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SAMUEL WRIGHT MARDIS
BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
Shelby and Talladega County, Alabama
Samuel Wright Mardis was born June 12, 1800, in Fayetteville, Lincoln County, Tennessee to Reuben Mardis, a farmer. Samuel received an academic education in an “old field school, later studied law and was admitted to the bar. He traveled to Alabama with his father before it became a State and Samuel began to practice law in Montevallo, Shelby County, Alabama. He was elected to the State Legislature from Shelby County in 1822-1825 and again in 1828-1830.
Samuel continued his political career by being elected to Congress in 1831 over Gen. Garth of Morgan County and Col. Baylor of Tuscaloosa. He was re-elected, defeating his opponent Hon. Elisha Young of Greene County. He was elected as a Jacksonian. At the expiration of his second term, he moved to Mardisville, Talladega County where he practiced law until his death from tuberculosis on November 14, 1836. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Talladega County, Alabama.
He married Mary Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of Robert Taylor (V. CA. 1777 NC) and Margaret Josephine Saunders (b. ca. 1779 NC) of Shelby County. His half-brother was Judge N. B. Mardis, a citizen of Shelby County, Alabama. He also had another brother, Dr. John Wright Mardis born 1807 in Kentucky, who married Mary Ann Woodruff in Jasper County, Georgia in 1818.
Samuel and Mary (Taylor) Mardis had the following children:
- “States Rights” Mardis
- Eugenia Mardis
- Samuella Mardis
- Matilda Mardis
- Josephine Mardis.
From the Shelby Guide, 1872, E. B. Teague wrote of Samuel Mardis;
“Mr. Editor: – One of the most remarkable men of Shelby County in early history was the Hon. Samuel Mardis, brother of Judge Mardis, of your place. He was the first representative in the Alabama legislature from the county, then served several years with Hon. Joab Lawler father of Gen. Levi W. Lawler, of Mobile. He was afterwards the representative of the district in Congress. Mr. Mardis was a lawyer, unsurpassed by anybody in the State – once or more employed in great cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. I remember how his fluent speeches used to stir my soul, when a little boy, to be able to talk like him. His magnificent person was worthy of the mind that informed it. He resided at Montevallo up to 1835 or 1836.”
Mardisville in Talladega County was originally called Jumper’s Spring and was the Site of U. S. Land Office for sale lands ceded by the Creek Indians in 1832. Early courts were held there when Talladega County was created and it was renamed Mardisville after Samuel Wright Mardis.
- History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen Published by The S. J. Clarke publishing company, 1921 Original from Harvard University Digitized Jan 18, 2008
- Teague, E. B. The Shelby Guide, April 2, 1872 No. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~alshelby/Columbiana2.html
- Find A Grave Memorial# 7365973
- Correspondence of James K. Polk: 1817-1832 By James Knox Polk, Herbert Weave
More on Samuel Wright Mardis and his family can be found in the book: Shelby County Alabama Pioneers Volume I.
This biography is also included in the E-Book Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume II.