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BIOGRAPHY: Augustus Holmes Alston born November 17, 1847 – photograph


Alston, Augustus H. born 1847AUGUSTUS HOLMES ALSTON



Barbour County, Alabama

Augustus Holmes Alston was a lawyer, and supernumerary circuit judge. He was born in Bibb County, Georgia, November 17, 1847, and died at Clayton, October 25, 1918. He was the son of Willis and Elizabeth (Howard) Alston, of English descent, the former born in Hancock County, Georgia, in 1806, married at Georgetown, S. C., in 1823, and died in Texas, 1849, and the latter a native of South Carolina, who died near Decatur, Georgia, in January, 1866. “His father was a man of undaunted courage and spirit. When his brother, Augustus, was killed, in 1838, he in turn shot his brother’s slayer and was himself killed in Texas some twelve years later.”

“The ancestral line of the Alstons can be traced back in an unbroken line to William Alston, of Essex county, England, who married Anne Simonds in 1564. Beyond that it is known that the family name existed as early as the time of King Edward I. John Alston, the first of the family in America, married Anne Wallis and settled in what is now Chowan county, NC in 1694. He was for many years an associated judge of the court of oyer and terminer, a captain, major and colonel in the military service, and died in 1758.

His oldest son, John Joseph Alston, served in the old colonial legislature and at the time of his death in 1791 was the owner of about 100,000 acres of land and a large number of slaves. His fourth child was Robert West Alston, the grandfather of our subject, Augustus Alston. He was born in Hertford County, NC, was educated at Hancock College, and died in Florida on Christmas day, 1859. He married Henietta Green, also a descendant of the family.

The three brothers of Robert West Alston were Joseph John, who served with distinction in the Revolutionary War; Gideon; and Willis, who was a member of the house of commons from Halifax County, N. C. in 1790; afterward State Senator; member of Congress form 1803 to 1815, where he was on the ways and means committee during the War of 1812; member of Congress again from 1819 to 1821 and from 1825 to 1831. On the maternal side of Mr. Alston’s grandparents were the Rev. Thomas Coke and Marianna (Hall) Howard. For many years he was one of the most noted preachers of Wilmington.”

Robert West and Henrietta (Green) Alston, the former, moved at an early day from Halifax, N. C., to Hancock County, thence later to Florida, but subsequently returned to Georgia, and died at Thomasville, in that State. Augustus’ maternal grandparents’ were Rev. Thomas Coke and Mariana (Hall) Howard, the former for many years a distinguished minister of the Methodist church. Augustus was the great-grandson of Capt. John and Ann Hunt (Macon) Alston, who lived and died at his home on Fishing Creek, Halifax County, N. C., of William and Mary (Christmas) Green, the former of whom married the widow of Capt. John Alston, and of John and Julia (Hill) Hall, of Wilmington; great-great-grandson of Joseph John and Elizabeth (Chancy) Alston, of Halifax County, and of Gideon and Priscilla (Jones) Macon, of Granville County, N. C., the latter the parents of Hon. Nathaniel Macon, long prominent in the public life of the country.

Augustus H. Alston while a native of Georgia, was educated in the public schools and was just preparing for college when the Civil war came to interrupt his studies. In May 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Ninth Tennessee calvary regiment, Gen. Basil Duke’s brigade under Gen. John T. Morgan and remained with that celebrated commander, with the exception of a short time, until captured at Mt. Sterling, Ky, and sent as a prisoner of war to Rock Island, where he was exchanged about nine months, afterward. His brother, Col. Robert A. Alston, was General Morgan’s chief of staff.

Augustus came to Alabama immediately after the War of Secession. He read law under Cato and Baker at Eufaula and in 1867 was admitted to the bar. He practiced for about three years and then moved to near Fort Browder, Barbour County and engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1882, he was appointed judge of the probate court of Barbour County by Gov. Rufus Cobb and served two terms as probate judge of that, having been elected by a large majority for a second term. When the office of supernumerary judge was created in 1899, he was elected by the legislature to fill the position; in 1904 he was, without opposition, re-elected by the people of the State at large, and again in 1910.

He served as chairman of the Democratic executive committee of the 3rd district, and as chairman of the Democratic executive committee of Barbour County, Alabama.

He married on December 17, 1867, Anna Mari Ott, a daughter of Col. Edward S. and Amanda (Alston) Ott, the former of whom commanded a South Carolina regiment in the War of Secession. Col. Edward S. Ott’s father, William Ott could trace his ancestry back to the celebrated Austrian family of that names.

Anna Mari Ott (1847-1928) was the granddaughter of William Hinton/Hunter and Elizabeth (Rucker) Alston, of Columbus, Georgia.; great-granddaughter of William and Charity (Alston) Alston, the former was a member of the Provincial congress which met at Halifax, N. C. in August 1775 and of the Constitutional Convention which met in Halifax, NC in November 1776, and a lieutenant colonel of the Third regiment of continentals; and great-granddaughter of James and Christian (Lillington) Alston.

Their children were:

  1. Augusta Alston, m. Lawrence Haygood Lee, an attorney at Gasden, Alabama
  2. Edward Ott Alston, a business man of Denver, Colo; and with the Southern railway at Atlanta, GA, m. Marlon LeSeur;
  3. Robert Cotton Alston, a leading lawyer of Atlanta, Georgia and senior member of the law firm of Robert C. and Philip H. Alston, m. Caroline Dubignon;
  4. Annie Louise Alston, (b. August 14, 1876- d. Mar 15, 1971) m. Carl Adams, a stock broker at Prattville;
  5. Unnamed infant;
  6. Philip Henry Alston, a lawyer in the practice with his brother in Atlanta, m. May Lewis;
  7. William Ott Alston, in the insurance business at Atlanta, m. Margaret Wright;
  8. Elizabeth Drake Alston, (b. 1884-d. 1945) attended Wesleyan Female College; married Derrell Jourdan Grubb around 1922.
  9. Augustus Holmes Alston, Jr. a lawyer by profession, and lieutenant of infantry, U. S. Army, European War, unmarried; died in Cuba in 1936.
  10. Mildred Alston, (b. May 2, 1893 – d. Sep 15, 1894)

Judge Alston was a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Honor, and the Methodist Church, where he held the office of steward. He is buried in Clayton City Cemetery, Barbour County, Alabama, along with his wife, Anna, an unnamed infant and three daughters.


  1. Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 2 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose 1904
  2. History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Volume 3 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
  3. Find A Grave Memorial# 16716085 # 33453206 # 33452823 # 55589591 # 33453243 # 33453275

The Grand Masters of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama 1811-2011 biographical data of the lives and backgrounds of all the Grand Masters of Freemasonry in Alabama from 1811 to 2011. Many early photographs of the Grand Masters that are only at the Grand Lodge of Alabama are included in this work.