Alabama Academy of Honor


Travis Massey Bedsole

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1981 and 2011.



Travis Massey Bedsole, lawyer, civic, and business leader in Mobile, was born in Grove Hill, Alabama, on August 1, 1917, the son of Judge Travis Jesse and Mary Ellis Carmichael Bedsole. He received his bachelor's degree in 1939 and his law degree in 1941 from the University of Alabama, where he was a member of Sigma Chi, Phi Beta Kappa, Jason's, Omicron Delta Kappa, Farrah Order of Jurisprudence, Quadrangle, and Phi Beta Sigma.

Following graduation from the University, he enlisted in the Naval Air Training Service as an apprentice seaman and was separated from service with the rank of lieutenant commander; he was assigned to the Pacific theater with service at Midway and Guadalcanal.

In 1946 Mr. Bedsole joined the law firm of Smith, Hand, and Arendall. Becoming a partner the next year, he practiced law continuously with the firm now known as Hand, Arendall, Bedesole, Greaves, and Johnston. He was president of the Mobile County Bar Association in 1960 and was frequently designated as chairman of committees of the Mobile, Alabama, and American Bar Association.

For many years Mr. Bedsole participated in the activities of the First Baptist Church and was the first chairman of the Mobile Chapter of the Christian Business Men's Committee International.

Elected a trustee of Mobile College in 1969, he became chairman of the board ten years later. In 1979 he was also elected a trustee of the University of Alabama. He was one of the original trustees of the Julius T. Wright School for Girls in Mobile and served in that capacity for eight years. In 1980 he became a member of the board of the Women's Hall of Fame.

Mr. Bedsole served as president of the Mobile County Community Chest and Council, 1956-58, and as chairman of the Distribution Committee of the J. L. Bedsole Foundation and Co-Trustee of the J. L. Bedsole Welfare Trust. In 1974 he donated to the Mobile Historic Development Foundation a nineteenth century house which was moved into an historic district, and then he contributed the lot to the Red Cross.

Mr. Bedsole was a director of the Alabama Power Company since 1963. In 1968 he became a director of the First National Bank of Mobile and in 1980 of First Bancgroup-Alabama, Inc. He was also a director of Bedsole Medical Companies, Inc., Bedsole Investment Company, Alco Land and Timber Company, Inc., the Travis Corporation, the Banner Corporation, Mobile Fixture and Equipment Company, Inc., Bedsole Dry Goods Company, and BMK Realty Company.

Mr. Bedsole married Martha Oliver Jones on July 26, 1946, and they had two children: Travis M. Bedsole, Jr., and Curry Bedsole Adams.

Mr. Bedsole passed away on January 1, 2011