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Biography: George Marcus Cruikshank born March 15, 1852 – photograph

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(b. 1852 Kentucky, d. 9/15/1936)

Talladega, Autauga, Jefferson County, Alabama

George M. Cruikshank, the editor of the Birmingham Ledger, was born near Lexington, Ky., March 15, 1852. His father, Marcus Henderson Cruikshank, (b. Dec. 26, 1826 Autauga Co., AL- Oct. 10, 1881 Talladega, AL) a native of Alabama, was a distinguished lawyer of Talladega, was a member of the Confederate Congress representative of the 4th district and served as commissioner for the destitute of the State for several years immediately subsequent to the Civil war.

He was thrown from his horse while riding, and killed. He died at the age of 54 years and 302 days and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Talladega, Alabama. His mother, Matilda W. Chrisman was the daughter of Col. Joseph H. Chrisman and granddaughter of Gen. McDowell of Revolutionary fame.

At the opening of the Civil war, Colonel Chrisman. being too old for active service, went to Missouri and acted as drillmaster for Price’s army. George M. Cruikshank was reared at Talladega, attended the schools of that city and was graduated from the academies there with a degree of bachelor of arts.

For many years he was engaged in teaching at Talladega, and at the same time devoting himself to reading and the higher studies. In 1883 he removed to Birmingham to become editor of the Birmingham Chronicle and continued as same for several years. From 1890 to 1893 he was superintendent of house folding room to National Congress, at Washington, D. C. In 1893 he resigned this position to become assistant postmaster of Birmingham and served as such for four years.

In June 1897, he became editor of the Birmingham Ledger, then a small paper, and its growth under his editorship was phenomenal. It had a circulation of 18,000, a new $25,000 press, and was one of the best papers in the South. It had a press capacity enough to print all the newspapers published in the State at the time. In August 1911, the Birmingham Ledger helped promote a scouting trip to find proposed routes from Tennessee to the Gulf of Mexico for automobiles.

The Birmingham Ledger was housed in an imposing building was at the SW corner of 21st and 1st Ave. North in Birmingham. In 1918, it was bought by its rival The Birmingham News. Mr. Cruikshank was a Master Mason, a Presbyterian, a member of the Alabama Press association, of the Birmingham Press club, and the Commercial club of Birmingham, and president of the Birmingham Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was married in Birmingham, Oct. 7, 1887, to Alary R., daughter of Matthew T. Smith. They had two children,

  1. Mary George Cruikshank
  2. Marcus Cruikshank

Mr. Cruikshank was a strong and interesting writer, especially gifted in the presentation of the lives of the men and women who have made the wonderful history of Alabama. He wrote A History of Birmingham and its Environs, published in 1920, two volumes. George Marcus Cruikshank died September 15, 1936. He is buried in Grand Bay Cemetery, in Mobile County, Alabama.   SOURCES

  1. Notable men of Alabama By Joel Campbell DuBose Vol. III
  2. Geocities
  3. #8033015 # 54920088  # 128030458

This biography can be found in Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume V

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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