James Render Dowdell (1847 – )

“DOWDELL, JAMES RENDER, lawyer and chief justice Alabama supreme court, was born April 2, 1847, in Chambers County; son of James Ferguson and Sarah H. (Render) Dowdell, the former a Methodist minister, a member of congress, member of the Secession convention of 1861 , colonel of the 37th Alabama infantry regiment, C.S. Army, president East Alabama male college…

Judge Dowdell was educated in the common schools of the towns of Lafayette and Auburn; was at the University of Alabama, 1864-65, ans participated in all the exciting events in connection with the burning of the institution by the Federals.  He graduated from the East Alabama male college, Auburn, with the degree of A.B. in the close of 1867.  He began the practice of law at Opelika, in 1870; was solicitor of the ninth judicial circuit for four years, 1876 to 1880; judge of the fifth circuit; chancellor of the northeastern division, and in 1898 was elected associate justice of the State supreme court. reelected in 1904, and again in 1906; appointed chief justice, February 8, 1909, and elected November 8, 1910, for six years.  He resigned his exalted judicial position, January, 1914.

He is a Democrat and a Methodist.  Married: (1) September 6, 1871, at Lafayette, to Rosie Tuener, (2) December 12, 1878, to Ella May, daughter of Johnathan Ware.  Children: by second wife. 1. Annie Love, m. William A. Denson, Birmingham; 2. Sarah, d. young; 3. Render, deceased.

Residence: Opelika.”

Source:  History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Vol. 3, by Thomas McAdory Owen and Marie Bankhead Owen, The S.J. Clark Publishing Co., Chicago, 1921, pages 502-3


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