First Families of Virginia, and the Jamestown Society, and she was a lifetime member of the American Association of University Women. She also served as co-chair of the Alabama National Women’s Committee, Civil War Centennial. Farmer’s historical research reflects her longstanding interest in her native Pike County. She has written History of Pike County, Alabama (Troy, 1952), One Hundred Fifty Years in Pike County, Alabama, 1821-1971 (Anniston, 1973), and Record of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865, Pike County, Alabama (Troy, 1962). Additionally, Farmer has written four manuscripts documenting the genealogy of her own family. In 1964 she complied, wrote, and published Historical Highway Markers in Alabama Placed by the Alabama Historical Association. Farmer lived in Troy until she died in January 2007. (Sources: Margaret Pace Farmer, letter to the author, June 10, 1996; Library of Alabama Lives [Hopskinsville, Ky., 1961]; Margaret Pace Farmer Obituary from the Troy Messenger, at http://genforum.genealogy.com/farmer/messages/5117.html) .

 

Donald C. Rice, "Biographical Sketches of the Presidents of the Alabama Historical Association: Part II, Thirteenth through Twenty-Fourth Presidents, 1960-1972," The Alabama Review 50, no. 2 (April 1997): 136-144.

 

GORDON T. CHAPPELL, thirteenth president, 1960-61, and charter member. Chappell was born in Birmingham in 1911. He attended Birmingham-Southern College, from which he received the A.B. (1935), and Vanderbilt University, which awarded him the A.M. (1936) and the Ph.D. (1941). In 1938 Chappell began his academic career in South Carolina as Instructor in History and Economics at Winthrop College (now Winthrop University) and then, in 1941, as Associate Professor of History at Newberry College. In 1945 Chappell joined the faculty at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, where he served as Professor of History and head of the Department of History and Political Science until he retirement in 1985. Chappell has published numerous articles in historical journals, including the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, the Journal of Southern History, the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, and the Alabama Review. With Frank L. Owsley and John Craig Stewart, he co-authored Know Alabama (Nashville, 1955), which was used as a text in Alabama schools. Chappell has also contributed various articles on Alabama topics to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the New International Encyclopedia, the Dictionary of American History, and the Encyclopedia of Southern History. In addition to the Alabama Historical Association, he holds memberships with the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the Tennessee Historical Association. Honor societies to which he belongs include Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu, Kappa Phi Kappa, and Phi Eta Sigma. Chappell died in Montgomery in 2002. (Sources: Liars, vol. 1 [Lancaster, Pa., 1978]; Gordon T. Chappell, telephone conversation with author, June 10, 1996; Cong. Record, 107th Cong (2001-2002) at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r107:S10AP2-0016:.)

 

JACK N. NELMS, fourteenth president, 1961-62. Jack Nelms was born in Adamsville, Alabama, in 1903. A 1927 graduate of Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), Nelms joined the Alabama Power Company later that year. He worked in Demopolis for eight years, attaining the position of superintendent of the Demopolis district. In 1935 Nelms moved to Selma and was a District Manager with Alabama Power at his retirement in 1968. Active in the Rotary Club, he was a member of both the Demopolis and Selma chapters. During his affiliation with the Selma Rotarians, he served as president, vice-president, director, secretary-treasurer, and club bulletin editor. In 1978 Nelms received the Paul Harris Fellow Award for outstanding service. He was active in other civic organizations including the YMCA and the Red Cross, chairing the Dallas county chapter for one year. Nelms was active in the establishment of the Sturdivant Museum in Selma; he founded the Sturdivant Museum Association and served as its president from 1963 to 1964. An active lay historian and geographer, his “Adventures of an Amateur Historian” appeared in the July 1962 Alabama Review. Nelms died in Selma in 1990. (Sources: Alabama Historical Association Newsletter, March 1990, 5; Selma Times-Journal, January 19, 1990, 2; Auburn University Alumni Association; Dorothy Nelms, telephone conversation with Martin T. Olliff, August 5, 1996; Alabama Power Company Corporate Library.)

 

CALDWELL DELANEY, fifteenth president, 1962-63. Caldwell Delaney was born in Danville, Virginia, in 1918. He received his B.S. from Spring Hill College in Mobile in 1941 and his M.A. from The University of Alabama in 1952. From 1941 to 1956 Delaney was the Dean of the University Military School. In 1956 Delaney organized and became Superintendent of the Julius T. Wright School for Girls in Mobile, a post he held until 1965, when he became the Director of the Museum of the City of Mobile. He held this post until his retirement in 1992, when he was named director emeritus. His books include Confederate Mobile (Mobile, 1971), Craighead’s Mobile (Mobile, 1968), Deep South (Mobile, 1942), Mary McNeil Fenollosa: An Alabama Woman of Letters (University, Ala., 1963), Remember Mobile (Mobile, 1948), and The Story of Mobile (Mobile, 1953). Delaney served as the Historian of the 250th Anniversary Celebration of the City of Mobile, as Historian of the Mobile Civil War Commission, as President of the Colonial Research Foundation, and as a member of the United States Civil War Commission. He also served his community as director of the Mobile Civic Music Association, director of the Mobile Symphony, and Trustee of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society. His memberships include the Sons of the American Revolution and the Rotary Club. He is an honorary life member of the Fenollosa Society of Japan. In 1961 he was elected as one of Mobile’s forty outstanding citizens and as a Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Learning. Delaney died in 2007 in Mobile. (Sources: Who’s Who in Alabama, vol. 1 [Birmingham, 1965]; Who’s Who in Alabama, vol.2 [Birmingham, 1969]; Caldwell Delaney, telephone conversation with author, June 10, 1996; "Historian Caldwell Delaney dies at 89," at http://blog.al.com/live/2007/11/historian_caldwell_delaney_die.html)

 

HAMNER COBBS, sixteenth president, 1963-64. Hamner Cobbs was born in Anniston in 1906. After receiving his primary and secondary education in Anniston, he attended the University of the South, where he received the B.A. degree in 1926. From 1926 to 1931, Cobbs served as a member of the news staff and as an editorial writer for the Anniston Star. Between 1931 and 1940 he was the associate editor and editorial writer for the Tuscaloosa News and in 1940 served briefly as editor of the Rome (Georgia) News-Tribune. Later that year Cobbs became the owner and editor of the Greensboro Watchman, and he continued in that capacity until his death. In addition to his membership in the Alabama Historical Association, Cobbs was a member of the Hale County Historical Society and served as its president for two terms. He also served on the board of directors of the Warrior-Tombigbee Development Association and on the board of the Alabama Museum of Natural History. From 1942 to 1943, Cobbs was the Executive Secretary of the Alabama War Manpower Commission. He served as chairman of the Hale County Hospital Board from its establishment in 1963 until his death. Throughout his life Cobbs was extremely active in the Episcopal Church at the local, state, and national levels; he was a lay trustee at the University of the South. His historical publications reflected his interest in the Black Belt of Alabama. His articles in the Alabama Review include “Superstitions of the Black Belt” (January 1958), “Geography of the Vine and Olive Colony” (April 1961), and “Give Me the Black Belt” (July 1964), as well as various contributions to the Notes and Documents section. Cobbs died in 1968. (Sources: Nicholas H. Cobbs, Jr., “Hamner Cobbs as Editor of the Greensboro Watchman,” Alabama Review 39 [October 1986]: 261-70; Library of Alabama Lives [Hopkinsville, Ky. 1961]; Greensboro Watchman, July 4, 1968.)

 

LESLIE S. WRIGHT, seventeenth president, 1964-65. Wright was born in Birmingham in 1913. He received his A.B. (1936) and M.A. (1939) from the University of Louisville. From 1936 until 1941 he taught and coached in schools in Kentucky and Alabama. In 1941 he became an expediting supervisor for the Du Pont company in Alabama and, in 1942, an industrial specialist for the War Production Board. Wright served as the state director for the Civilian Production Administration and as a state director for the Alabama Savings Bond division of the Treasury Department from 1947 to 1950, then worked in the Washington office of Senator Lister Hill for four years. In 1954 Wright became the executive secretary of the Baptist Foundation of Alabama, a post he held until 1958, when he became the president of Samford University. His many memberships include the National Education Association, the Association of American Colleges, the American Council on Education, the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools. Civic organizations to which he belongs include the American Legion and the Rotary Club. Wright has also served on the Alabama Selection Committee for Rhodes Scholars, the Alabama Educational Television Commission,and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Wright died in Birmingham in 1997. (Sources: Leaders in Education, 5th ed. [New York, 1974]; Who’s Who in America, 42 ed., vol.2 [Chicago, 1982].)

 

MILO B. HOWARD, JR., eighteenth president, 1965-66. Howard was born in Montgomery in 1933. He graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) in 1955, served two years as lieutenant in the Army Reserves, then returned to Auburn where he received his M.A. in 1960. In 1958 he became an archivist at the Alabama Department of Archives and History and was appointed Assistant Director in 1964. After a brief stint as acting head of the department, he became director in 1967. Howard also taught Auburn University in Montgomery, was appointed a research lecturer there in 1968, and edited the Alabama Historical Quarterly until his death in 1981. He published articles in the Alabama Review, the Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science, the Church Historical Magazine, and Louisiana History. In 1965 he collaborated with Robert R. Rea on a translation of The Mémoire Justificatif of the Chevalier Montault de Monberaut (University, Ala., 1965). He was a member of the Alabama Archeological Society, the Alabama Academy of Science, the Alabama Library Association, and the Society of American Archivists. Howard served on many state historical committees, including the Alabama Historical Commission, the Governor’s Mansion Advisory Board, the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, and the Alabama Sesquicentennial Commission. In 1975 he was named to the Alabama Academy of Honor. He also served as historiographer of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama from 1969 to 1975. Howard died in Montgomery in 1981. (Sources: Who’s Who in America, 42d ed., vol. 1 [Chicago, 1981]; Montgomery Advertiser, November 4, 1981.)

 

MALCOLM C. MCMILLAN, nineteenth president, 1966-67. Malcolm McMillan was born in Stockton, Alabama, in 1910. After attending Southwestern College (now Rhodes College) in Memphis from 1928 through 1931, McMillan received the A.B. from The University of Alabama in 1935. He was awarded the M.A. (1939) and the Ph.D. (1949) from the University of North Carolina. His career in education included early appointments at Birmingham-Southern College and at North Carolina State University. His tenure with Auburn University began in 1948 and lasted until 1978. In 1964 he became department head and served in that capacity until his retirement. McMillan was a member of the Alabama Civil War Centennial Commission and the Alabama Historical Commission. Other historical organizations to which he belonged include the Southern Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. Additionally, he was a member of the Alabama Educational Association. His books include The Alabama Confederate Reader (University, Ala., 1963), Auburn University Through the Years (Auburn, 1973), Constitutional Development in Alabama, 1798-1901 (Chapel Hill, 1955), and The Disintegration of a Confederate State (Macon, Ga., 1986). McMillan served on the editorial board of the Alabama Review from 1951 to 1953 and was its editor from 1968 to 1976. He was a contributor to the weekly television series Civil War Alabama from 1960 to 1961. McMillan died in 1989. (Sources: Who’s Who in America, 40th ed., vol. 2 [Chicago, 1978]; Robert R. Rea, History at Auburn [Auburn, 1991].)

 

RICHARD J. STOCKHAM, twentieth president, 1967-68. Richard J. Stockham was born in Birmingham in 1904. He attended the University of Illinois from 1922 to 1925 and took extension courses at Birmingham-Southern College and Howard College (now Samford University). In 1925 he joined Stockham Valves and fittings, Inc., where he served as secretary from 1927 to 1942, vice president from 1945 to 1953, and president from 1953 until retirement. During World War II he served as a lieutenant colonel with the United States Army. Stockham was a member of the advisory board of Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and a trustee of Samford, Birmingham-Southern College, and the Carraway Methodist Medical Center. He served his business community as a member of the boards of the Associated Industries of Alabama and the Southern Industrial Relations Council and his local community as president of the Birmingham Kiwanis Club. His paper “Alabama Iron for the Confederacy: The Selma Works” appeared in the July 1968 issue of the Alabama Review. Stockham died in Birmingham in 1982. (Sources: Who’s Who in Alabama, vol. 3 [Birmingham, 1972]; Birmingham News, October 6, 1982, p. 1F; Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, 16th ed. [Chicago, 1978].)

 

FRANCES CABANISS ROBERTS, twenty-first president, 1968-69. Frances Roberts was born in Gainesville, Alabama, in 1916 and educated in the public schools of Gainesville and Livingston. After completing two years at Livingston State Teachers College (now University of West Alabama), she taught in Sumter County for two years before returning to complete her B.S. degree in 1937. In September 1937 she began a teaching career in Huntsville, Alabama, that continues for the next forty-three. After earning her M.A. degree in history at The University of Alabama in 1940, she transferred from teaching elementary school to high school and taught history for the next twelve years. In 1949 Roberts helped with the organization of The University of Alabama Extension Center in Huntsville and was recruited to serve on the first faculty, all of whom were part-time. In January 1950, the Center’s first term began with an enrollment of 137, she taught a freshman course in Western civilization. At the offer of a full-time position as instructor in history, Roberts returned to the Tuscaloosa campus in 1952 on a teaching fellowship to complete the residence requirements for the Ph.D. in history. She received her doctorate degree in 1956 and became a full professor in 1960. When the Huntsville University Center became The University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1966, she became the first chairman of the history department, a position she held until 1970. Although Roberts continued to teach, she organized and directed the university’s Academic Advisement Center until she retired in 1980 as professor emerita.
In recognition of her many contributions to the growth and development of The University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Humanities Building on campus was named Frances C. Roberts Hall in 1988. In 1993 the University Board of Trustees awarded her an honorary degree in humane letters.
Because of her interest in state and local history, Roberts has been active in helping create historic districts to preserve worthy architecture in several cities in the Tennessee Valley. She has served on the boards of many local organizations including the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society, the Burritt Museum, Constitution Hall Park, the Weeden House Museum, the Twickenham Historic District, and the Huntsville Historic Commission. To honor her for her many years of community service, the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce awarded her its Distinguished Citizen Award in 1990.
The published works of Roberts include a number of journal articles and several books, the latest of which is The Sesquicentennial History of the Church of the Nativity, 1843-1993 (Huntsville, 1992). She currently serves as editor of the Huntsville Historical Review, the journal of the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society. (Sources: Who’s Who in the World, 6th ed. [Chicago. 1982]; Who’s Who in America, 49th ed., vol. 2 [Chicago, 1995]; Directory of American Scholars, 8th ed., vol. 1 [New York, 1982]; Frances C. Roberts, letter to editor, August 14, 1996.)

 

THEODORE B. PEARSON, twenty-second president, 1969 – 70. Theodore B. Pearson was born in Choctaw County, Alabama, in 1904 and lived as a child in Mobile. In 1911 his family moved to Leroy, Alabama. After attending primary and secondary schools in Leroy and Washington County, Pearson attended Birmingham-Southern College, graduating with an A.B. in 1926. After college he was a teacher and coach for six years; he organized and coached the first football teams at Leroy High School and Grand Bay High School. After his unsuccessful bid for a seat in the state legislature, Pearson was elected Washington County’s Superintendent of Education in 1932, a position he held for thirty-three years. He retired to his farm in Leroy in 1965. In addition to his term as president, Pearson continues to serve the Alabama Historical Association as member emeritus of the executive committee. He is also an honorary vice president of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association and a committee member of the Men’s Hall of Fame at Samford University. In 1993 he was elected to the Birmingham-Southern Hall of Fame for Baseball. Pearson’s historical interests include the life of Admiral Richmond Pearson Hobson of Greensboro. In October 1970 his article entitled “Early Settlements Around Historic McIntosh Bluff: Alabama’s First County Seat” was published in the Alabama Review. In 1995 Pearson published his Collected Historical Papers (Grove Hill, Ala., 1995). Pearson died in 2003. (Source: Theodore B. Pearson, telephone conversation with author, June 17, 1996; "Theodore Bowling Pearson," Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=48791525.)

 

H. E. STERKX, twenty-third president, 1970-71. Henry E. Sterkx was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, in 1920. He received his B.A. (1944) and M.A. (1946) from Louisiana State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama (1954). From 1947 to 1956 he served as an instructor and then as an associate professor of history at Troy State College (now Troy University). Following a two-year appointment at the University of Tampa, 1957 – 1958, he returned to Troy State as a full professor. In 1972 he left Troy State to join the faculty of Auburn University at Montgomery and three years later became head of the history department. In 1974 he received the Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local Historians. In addition to his membership in the Alabama Historical Association, Sterkx was a member of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association. His areas of historical research were the Old South, recent America, and colonial Latin America. Sterkx authored many articles for the Alabama Review and a number of books, including Partners in Rebellion: Alabama Women in the Civil War (Rutherford, N.J., 1972). He also co-authored George Corley Wallace: A Legislative Legacy, 1946-1986 (Troy, 1989) and Governors of Alabama (Montgomery, 1984). Sterkx died in Montgomery in 1989. (Sources: Directory of American Scholars, 8th ed., vol.1 [New York, 1982]; Montgomery Advertiser, June 15, 1989, p. 6C.)

 

OSCAR H. LIPSCOMB, twenty-fourth president, 1971-72. Born in Mobile in 1931, Oscar H. Lipscomb received his early education in Mobile before attending St. Bernard College in Cullman. He later went to Rome, Italy, where he attended North American College and Gregorian University, the later school awarding him the Ph.B. (1953), the S.T.B. (1955), and the S.T. S. (1957). In 1963 Lipscomb received his Ph.D. from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. he was ordained in 1956 and became Archbishop of Mobile in 1980. Among his many honors are investitures into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and the Knights of Malta. Lipscomb has served on many committees sponsored by the National Council of Catholic Bishops, chairing committees on doctrine and ecumenism. He has held several trusteeships, including those of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Spring Hill College, and Catholic University. In addition to his membership in the Alabama Historical Association, he is also a member of the Southern Historical Association, the American Catholic Association, the Historic Mobile Preservation Society, the Catholic Historical Association, and the American Catholic Historical Society. Lipscomb has written on the history of the Catholic church in Alabama and in Florida. Lipscomb retired in 2008 and lives in Mobile. (Sources: Who’s Who in America, 49th ed., vol.2 [New Providence, N.J., 1994]; Who's Who in the World, 12th ed. [New Providence, N. J., 1994]; Oscar H. Lipscomb, letter to the editor, August 13, 1996.)

 

Donald C. Rice,"Biographical Sketches of Presidents of the Alabama Historical Association: Part III, Twenty-Fifth through Thirty-Seventh Presidents, 1972-1985," The Alabama Review 50, no. 3 (July 1997): 199-208.

 

BERNARD CRESAP, twenty-fifth president, 1972 -73. Born in Scotia, Nebraska, in 1919, Cresap grew up in Nebraska, Indiana, and Mississippi. After attending Southwest Mississippi Junior College for two years, he transferred to the University of Mississippi, where he earned a B.A. in history in 1942. He served the next three years in the Army Air Forces, eventually becoming an aerial gunnery instructor. After his release from active duty in 1945, Cresap attended Vanderbilt University, where he earned the M.A. (1947) and the Ph.D. (1949). Cresap then served as professor of history from 1949 – 1977 at the University of North Alabama, chairing the Division of Social Science from 1957 – 1975. His primary areas of historical study have been the American Civil War and southern history. This research has led to several articles for the Alabama Review: “The Muscle Shoals Frontier: Early Society and Culture in Lauderdale County” (July 1956), “the Confederate Veteran” (October 1959), and “Frank L. Owsley and King Cotton Diplomacy” (October 1973). He has also published in the Pacific Historical Review and the Oregon Historical Quarterly. In 1981 he published Appomattox Commander: The Story of General E. O. C. Ord (South Brunswick, N.J., 1981). His contributions to the field of history have been recognized with a Ford Foundation Fellowship at Harvard University and an Award of Merit by the Alabama Historical Commission in 1976. In addition to the presidency of the Alabama Historical Association, Cresap has also served as president of the Florence, Alabama, Civitan Club and the Sumner County, Tennessee, North Alabama Historical Association. Cresap lived in Gallatin, Tennessee, until his death in February 1997. (Sources: Bernard Cresap, letter to author, August 24, 1996; Directory of American Scholars [New York, 1982]; Times-Daily, Florence, AL, obituary, February 21, 1997.)

 

VIRGINIA BRANNAN SMITH, twenty-sixth president, 1973-74. Born in Roanoke, Alabama, in 1912, Smith graduated from the Alabama College for Women (now University of Montevallo) in 1933. From 1933 to 1935 she was a teacher in the Wadley school system, and she served with the production department of the Langdale Mill, 1938 – 1941. After managing a family department store in Roanoke for four years, Smith became a news director and staff writer for WBMK in West Point in 1958. She became a correspondent for the Columbus Enquirer in 1963. Smith was also involved in many civic organizations, such as the Chattahoochee Valley Chamber of Commerce. Her historical writings include “History of Langdale Baptist Church” (privately printed pamphlet, ca. 1952) and “Lafayette Hoyt DeFriese: Alabamian of Fact and Fiction” (Alabama Review, October 1974). Smith died in 1993. (Source: Who’s Who of American Women, 5th ed. [Chicago, 1967].)

 

ROBERT H. MCKENZIE, twenty-seventh president, 1974-75. Born in Sheffield, Alabama, in 1940, McKenzie received his B.S. in history and secondary education from Florence State College (now University of North Alabama) in 1962. After serving three years in the U.S. Army’s Intelligence Corps, McKenzie enrolled in The University of Alabama, where he earned the M.A. (1966) and the Ph.D. (1971). Upon graduation, McKenzie served as Administrative Assistant to the President of the University for four years. In 1975 he entered public service as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. He remained with the Department into the first months of the Carter administration, serving as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities, and then returned to The University of Alabama as Director of Research for the Center for Public Law and Service. Since 1981, McKenzie has been a professor at New College, an interdisciplinary, undergraduate division of The University of Alabama. His areas of research have ranged from business and economic history to public policy and leadership. His published works include Public Politics (Dubuque, Iowa, 1994), Southern Universities and the South (Tuscaloosa, 1976), “Postbellum Economic Development in the South: Consequences of Belief" (Southern Studies, Spring 1982), “The Economic Impact of Federal Operations in Alabama During the Civil War” (Alabama Historical Quarterly, Spring 1976), and other articles in the Alabama Review, the Alabama Law Review, National Forum, and Military Review. He has coauthored several books on public issues and contributed numerous book reviews and encyclopedia articles. McKenzie lives in Northport. (Source: Robert McKenzie, letter to author, July 29, 1996.)

 

JAMES RECORD, twenty-eighth president, 1975-76. Born in New Market, Alabama, in 1918 and raised in Huntsville, Record served in the Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1946, when he returned to Huntsville and began a career in accounting. A partner with Huntsville Accounting Services for ten years, Record was a member of the Alabama Senate for one term in 1961-62. Elected to the Madison County Commission in 1962, Record was a commissioner for thirty-two years, serving twenty-one years as chairman. From 1959 to 1972 Record was a member of the board of the Alabama Department of Pensions and Security (now Department of Human Resources), and he served as the board’s vice-chairman for many years. A strong supporter of historical preservation, Record was a member of the Alabama Historical Commission in the 1970s and 1980s. Additionally, he has been a member of the advisory boards of the Alabama Civil Defense Department and the League of Women Voters, and he served on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Tuberculosis Sanitarium. Since 1958 Record has been the owner and publisher of the Record Publishing Company in Huntsville. He has published several books including A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County (Huntsville, 1970), Great Elks in Madison County (Huntsville, 1972), and A History of Alabama Elks and Their Lodges (Huntsville, 1983), as well as “ ‘Firsts’ in Alabama for Madison County” (Alabama Review, October 1976). He has held membership in many civic organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Elks Club. Record resided in Huntsville until his death in December 1996. (Sources: James Record, letter to the author, August 5, 1996; Who’s Who in the South and Southwest [Chicago, 1975].)

 

ROBERT R. REA, twenty-ninth president, 1976-77. Born in 1922, Rea was raised in Wichita, Kansas. He attended Friends University, where he received his B.A. in 1943. He earned the M.A. (1947) and Ph.D. (1950) from Indiana University. Upon graduation, he began his career at Auburn University, where he taught until 1992. While at Auburn, he was honored as Alumni Professor of History, Distinguished Graduate Lecturer, Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, and Hollifield Professor of Southern History. He has held visiting professorships at Indiana University (1954-55) and the University of Virginia (1964-65). Rea’s historical research centered on the British period of Gulf Coast history, an interest he developed when he attended the 1951 meeting of the Alabama Historical Association. His research on British West Florida has been published in many works, which include The Log of H.M.S. Mentor (Pensacola, Fla., 1982), George Gauld: Surveyor and Cartographer of the Gulf Coast (Gainesville, Fla,. 1982), and Major Robert Farmar of Mobile (Tuscaloosa 1990). Rea also coauthored The Memoir Justificatif of the Chevalier Montault de Monberaut (Tuscaloosa, 1965). His ten articles in the Alabama Review include “The Trouble at Tombeckby” (January 1968), “Assault on the Mississippi—The Loftus Expedition, 1764” (July 1973), and “John Eliot, Second Governor of British West Florida” (October 1977). Rea has served as President of the Friends of the Alabama Archives (1984) and as President of the Southern Conference on British Studies (1983-85). He has served on the editorial board of the Gulf Coast Historical Review since 1985. Rea lived in Auburn until his death in 1997. (Sources: Robert R. Rea, letter to the author, August 3, 1996; Directory of America Scholars [New York, 1982]; Erin Lewis, "Robert Rea: Former Professor Dies of Cancer," reprinted at http://cla.auburn.edu/history/directory/former-professors/robert-rea/.)

 

JOAN HARTWELL, thirtieth president, 1977-78. Born in Mobile in 1930, Hartwell attended Alabama Polytechnic (Auburn University) and graduated with a B.S. in home economics 1952. She married Charles K. Hartwell in 1951 and, upon graduation, became a homemaker and mother. Active in many civic organizations, Hartwell has devoted herself to the preservation of the history of Mobile. She was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Mobile Museum Board and served on that body for sixteen years. She also served as president (1961-62) and executive director (1983-87) of the History Mobile Preservation Society. The Mobile Press-Register recognized her work on behalf of local and state history with the M. O. Beale Scroll of Merit in 1966 and 1978. She has written two articles for the Alabama Review, “Margaret Lea of Alabama, Mrs. Sam Houston” (October 1964) and “Mobile to China: A Valiant Women’s Mission” (October 1978). Hartwell has been involved in other organizations, serving as president of the Mobile branch of the American Association of University Women and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Allied Arts Council. She has served as an elder in the Spring Hill Presbyterian Church of Mobile, as Moderator of the Presbytery of South Alabama, and as moderator of the Synod of Living Waters, Presbyterian Church USA. In addition to her civic activities, Hartwell served as a social worker for Mobile County in 1952 and 1976. She also pursued graduate studies at the University of South Alabama. Hartwell lived on Mobile Bay in Theodore until her death in September 2009. (Sources: Joan Hartwell, letter to author, August 9, 1996; Joan Hartwell, telephone conversation with author, September 11, 1996; Who’s Who of American Women, 3d ed. [Chicago, 1963]; "Obituary," Tributes, at (http://www.tributes.com/show/Joan-Merriwether-Hartwell-86862915.)

 

GRADY MCWHINEY, thirty-first president, 1978-79. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1928, McWhiney served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1945 to 1947.After his release from active duty, he entered Centenary College in Shreveport and received his B.A. degree in 1950. After earning his M.A. from Louisiana State University 1951, McWhiney became an assistant professor at Troy State College (now Troy State University), teaching there for two years. From 1956 until 1975 he taught at several colleges and universities, including the University of California at Berkeley, Northwestern University, University of British Columbia, and Wayne State University. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1960. In 1975, McWhiney became a professor of history at The University of Alabama, where he established the Southern History Center. In 1983 he was named the Lyndon Baines Johnson Professor of American History at Texas Christian University. McWhiney retired from TCU in 1996 and is currently Distinguished Historian in Residence at the University of Southern Mississippi. His numerous published works include Reconstruction and the Freedman (Chicago. 1963), Grant, Lee, Lincoln, and the Radicals (Evanston, Ill., 1964), Braxton Bragg and Confederate Defeat (New York, 1969), Southerners and Other Americans (New York, 1973), Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage (University, Ala., 1982), Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South (University, Ala., 1988), Battle in the Wilderness: Grant Meets Lee (Fort Worth, 1995), and “The Revolutionary in Nineteenth-Century Alabama Agriculture” (Alabama Review, January 1978). McWhiney cofounded the Society of Civil War Historians and serves as general editor of Ryan Place Publishers’ Civil War Campaigns and Commanders series. He has directed more than twenty doctoral dissertations, frequently held offices in professional organizations, and received numerous awards and honors. McWhiney lived in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and died in 2006. (Sources: Who’s Who in America [New Providence, N.J., 1994]; Directory of American Scholars [New York, 1982]; Grady McWhiney, letter to editor, October 17, 1996; Obituary, Austin American-Statesman, April 22, 2006, reprinted at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/Statesman/obituary.aspx?n=Grady-McWhiney&pid=17523750#fbLoggedOut.)

 

JOHN HAWKINS NAPIER, III, thirty-second president, 1979-80. Born in Berkeley, California, in 1925, Napier attended Pomona College for one year and entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943. In 1946 Napier left the Marines and began his studies at the University of Mississippi, where he received his B.A. in 1949. Upon graduation, Napier was commissioned a second lieutenant, serving until his retirement in 1977 at the rank of lieutenant colonel. While in military service he received an M.A. from Auburn University in 1967 and pursued additional studies at Georgetown University, Auburn University, and the Air War College. He was also on the faculty of the Air War College and was the Air University Command Historian from 1974 to 1977. After his retirement, Napier served on the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, as a columnist for the Montgomery Advertiser, and as an adjunct history instructor at Auburn University at Montgomery. His various honors include the Legion of Merit, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the Alabama Historical Commission’s Award of Merit, and membership in several academic honor societies. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Napier’s published works include Lower Pearl River’s Woods: Its Land and People (University, Miss., 1985), The Air Force Officer’s Guide (Harrisburg, Pa., 1986, 1989, 1992, 1995), and Yesterday’s Faces of Alabama: A Collection of Maps, 1822- 1909 (Montgomery, 1978). He contributed “The Militant South Revisited: Myths and Realities” (October 1980) and “Montgomery During the Civil War” (April 1980) to the Alabama Review and has published articles in several other historical and professional journals. Napier resides in Ramer. (Sources: John H. Napier, letter to author, August 3, 1996; Who’s Who in the South and Southwest [Wilmette, Ill., 1988].)

 

J. WAYNE FLYNT, thirty-third president, 1980-81. Born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, in1940, Flynt moved to Alabama in his childhood and graduated from Anniston High School in 1958. After graduating from Howard College (now Samford University)in 1961, Flynt entered Florida State University where he received his M.S. (1962) and Ph.D. (1965). His academic career began at Samford University in 1965, where he taught for twelve years. Flynt began his tenure at Auburn University in 1977, serving as department head from 1977 to 1985, and was named Hollifield Professor of Southern History in 1982. In 1990 Flynt received the title of Distinguished University Professor, which he held until retiring in 2005. Flynt’s research has focused on many facets of the southern experience, especially the plight of the South’s poor whites. His books include Duncan Upshaw Fletcher: Dixie’s Reluctant Progressive (Tallahassee, 1971), Dixie’s Forgotten People: The South’s Poor Whites (Bloomington, Ind., 1979), and Poor But Proud: Alabama’s Poor Whites (Tuscaloosa, 1989). He also coauthored Alabama: The History of a Deep South State (Tuscaloosa, 1994) and Taking Christianity to China: Alabama’s Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom, 1850-1950 (Tuscaloosa, 1997). Flynt has received numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize in History. As a recognized authority on southern culture, he has served on several public policy committees and is a frequent consultant to national media outlets. Flynt currently lives in Auburn. (Sources: J. Wayne Flynt, letter to author, August 5, 1996; Who’s Who in the South and Southwest [New Providence, N.J., 1993].)

 

DOUGLAS C. PURCELL, thirty-fourth president, 1981-82. Born in Tuscaloosa in 1946, Purcell graduated from The University of Alabama in 1969 with a B.A. in history. He continued his studies in history at the University until 1972, when he began work with the Historic Chattahoochee Commission; he served as its director until he retired in 2011. Purcell’s interest in Alabama history has focused on the Civil War era, Native Americans, and the Chattahoochee River Valley. His published works include “Military Conscription in Alabama During the Civil War” (Alabama Review, April 1982), “Joseph Barbiere: Tennessee Confederate in Alabama” (Alabama Review, October 1982), “Case Study: The Chattahoochee Trace of Alabama and Georgia” (Historic Preservation Forum, July/August 1991). Other works include The Making of a City: Trussville, Alabama, 1820-1970 (Trussville, 1970), A History of the Eufaula First United Methodist Church, 1834-1984 (Eufaula, 1984), and Controversy in Old Barbour County: The Lore-Blake Murder Case (Eufaula, 1986). Additionally, he has collaborated as editor on three other books on Alabama history. Purcell has been honored by the Alabama Historical Commission twice---in 1984 with the Distinguished Service Award and in 1991 with the Silver Anniversary Award. He also received recognition for community service several times from the Eufaula Tribune. Purcell is a member of several heritage-tourism organizations and has served in various capacities including President of the Alabama Preservation Alliance, Chairman of the Southern Region Board of Advisors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Treasurer and Travel Industry Vice President of the Alabama Hospitality Association, and President of the Board of Advisors of the Alabama Historical Commission. Purcell lives in Eufaula. (Sources: Douglas C. Purcell, letter to author, August 14, 1996, and letter to editor, October 10, 1996.)

 

WILLIAM D. BARNARD, thirty-fifth president, 1982-83. Born in Birmingham in 1942, Barnard received his B.A. from Birmingham-Southern (1964) and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia (1971). He became an instructor of history at the University of South Alabama in 1968 and an assistant professor in 1971. In 1972 he served as a research associate for the Alabama Commission on Higher Education; the next year he became Associate Director of Academic Affairs at South Alabama, a post he held until 1977. Barnard served as Assistant to the Chancellor of The University of Alabama for two years before beginning his tenure as an associate professor and departmental head in 1979. He retired in 1993. Barnard is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Southern Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Newcomen Society. His books include Dixiecrats and Liberalism in Triumph and Frustration: Alabama Politics, 1946-1950 (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1978) and A Guide to the Papers of Edward R. Stettinius, Sr. (Charlottesville, Va., 1968). He has written “The Old Order Changes: Graves, Sparks, Folsom, and the Gubernatorial Election of 1942” (July 1975) and “George Huddleston, Sr., and the Political Tradition of Birmingham" (October 1983) for the Alabama Review. Barnard is currently living overseas. (Source: Directory of American Scholars [New York, 1982].)

 

CHRISS H. DOSS, thirty-sixth president, 1983-84. Born in Cullman in 1935, Doss graduated from Howard College (now Samford University) with a B.A. in 1957 and received a B.D. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1962. After earning a M.S.L.S. from Drexel University the same year, he entered Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, where he completed a J.D. in 1968. Doss served as an assistant librarian and associate professor of history at Eastern Baptist from 1962 to 1964 and as a law librarian at Samford University from 1964 to 1967. From 1967 to 1969 he was the executive director of the Alabama State Democratic Executive Committee. A partner in the firm Doss, Gorham, and Natter from 1969 to 1975, Doss served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1970 to 1974. In 1975 he was elected to the Jefferson County Commission and served for twelve years, becoming its president in 1982. Doss has held pastorates in Alabama and Pennsylvania. He is currently Director of the Center for the Study of Law and the Church and an adjunct professor at Cumberland School of Law, as well as an attorney at Doss and Associates. He coauthored A Guide to Religious Corporations (1987). His historical publications include “Early Settlement of Bearmeat Cabin Frontier” (October 1969) and “Cullman Coal and Coke Company Railroad” (October 1984) in the Alabama Review, and “In the Shadows of Foreclosure: Three Cities that Threatened the Existence of Howard College” (January 1992) and “The Original Fifteen Trustees of Howard College” (July 1992, January 1993, January 1994) in the Alabama Baptist Historian. In addition to this presidency of the Alabama Baptist Historical Association, Doss was also President of the Alabama Baptist Historical Association from 1990 to 1991. Doss lives in Birmingham with his wife Harriet E. Amos Doss, a history professor at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. (Sources: Chriss H. Doss, letter to author, September 14 1996; Who’s Who in the South and Southwest [Wilmette, Ill., 1986]; Who’s Who in American Politics, 15th ed. [New Providence, N.J., 1995].)

 

JUSTIN FULLER, thirty-seventh president, 1984-85. Born in 1926, Fuller grew up in Birmingham and entered The Citadel in 1943. The next year he entered the U.S. Navy V-12 Program at Georgia Tech and subsequently received a commission in the Navy. He returned to Tech in 1947, graduating the next year with a B.S. in industrial management. Fuller worked with Alabama Gas Corporation and with a contracting firm before entering graduate school in 1956. After a year in Birmingham-Southern College, he went to Emory University where he received an M.A. in history in 1958. He studied at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, from 1958 to 1962 and began his academic career at Alabama College (now University of Montevallo), where he taught for one year. From 1963 to 1965 he was an instructor at the University of Georgia. He began his tenure at the University of Montevallo in 1965 and received the Ph.D. from Chapel Hill 1966. While at Montevallo, Fuller chaired the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences from 1988 to 1994. Upon his retirement in 1994 he received the title of Professor Emeritus. Fuller’s research interests have been in the area of southern economic history. His publications in the Alabama Review include “Henry F. DeBardeleben: Industrialist of the New South” (January 1986) and “Boom Towns and Blast Furnaces: Town Promotion in Alabama, 1885-1893” (January 1976). Fuller also contributed to the Encyclopedia of Southern History. He served as President of the Alabama Council of University and College Faculty Presidents from 1981 to 1982. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Alabama Historical Association from 1976 to 1995. Fuller is married to Betty Caldwell Garber and lives in Birmingham. (Sources: Justin Fuller, letter to author, August 3, 1996, and letter to editor, October 11, 1996; Directory of American Scholars [New York, 1982].)

 

Donald C. Rice,"Biographical Sketches of Presidents of the Alabama Historical Association: Part IV, Thirty-Eighth through Fiftieth Presidents, 1985-1998," The Alabama Review 50, no. 4 (October 1997): 290-299.

 

JAMES R. KUYKENDALL, thirty-eighth president, 1985-86. Kuykendall was born in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1927. He received his B.S. in pharmacy from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) in 1949. Afterwards he began his career as a pharmacist in Anniston, where he worked until 1950. Kuykendall entered the Navy in 1950, serving with the Marine Corps in Korea from 1953 to 1954, earning a Bronze Star. From 1954 to 1956, he worked as a pharmacist at a drug store in Fayette. In1957, Kuykendall moved to Fort Payne, where he became store manager and chief pharmacist of a local drug store. He retired in 1993. Kuykendall’s primary area of historical research has been in pharmacy and local history. He has published two articles in the Alabama Review: “Turkey Trot Days at Oliver Hall’s Store” (April 1985), co-authored with Elizabeth Howard; and “The Heyday of Drugstores in Alabama” (January 1987). He has received many awards, including a citation from the Alabama Sesquicentennial Commission, the Distinguished Service Award from the Alabama Historical Commission, and a Certificate of Commendation from the American Institute of History and Pharmacy, and the Pharmacy’s Bowl of Hygeia from the A.H. Robins Company. Co-founder and first president of Landmarks of DeKalb, he also helped found the DeKalb County Pharmacy Association. In 1975, he received the Service Award of the Alabama Pharmacy Association. He has served as president of the Fort Payne Jaycees, a member or the Center for the Arts and Humanities Advisory Council of Auburn University, Rotary Club president and District Governor, and Director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce. Kuykendall is a member of the Alabama Pharmacy Association and has served as chairman of the committee that produced the award-winning Profiles of Alabama Pharmacy (Birmingham, 1974). He is also a member or the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served as the editor of Fort Payne’s Landmarks News for twenty years and currently writes a two-page weekly article for the local newspaper. Kuykendall lived in Fort Payne until his death in October 2007. (Source: James R. Kuykendall, letter to the author, November 8, 1996; Birmingham News obituary reprinted at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=doyle1&id=I11153)

 

LEAH RAWLS ATKINS, thirty-ninth president, 1986-87. Atkins was born in Birmingham in 1935, where she attended high school before entering Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) in 1953. Graduating with a B.S. in 1958, Atkins earned her M.A. in 1960 from Auburn University, where she taught history from 1960 to 1969. In 1974, she was the first person to receive the Ph.D. in history from Auburn. Atkins briefly held a teaching post at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and then joined the faculty at Samford University. She remained at Samford until 1985, when she returned to Auburn and established Auburn University’s Center for the Arts and Humanities and became its first director. She held this position until her retirement in 1995. A member of many honor societies, Atkins has written numerous books on Alabama history. Among these are A Manual for Writing Alabama State and Local History (Montgomery, 1976); The Romantic Ideal: Alabama’s Plantation Eden (Troy, Ala., 1978); The Valley and the Hills: An Illustrated History of Birmingham and Jefferson County (Woodland Hills, Calif., 1981); A Century of Women at Auburn: “Blossoms Amid the Deep Verdure” (Auburn, 1992); and An Alabama Legacy: Images of a State (Montgomery, 1995), which she coauthored with William Warren Rogers and David Ward. Two of her works have been recognized by the Alabama Historical Association: Nineteenth Century Club: Celebrating 100 Years of “Mutual Mental Improvements,” 1895-1995, Birmingham, Alabama (Birmingham, 1995), winner of the C.J. Coley Award; and the Pulitzer-nominated Alabama: A History of a Deep South State (Tuscaloosa, 1994), for which, along with her co-authors Wayne Flynt, William Warren Rogers, and David Ward, she received the James F. Sulzby Award. Atkins has also contributed to many historical journals, including the Alabama Review, and has served as a consultant for several visual media. She Served the Alabama Historical Association as secretary from 1989 to 1997. Atkins lives in Birmingham. (Sources: Who’s Who of American Women, 14th ed. [Chicago, 1984]; Leah Rawls Atkins, letter to the author, October 23, 1996.)

 

CARL C. MORGAN, JR., fortieth president, 1987-88. Born in 1920 in Uniontown, Alabama, Morgan attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) and received his B.S. (1940) and M.S. (1942) in agricultural engineering. After receiving his commission in the United States Army, Morgan entered active duty during World War II, serving four-and-a-half years. After leaving the Army, Morgan served in the Alabama National Guard, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel in 1969. In 1947, he began what is known today as the Morgan's’ Black Belt Tractor Company in Selma. Still involved in his business today, Morgan has also been active in public life. He has been president of the Selma City Council for twenty-eight of the last thirty-two years and was mayor from 1979 to 1980. He also served as president of the local Rotary Club chapter and vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Morgan has served on the executive committees and boards of many organizations, including the Alabama League of Municipalities, the Community Development Committee, the Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association, and the Selma-Dallas County Library Board. Interested in the history of the Cahaba River valley and local history, Morgan chairs the Cahaba Advisory Commission and was the guiding force behind the establishment of the Selma and Dallas County Council of Arts and Humanities. He also served on the board of the Sturdivant Museum Association and the Arts and Sciences Advisory Council of Auburn University. Morgan has been awarded the Alabama Commendation Medal, the Governor’s Art Award, and the Bronze Star. His article “Craig Air Force Base: Its Effect on Selma, 1940-1977” appeared in the April 1989 issue of the Alabama Review. Morgan currently resides in Selma. (Sources: Who’s Who in Alabama, vol. 3 [Birmingham, 1972]; Carl C. Morgan, Jr., letter to the author, October 24, 1996.)

 

KENNETH R. JOHNSON, forty-first president, 1988-89. Johnson was born in Andalusia, Alabama, in 1927. After serving two years (1946-47) in the Army, he received his B.S. from Troy State Teachers College (now Troy University) in 1950, his M.S. from The University of Alabama in 1954, and an M.A. (1959) and a Ph.D. (1966) from Florida State University. He completed another year of military service during the Korean War. After teaching in public schools from 1952-61, he began his academic career in Georgia at Young Harris College, where he taught from 1961 to 1962. He also taught at Florida’s Lake City Junior College (1962-64) and at Florida State University (1965-66). He joined the faculty of the University of North Alabama in 1966 and retired in 1996.
From 1970 to 1971 Johnson was a Danforth Fellow in Black Studies at the University of Chicago. A member of the Southern Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians, Johnson has been a member past and present of the Tennessee Valley Historical Society, founding the society’s Journal of Muscle Shoals History, which he edited for several years. Johnson’s area of research is southern history, with an emphasis on women’s and African American history. He has published many articles and book reviews in the Alabama Historical Quarterly, the Journal of Library History, and the Journal of Southern History, among others. He has written three articles for the Alabama Review: “The Troy Case: A Fight Against Discriminatory Freight Rates” (July 1969); “The Peabody Fund: Its Role and Influence in Alabama” (April 1974); and “White Married Women in Antebellum Alabama” (January 1990). Additionally, Johnson compiled the Notes and Documentation section “Highway Markers in Alabama” for several years. (Source: Who’s Who in Alabama, vol. 3 [Birmingham, 1973]; Directory of American Scholars, 7th ed., vol. 1, [New York, 1978]; Kenneth R, Johnson, letter to the author, November 13, 1996.)

 

MARY ANN NEELEY, forty-second president, 1989-90. Mary Ann Oglesby Neeley was born in Montgomery in 1932. She attended Huntingdon College, where she earned her B.A. in 1954, and Auburn University, from which she received her M.A. in 1973. From 1966 to 1978, Neeley taught in the Montgomery Public School System. She became a research historian for the Landmarks Foundation in 1978 and was promoted to executive director in 1979, a position she still holds. Neeley has focused much of her historical research on southern history, with special attention to Alabama and Montgomery. She had contributed three essays to the Alabama Review, “Montgomery, 1885-1887: The Years of Jubilee” (April 1979), “‘The Lightning Route’: The Development of the Electric Street-car and Its Effect on Montgomery, 1885-1900” (October 1987), and “Painful Circumstances: Glimpses of the Alabama Penitentiary, 1846-1852” (January 1991). Neeley has also co-authored three books: The Way It Was, 1850-1930, with Beth Muskat (Montgomery, 1985); The Best of Montgomery, with M. P. Wilkerson (Montgomery, 1991); Alabama, A Supplement, with Doris Jean Peak (Montgomery, 1978); and The Works of Matthew Blue, Montgomery's First Historian (Montgomery, 2012) which won the AHA's C. J. Coley Award for 2012. Neeley received the Alabama Historical Commission’s Distinguished Service Award in 1980 and was named Woman of Achievement by the Montgomery Advertiser in 1986. Since 1974 she has served on the Montgomery Historic Development Commission and was its chairwoman from 1979 to 1981. Neeley lives in Montgomery. (Source: Mary Ann Neeley, letter to the author, November 20, 1996; AHA Podcast, May 2012, at http://www.archives.state.al.us/aha/podcasts.html.)

 

TENNANT S. MCWILLIAMS, forty-third president, 1990-91. McWilliams was born in Birmingham in 1943. He received a B.A. from Birmingham-Southern College in 1965, the M.A. from The University of Alabama in 1967, and the Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1969. He taught both American literature and American history at Walker College from 1967 to 1969. After teaching briefly at the University of Georgia from 1969 to 1973 and at Virginia’s Tidewater College from 1973 to 1974, McWilliams began his tenure at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
He is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Southern Historical Association. He has written Hannis Taylor: The New Southern as an American (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1978); and The New South faces the World: Foreign Affairs and the Southern Sense of Self (Baton Rouge, 1988). McWilliams has written for many historical journals, including the Virginia Quarterly Review, Pacific Historical Review, and Diplomatic History. McWilliams’s essays in the Alabama Review include “The Marquis and the Myth: LaFayette’s Visit to Alabama, 1825” (April 1969); “Petition for Expansion: Mobile Businessmen and the Cuban Crisis, 1898” (January 1975); “‘No Sterile Monster’: Hannis Taylor, the New South, and American Expansion: (January 1977); and “The City of Mobile, the South, and Richard V. Taylor” (July 1993). McWilliams chaired the UAB History Department then became Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences until he returned to the classroom in 2007. He lives in Birmingham. (Source: Directory of American Scholars, 7th ed., vol. 1, [New York, 1978]; "McWilliams Fund Established in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences," Honoring the Past, Engaging the Future, Fall 2007, at http://main.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=115534.)

 

ALBERT P. BREWER, forty-fourth president, 1991-92. Brewer was born in Bethel Springs, Tennessee, in 1928 and grew up in Decatur, Alabama. After receiving his A.B. and LL.B. from the University of Alabama, Brewer practiced law from 1952 to 1968. In 1954 he successfully ran for the Alabama House of Representatives and was subsequently re-elected for two more terms, serving until 1966. During his third term, Brewer was Speaker of the House. In 1967 he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Alabama. Brewer became governor after the death of Lurleen Wallace in 1968, serving out the remainder of her term. Returning to private life in 1971, Brewer practiced law until 1987, when he became Distinguished Professor of Law and government at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Additionally, he is the chair of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama at Samford and was co-chair of the Third Citizens’ Conference on Alabama State Courts, an initiative of the Alabama State Bar responsible for recommending reforms to Alabama’s judicial system. Currently on the Board of Directors of Regions Financial Corporation, Brewer is also a member of the Alabama Bar Association’s Alabama First Task Force and the Alabama Academy of Honor. Among the awards he has received are the Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and, from the Alabama Bar Association, the Award of Merit and the Clarence Darrow Award. Brewer wrote Brewer and Cole: Alabama Constitutional Law (Birmingham, 1992), with Charles D. Cole. His articles for the Alabama Review include “Famous Filibusters: High Drama in the State Legislature” (April 1990) and “First- and Second-Choice Votes in Alabama” (April 1993). Brewer has also written for the Alabama Lawyer. He lives in Birmingham. (Sources: Who’s Who in American Politics, 15th ed. [New Providence, N.J., 1995]; Albert P. Brewer, letter to the author, November 4, 1996.)

 

GRACE HOOTEN GATES, forty-fifth president, 1992-93. Gates was born in El Paso, Texas in 1932. She attended the University of Texas at El Paso, receiving her B.A. in journalism in 1953. After moving to Anniston, she studied at Jacksonville State University (JSU) and earned an M.S.Ed. (1962) and an M.A. in history (1971). In 1976 she completed her Ph.D. at Emory State University. Gates has taught at JSU as an instructor in History (1967-73) and an adjunct instructor (1986-87). She has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Gadsden State Community College (1974-86) and The University of Alabama (1977-94). She has written two books: The Model City of the New South: Anniston, Alabama, 1972-1900 (Huntsville, 1978), and The Jacksonville Republican, 1837-1904, Index and History (Jacksonville, 1986). Gates has published articles in the Huntsville Historical Review and the Anniston Star and has presented papers to various conferences and historical societies. For the Alabama Review she has written “Anniston: Model City and Rival City” (January 1978); “Anniston: Transition from Company Town to Public Town” (January 1984); “The Search for Semmes” (April 1987); and “An Epithet for the Montgomery Advertiser or How ‘Grandma’ Got Her Name” (January 1994). Gates currently serves on the Review Board of the Alabama Historical Commission and has sat on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Alabama Archives, the Alabama Review editorial board, and the Alabama Historical Records Advisory Board. She has also served on many historic preservation committees in Anniston and Calhoun County. Her honors include Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, the Outstanding Graduate Award (1992, University of Texas, El Paso), and the Gertrude Williams Award for Historic Preservation in the City of Anniston (1995). In 1996 Gates was working on a history of the Montgomery Advertiser. She lives in Anniston and plays the violin in the JSU Chamber Orchestra and the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra. (Source: Grace Hooten Gates, letter to the author, October 29, 1996.)

 

NICHOLAS HAMNER COBBS, JR., forty-sixth president, 1993-94. Cobbs was born in Greensboro, Alabama, in 1942. He earned a B.A. from the University of the South and the LL.B. from The University of Alabama School of Law. From 1967 to 1971 he served in the United States Army in the Judge Advocate General Corps. Following a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam, Cobbs opened his law office in Greensboro, where he has practiced law since 1971.
Cobbs has written two essays for the Alabama Review. In October 1986 he published “Hamner Cobbs as editor of the Greensboro Watchman,” an analysis of the professional career of his father, also a former president of the Alabama Historical Association, who served from 1963 to 1964 (see his biographical sketch in the Alabama Review [April 1997]). In July 1996 Cobbs published a study of antebellum artesian well technology in the Black Belt, “Alabama’s ‘Wonders of the Earth.’” Cobbs has served as a member of educational and historical boards and organizations. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the University of the South. Since 1989 he has represented the Alabama Historical Association a member of the Alabama Historical Commission and served two terms as chairman. Also active in local history organizations, Cobbs has twice been president of the Hale County Historical Society.
Cobbs lives in Greensboro. (Source: Nicholas Hamner Cobbs, Jr., letter to the author, December 5, 1996.)

 

LEE N. ALLEN, forty-seventh president, 1994-95. Allen was born in Shawmut, Alabama, in 1926. After graduating from high school in Montgomery, Allen entered Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) in 1943. From 1944 to 1946 he served with the Army of the United States in the infantry. He returned to Auburn in 1946 and earned the B.S. in history in 1948. Allen received subsequent degrees in history from Auburn (M.S., 1949) and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D., 1955). He began teaching at Eastern College in Pennsylvania in 1952, where he remained until 1961 when he joined the faculty at Howard College (now Samford University). There Allen served as Graduate Dean from 1965 to 1986 and as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1975 to 1990.
As of 1996, Allen continued to serve as professor of history at Samford. His areas of research are early-twentieth-century American politics and Baptist history. He has authored or co-authored twelve books on Alabama Baptist churches or organizations and has written extensively for the Alabama Baptist Historian and other Baptist historical journals. His articles for the Alabama Review are “The Women Suffrage Movement in Alabama, 1919-1920” (April 1958); “The 1924 Underwood Campaign in Alabama” (April 1962); “John Allen Wyath: Historian” (July 1971); and “Twenty-Four Votes for Oscar W. Underwood” (October 1995). Allen has also published essays in the Journal of Southern History and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly. He edited the Rotary Script, a publication of the Shades Valley Rotary Club, for five years, and is the current editor of the Alabama Historical Association Newsletter and the Alabama Baptist Historian. He has received many awards during his career, including the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to Baptist history. Allen lives in Birmingham. (Sources: Who’s Who in America, 50th ed. [New Providence, N.J., 1995]; Lee N. Allen, letter to the author, October 24, 1996.)

 

VAL L. MCGEE, forty-eighth president, 1995-96. McGee was born in College Park, Georgia, in 1920. He attended The University of Alabama, receiving his degree in 1943, and The University of Alabama School of Law, which granted him the LL.B. in 1949. During World War II McGee served with the United States Army in Europe. After his release from active duty, McGee continued with the National Guard and served in the Far East during the Korean War. Before being recalled to active duty, McGee was a city judge in Ozark for approximately one year. He returned to the bench in 1955 and served for a total of five years. He practiced law in Ozark for many years and was elected District Judge of Dale County in 1980. He held this position until his retirement in 1993. McGee retired from the National Guard in 1964 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was the president of the Dale County Historical Society during the 1970s, and his area of interest has been local and state history. In 1987 his The Origins of Fort Rucker (Ozark, Ala.) was published, followed by Claybank Memories, A History of Dale County, Alabama (Ozark, Ala., 1989). For the Alabama Review he has written “The Confederate Who Switched Sides—the Saga of Captain Joseph G. Sanders” (January 1994) and “Escape From Slavery: The Milly Walker Trials” (October 1996). McGee has been a director of Friends of the Alabama Department of Archives and History and is a member of the Advisory Council of Auburn University Arts and Humanities Center. McGee lives in Ozark. (Sources: Alabama Historical Association Newsletter, September 1995; Val L. McGee, letter to the author, November 3, 1996.)

 

SARAH WOOLFOLK WIGGINS, forty-ninth president, 1996-97. Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins was born in Montgomery in 1934 and earned he B.A. from Huntingdon College in 1956. She attended Louisiana State University, where she earned her M.A. in 1958 and Ph.D. in 1965. From 1959 to 1961 she was an instructor in English, history, and government at Southern Seminary Junior College in Virginia. She began her tenure at The University of Alabama in 1961, where she is now Professor Emerita of history. In 1976 Wiggins became the third editor of the Alabama Review and continued in that capacity until 1996, when she retired from her editor’s post and from teaching.
A member of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association, Wiggins has written extensively on the history of the South. She is the author of The Scalawag in Alabama Politics (University, Ala., 1977) and The Journals of Josiah Gorgas, 1857-1878 (Tuscaloosa, 1995). She has also compiled an anthology of articles from the Alabama Review, From Civil War to Civil Rights, Alabama, 1860-1960 (Tuscaloosa, 1987). Her articles “Carpetbaggers in Alabama: Tradition versus Truth” (April 1962) and “Five Men Called Scalawags” (January 1964) have appeared in the Alabama Review. Wiggins also contributed articles to the Alabama Historical Quarterly, Civil War History, and Civil War Times Illustrated. Wiggins has served as a member of a number of historical boards and commissions, including the Alabama State Capitol Preservation Commission (1969-78), the Alabama Board of Advisors to National Historical Records and Publications Commission (1976-86), and the Alabama State and Local Government Records Commissions (1986-95). She has been awarded the Mrs. Simon Baruch Award from the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the John F. Ramsey Award from the Alabama Association of Historians. She currently resides in Tuscaloosa. (Sources: Directory of American Scholars, 7th ed., vol. 1 [New York, 1978]; Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, letter to the author, December 2, 1996.)

 

EDWIN C. BRIDGES, fiftieth president, 1997-98. Bridges was born in Bainbridge, Georgia, in 1945. After receiving his B.A. from Furman University in 1967, he attended the University of Chicago and completed his M.A. there in 1969. Bridges taught in the Greenville, South Carolina, school system for two years and then returned to graduate school at the University of Chicago from 1970 to 1972. In 1973 Bridges became a Historical Research Consultant with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources while teaching part-time at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 1976 he became the assistant to the director of the Georgia Department of Archives and History (GDAH) and in 1978 became the Director of the Administration Division of the GDAH. In 1981 Bridges received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and became the Archives Assistant Director at the GDAH. He subsequently came to Alabama, where he served as the Director of Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) from 1982 until he retired in 2012. Bridges has served on numerous committees and boards and represented the United States in an archival exchange program with the Soviet Union. In addition to being a member of the Alabama Historical Association, which presented him the Virginia Hamilton Award in 1993, Bridges is also a member of the Alabama Library Association, the Society of Alabama Archivists, the Society of American Archivists, the Southern Historical Association, and the Organization of American Historians. He has published articles in the Furman Review, Records Management Quarterly, the American Archivist, and the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science. He is the co-author of Georgia’s Signers and the Declaration of Independence (Atlanta, 1981). Bridges lives in Montgomery. (Sources: Who’s Who in America, 50th ed. [New Providence, N.J., 1995]; Edwin C. Bridges, letter to the author, October 28, 1996.)