William Buckingham Martin
Prominent among the citizens of this county is William Buckingham Martin. He
was born in Blount county, Tennessee, in 1807, and is the son of an elder
brother of the late Governor Martin of Tuscaloosa. His education was good, but
not collegiate, and he prepared himself for a professional career at the bar.
After practicing a short time, he came to this State, and opened an office in
Jacksonville in 1834. Three years later he entered public life as a member of
the general assembly from Calhoun, where he acquired at once a leading position.
In 1839 he was elected solicitor, and held the office about two years. He was
one of the four able members sent by Calhoun to the legislature of `1842, and
was re-elected. In 1847 he was chosen to the State senate. In 1853 he was again
elected to the senate, and was selected to preside over that body. He again
represented Calhoun in the lower house in 1866, and was chairman of the
judiciary committee. Since that time he has not taken official part in public
affairs. He came to this county in 1866, and has practiced law in Gadsden.
Mr. Martin is possessed of popular manners, and highly sociable qualities.
Nature has done much for him, and thirty years ago, no man of his age in Alabama
had brighter prospects of a distinguished career; but, conscious of his
superiority, the hare, Genius, slept, while plodding Mediocrity - the tortoise
of the fable - won the race. It is related that a Huntsville editor sent an
account to him: "W.B. Martin, debtor, to Philip Woodson, first six years
subscription at $12. Please remit."
The reply was sent, "Stop my paper."
In answer the rule was quoted that no paper would be stopped till arrearages
were paid. Mr. Martin wrote promptly: "Put me down as a subscriber for life."
The paper was continued.
Mr. Martin married Miss Montgomery of Tennessee, and Captain James B. Martin,
lately of Talladega, who died in Texas in 1870, was his son.
Source: Alabama: Her history, resources, war record, and public men from
1540 to 1872, by W. Brewer. Montgomery, Alabama: Barrett & Brown,