BiographiesGenealogy Information

BIOGRAPHY: Joel Walker Winston Goldsby born November 24, 1862 – photograph


Goldsby, Joel Walker Winston - Franklin





Dallas County, Alabama

Joel Walker Winston Goldsby was a member of the Mobile bar. He was born in Selma, Dallas County, Ala., on Nov. 24, 1862. His father, who was a son of Thornton Goldsby and Sarah Warren (Smith) Goldsby, was born in Oglethorpe County, Ga., and before the war was a planter near Selma, Alabama, living afterward in Mobile. He became captain and subsequently lieutenant colonel of the Fourth Alabama Infantry in the Civil war, serving through the war, and winning his promotion to lieutenant colonel for gallantry at the first battle of Bull Run. He married Mary Agnes Winston, a daughter of John Anthony and Mary Agnes (Jones) Winston, who lived in Franklin and Sumter counties, the father, after the death of his wife, moving to Mobile county.

Joel Walker Winston Goldsby studied when a boy at Eutaw, Alabama, under Col. Joseph W. Taylor, and afterward continued his studies at Lausanne, Switzerland, and Hanover, Germany. His college education was obtained at Washington and Lee University, Lexington Va. He also studied at the summer law school conducted by Prof. John B. Minor, at the University of Virginia. He continued his study of the law in the office of his brother, John A. Goldsby. He practiced continuously, after being admitted to the bar, in Mobile, Ala., and was successful.

He was a Democrat and a member of the Presbyterian church. He was an Elk and served the Democratic party in various county, congressional and state conventions, and a member of the Democratic executive committee for the first Alabama congressional district. He was a member of the lower house of the Alabama legislature, 1892-93, represented the thirty-third district in the State senate, 1900-01, was president pro tem, of the senate in 1903, and was supervisor of the United States census for the first district of Alabama in 1900. He was, for about seven years, an active member of the State militia, as a member of the Mobile Cadets and the Mobile Rifles.

While president pro tem, of the State senate he attained considerable distinction by his assertion that the president pro tern., and not the lieutenant-governor, should appoint all committees, standing or otherwise, basing his claim on the grounds that the lieutenant-governor represents the executive and not the legislative department of the government and the theory of our government being that they should be independent of each other in the law-making function except in being checks upon each other. He was sustained in this position, and during his term of office appointed all the committees.

On Oct. 7, 1885, Mr. Goldsby married Agnes Reid White, daughter of James Jones and Louise (Reid) White of Lexington, Va. Mrs. Goldsby is related to the Cabell, McDowell, and Alexander families of Virginia. Her father led a company from Washington college in the war and was on the staff of “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee. He was a professor of Greek in Washington and Lee University, and for a long time was acting president of that institution.

Mr. and Mrs. Goldsby had six known children:

  1. Mary Easley Goldsby,
  2. Louise Reid Winston Goldsby,
  3. Isabelle White Goldsby,
  4. Winston Goldsby (1896-1961)
  5. Reid White Goldsby (1898-1977)
  6. Joel Goldsby, Jr. (1901-1968)

Few men of Alabama can point to a more distinguished ancestry than that of Joel Walker Winston Goldsby. He is descended on his mother’s side from Isaac Winston, who was born in Yorkshire, England; in 1620. The line begins in America with Isaac Winston, one of three grandsons of the first Isaac Winston, who settled in Hanover County, Va., about 1703. He was married to Mary Dabney, and their son, Anthony Winston, born in 1723, married Alice Taylor, daughter of James Taylor of Caroline, and became the father of Anthony Winston, whose son, John Anthony Winston, became the father of William Winston, born 1790. William Winston married Mary Cooper, and their son, John Anthony Winston, who was born in Franklin County, Alabama, Sept. 4, 1812, died in Mobile, Alabama, Dec. 21, 1871. He married Mary Agnes Jones, and their daughter, Mary Agnes, was the mother of Joel W. W. Goldsby.


Sarah Winston, the daughter of Isaac Winston, the emigrant, was the mother of Patrick Henry. Anthony Winston, great-great-great-grandfather of Mr. Goldsby, was a delegate from Buckingham county, Va., to the Virginia convention of 1775, which voted to arm the colony, etc., and served as a captain in the Revolutionary army. Four of his sons and two of his sons-in-law served in the Creek Indian war under Gen. Andrew Jackson. They raised the company of rangers of which John J. Winston was captain, Anthony Winston was lieutenant and John Pettus (father of Senator Edmund Winston Pettus, whose mother was a Winston) was ensign.

John Anthony Winston, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Goldsby, was elected representative to the lower house of the Alabama legislature in 1842 and subsequently became its speaker. In 1845 he was elected to the State Senate and was chosen president of that body, serving two terms. He was elected governor of Alabama in 1853 and was re-elected. He was its first native governor. He was a delegate at large to several conventions, among which were those of New York, Cincinnati, Nashville, and Charleston, S. C, and was a commissioner to Louisiana in 1861. He served in the Confederate army as colonel of the Eighth Alabama regiment of infantry and had charge of a brigade under General McGruder. He was in the campaign of the Peninsula, Seven Pines, etc. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1867, but was not permitted to take his seat, as he declined to take the oath required by the Federal government.

Joel Walker Goldsby died Aug 4, 1937, and is buried in Pine Crest Cemetery in Mobile, Alabama.


  1. Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 1 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 14794643 # 52782914 # 52782912 # 52782913 # 14795429 # 25198958 # 25198955


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