BiographiesGenealogy Information

BIOGRAPHY: Judge Julius Eugene Alford, January 21, 1872, Wilcox County, Alabama



(1872 – 1910)

Wilcox County, Alabama

Julius Eugene Alford was born at Canton Bend, Wilcox County, Ala., January 21, 1872, the son of William T. and Eliza E. (Primm) Alford. His father was a native of South Carolina and one of the earliest settlers in Wilcox County. In his boyhood, Judge Alford attended the public schools of Camden, in his native county, and then took a business course at the University of Kentucky, where he graduated in 1861.

His first business enterprise was the organization of a bank at Thomasville, of which he was cashier until 1895. The following year he removed to Mobile, his brother being here at the time, and engaged in a retail grocery business. During this year, while the first Bryan campaign was on, young Alford being then only 24 years of age, appeared at a Democratic meeting in the old Central Trade’s Council hall on Royal street and made a speech in advocacy of the Democratic candidate for president, which was considered a remarkable effort for one of his years and which won for him the local title of the “Boy Orator.” he subsequently made other addresses which confirmed the opinion of his first audience and within a few years attained considerable reputation in Mobile and South Alabama as a public speaker.

In 1897 he was appointed clerk of the city recorder’s court, resigned in March, 1899, to become judge of the inferior criminal court, to which office he was appointed by Governor Johnston. He was elected to the same office in 1900 and had been continuously elected since. At the time of his appointment to the bench, Judge Alford enjoyed the distinction of being the youngest judge in Alabama.

After attaining the bench he applied himself to studying law and was admitted to the bar in 1905 and to practice in the higher courts two years later.

Judge Alford administered his court on humane and common-sense lines and won popular commendation by helping the reclaimable unfortunate as far as possible. The establishment of the inferior criminal court was in response to public denunciation of the methods of some justice of the peace, who had criminal jurisdiction. The court during Judge Alford’s eleven years service entirely removed the former cause of complaint against the justices and when a civil side was added, four years ago, other abuses that had cropped up in justices’ courts were removed.

Judge Alford was an ardent Democrat and energetic in every state, local and national campaign for fourteen years.

Judge Alford was a member of the Presbyterian church and of the Woodmen of the World. Nov. 21, 1894, Judge Alford married Nellie, daughter of Thomas and Nancy J. Duggan, immigrants to Alabama. Her father was a wholesale grocer of Mobile, and a man of great prominence in the business world. Judge and Mrs. Alfrod had one son, Eugene Vernon.


  • Wilcox Progressive Era, Camden, Alabama. June 1, 1910
  • Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 1 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose, Southern historical assoc., 1904

Alabama Genealogy Notes Volume XI

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • CORDOVA HAPPENINGS, Walker County, Alabama 1920
  • April 5, 1878 — School, Sheriff’s sale and tragic accident in the news in Ashville, Alabama
  • Transcribed from Huntsville Republican, August 5, 1817
  • Blount County News-Dispatch, Blountsville, Alabama, March 19, 1879

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