William Johnson Boykin (1861 – )

“BOYKIN, WILLIAM JOHNSON, lawyer, was born November 8, 1861, at Oswicheee, Russell County; son of James William and Athalie Annett (Johnson) Boykin, the former a native of Columbus, Ga., who came to Alabama, lived in Oswichee, Glenville and other places in Russell County, where he farmed and was a mechanic, joined Co.  I, 34th Alabama regiment, C.S. Army in 1862, and served throughout the war, being wounded several times;…

The parents of Mr. Boykin moved to Glennville during his childhood, and he attended private school there under Hon. William Chambers and Rev. John Dyer, and later under Rev. George W. Fuller, at Seale.  He entered South West Georgia Agricultural College of Cuthbert for one term, then devoted his attention to farming until 1889, when his health broke down and he was forced to seek a change in occupation.  He began to read law under the direction of Col. L.W. Martin and Hon. John V.Smith at Seale, and in 1890 entered the law school of the University of Alabama, where he was graduated, LL.B., 1891.  He was admitted to the bar, July 1891, and began practice at Seale.  In 1894, having been nominated without opposition on the Democratic ticket, he was elected to the house from Russell County.  Two years later, he was elected state senator from the twenty-seventh district by nearly a two thousand majority vote over his opponent, who was endorsed by the Populist and Republican parties.  He served in the house as chairman of the committee on commerce and common carriers, and was a member of the judiciary committee; in the first session of the senate, he was a member of the judiciary committee, and chairman of the committee on commerce and common carriers; and in the second session of the senate, was chairman of the judiciary committee, and member of the rules committee.  He moved to Gadsden in 1898 where he has since continued his practice.  He was appointed solicitor for Etowah County by Gov. B.B. Comer.  He was a member of the state Democratic executive committee which nominated W.C. Oates for governor, is a Baptist, a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Order of Elks.  Married: October 5,1882, at Villula, Russell County, Bessie Allen Ware, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Nuckolls) Ware, the former a planter and land owner in Russell County;…  She died May 23, 1902.  Children: 1. Nita, Gadsden; 2. Alice, m. H.C. Kilgore, Gadsden; 3. Bessie, Gadsden; 4. Willie, d. 1909; 5. Benton, Gadsden.  Residence: Gadsden.”

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, page 191


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