BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
(1853 – 1931)
MONTGOMERY AND JEFFERSON COUNTY, ALABAMA
Thomas Hunter Molton, of Birmingham, Alabama was born Nov. 15, 1853, on his father’s plantation in Montgomery county, Alabama.
His father, Colonel Charles Hooks Molton, was born in Duplin County, N. C. August 18, 1825 to Major Thomas and Catherine Hooks Molton. Col. Charles Molton moved with his parents to Montgomery in Montgomery County, Alabama in 1828 from North Carolina. He died at the old Molton homestead in Montgomery (now Elmore) County, Alabama on October 3, 1871, and was buried in the cemetery in the city of Montgomery. Both his parents Major Thomas Molton and Catherine Hooks Molton died in Montgomery, Alabama.
Col. Charles Molton married Julia Anne Hunter in 1846 and they had nine children: as follows;
- Son, died in infancy in 1847
- Lizzie Whitfield Molton, born in Montgomery County, Alabama, July 20, 1849-died in Jefferson County Alabama December 31, 1905
- Sallie Collier Molton, born in Montgomery County, Alabama April 24, 1851-died in Birmingham, Alabama October 21, 1878 4.
- Thomas Hunter Molton, born in Montgomery County, Alabama November 15, 1853
- Julia Molton, born in Montgomery County, Alabama March 24, 1856-died May 24, 1857
- Charles Hooks Molton, born in Montgomery County, Alabama August 9, 1858-died after 1911
- Annie Julia Molton, born in Montgomery County, Alabama March 2, 1861-died after 1911;
- William Forrest Molton, born in City of Montgomery, Alabama June 3, 1863-died after 1911
- Robert Marshall Molton, born at old Molton place, Elmore County, Alabama January 20, 1866-died after 1911.
Thomas Hunter Molton’s mother was a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Whitfield) Hunter, who lived in North Carolina. They moved to Greene county, Alabama about the year 1820. The grandfather, Col. Charles Hooks, was a member of Congress from North Carolina and took an active part in the Revolutionary war. His sister, Mary Slocomb, is mentioned in the histories of North Carolina, and in “Women of the American Revolution” as having distinguished herself during this war. The family came from England, and first settled in North Carolina. They were largeslaveholderss on both sides, and mostly planters.
Charles Hooks Molton represented Montgomery county in the legislature 1857-59; was an active secessionist, and quite a prominent man in Montgomery. He had about two hundred slaves set free, and as a result of the war died in 1871 a poor man.
Thomas Hunter Molton’s early education was practically all that he had. He attended the schools of Montgomery and the celebrated school of Prof. Henry Tutwiler in Hale county. His first business after reaching manhood was that of a farmer, which did not prove sufficiently remunerative, and in 1886 he embarked in the real estate and insurance business in Birmingham.
In 1888, he married Lizzie Linn Scott, a daughter of Charles and Eliza (Summerlin) Linn, of Montgomery, Ala., and widow of W. L. Scott.
Their known children consisted of two girls and one boy
- Elen Linn Molton
- Gertrude Molton
- Thomas Hunter Molton, Jr.
Mr. Molton was a Grover Cleveland Democrat; never voted for Bryan and did not believe in that kind of Democracy; a Methodist, a member of the Knights of Pythias, Knights of Honor, and a Mason. On his removal to Birmingham, in 1886,he entered at once into the real estate business, basing profits on commissions, and not on speculations. He confined himself to handling city property, and his firm, T. H. Molton & Co., was one of the largest and most successful agencies in Alabama at the time.
Possessed of natural mechanical talent, and in line with his business, he directed the construction of many of the most prominent buildings in Birmingham, notably, the Jefferson theatre, the Mercy home, the Hillman hospital, the Molton building on Second avenue, and the Hotel Hillman. For a number of years Birmingham was without a first-class, modern hotel.
In 1901 Mr. Molton organized a stock company, of which he was made president. This company purchased a very large lot on the corner of Fourth avenue and Nineteenth street, and under the direction and supervision of its president, erected a hotel that was a credit to Mr. Molton and to the City of Birmingham. His residence was on South Highlands, built by himself, and was one of the handsomest brick and stone residences in the city.
As president of the Real Estate association, Mr. Molton called a mass meeting of the citizens of Jefferson county, at which meeting he presided, to consider a plan for the county to build two large trunk sanitary sewers, one down the valley through which Valley creek flows, the other down Village creek valley, each about twenty miles in length. The project was endorsed at the meeting, and at the next session of the Alabama legislature proper legislation was enacted, creating a commission known as the Jefferson County Sanitary commission; and this commission, of which he was a member, engaged in this great work, which proved of vast benefit to Birmingham and suburban towns for a century to come. He was a director of the First National bank, one of the strongest financial institutions in the South, and one of the most persistent, successful, and influential of the strong-willed, progressive men who built the “Magic City.”
Thomas Hunter Molton died October 14, 1931 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama.
- Notable men of Alabama By Joel Campbell DuBose, 1904
- The personal and family history of Charles Hooks and Margaret Monk Harris By James Coffee Harris, 1911
- Find A Grave Memorial# 78352431 # 78345753 # 108458794 # 108458709 l# 108458748 # 78352495 # 78352505 # 78416081 # 102242127
This biography can be found in Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume VI