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A look back at Almon family

A couple of weeks ago we looked at a distinguished member of the Almon family who served as probate judge longer than any other.  

Many citizens of Hartselle and other communities knew of no probate jurist other than T. C. (Cliff) Almon. He held this position when they were born and probably issued their marriage licenses. He also probated countless wills. I remember when Judge Almon probated my dad’s will late in 1964, a few weeks after he, W. H. (Bill) Stewart Sr., passed away at UAB Hospital because of a heart condition roughly similar to one his son and namesake has as well. 

Almon family members who have researched their history tell us the sire of the family was George W. Almon, who came to Lawrence County from Pulaski, Tenn., in 1817, two years before Alabama was admitted to the Union as a state with all the privileges and responsibilities shared by and imposed upon other states.  

Following are stories related to the Almons in the 20th century, which have not appeared in this column before. 

July 12, 1902—One of the most pleasant social events of the year was the barbecue and squirrel stew given by Judge E. B. Almon this afternoon at his summer residence, “Fern Quarry.” Judge Almon presides over the 11th judicial circuit, and the entertainment was given to the attorneys, newspapermen and chair officials of our district. 

April 1, 1909—Circuit Solicitor David C. Almon (the father of Judge T. C. Almon) is in New York undergoing treatment for a nervous breakdown. Mr. Almon recently has been overrun with legal business, and on this account, his health has been quite bad for some weeks. 

July 20, 1915—Congressman E. B. Almon was in Hartselle today along with Mrs. E. H. Mathis and M. C. Mauen, district farm demonstrator, to address the citizens in the interest of diversified farming and better educational facilities. 

Janu. 3, 1916—A hot fight for the honor of representing the eighth Alabama district in Congress was assured by two candidates – Judge E. B. Almon of Tuscumbia and Judge W. W. Callahan of the Decaturs – who shied their hats into the ring today. In the race to succeed the late Judge William Richardson, which was waged in 1914, four candidates entered the field. These candidates included Judge Almon and Judge Callahan. In the runoff, Almon opposed Callahan and was successful in winning the House seat. Congressman Almon served as speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives and has held many other offices in the gift of the people. He is a member of the widely known Almon family, which has a connection all over this section of the state. Mr. Callahan has served for four years as solicitor (now district attorney) of Morgan County and has many friends and supporters in the Hartselle area. 

April 17, 1917—When early this morning our Rep. E. B. Almon cast his vote against going to war against the Axis powers, surprise was unbounded throughout the Capitol complex. “I could not conscientiously vote in favor of sending the boys to the trenches of France.” He continued by saying, “There is no reason now to discuss motives.  I am for America and in the forthcoming struggle will support the Wilson Administration. In my vote against war, I do not know whether I voted the sentiment of the eighth district or not. At any rate, I was conscientious.”  

Oct. 11, 1918—Rep. Almon of our eighth Alabama district left tonight for Tuscumbia to attend the bedside of Walter H. Williams, his son-in-law, who is reportedly stricken with the raging Spanish flu pandemic, which is killing untold thousands of Americans and millions around the world. Rep. Almon’s daughter, Mrs. Walter Williams, is desperately ill with the same malady in Washington.  

 When all the flu deaths from 1918 were tallied, it was found the Spanish flu had taken approximately 50 million lives, approximately five times as many as the Great War.  

April 30, 2012—The most recent Almon to distinguish himself in public service was Lawrence County native Supreme Court Associate Justice Reneau P. Almon (1975-1999). Prior to his time on Alabama’s highest court, Justice Almon had served at every level of Alabama’s court system. A few months after the passing of Justice Almon, it was decided to name the new site for holding trials in the State Judicial Building Annex as the Reneau P. Almon Courtroom.