DR. WILLIAM SPARKS McELRATH was born near Centre, Alabama, in 1875, the son of Thomas Payne and Susan (Covington) McElrath; grandson of Dr. William McElrath, who came to Cherokee County from South Carolina before 1836, and was a large landholder and planter, as well as a county physician. Dr. William Sparks McElrath practiced medicine at Cedar Bluff for many years. He read medicine under Dr. H. L. Appleton and attended Memphis Medical College, where he was graduated in 1900. In 1904 he was named counselor of the Alabama Medical Society. He was a member of Southern Railway Surgeons and Alabama Power Company Surgeons Association.
During World War I he enlisted in the U.S.A. Medical Corps, serving as first lieutenant. After the war he was vice-president of the Cedar Bluff Bank. He was a Democrat, and served on the county executive committee for a number of years. He was a steward in the Methodist Church, Cedar Bluff, member of Cedar Bluff Masonic Lodge, and of the Shrine at Chattanooga.
In 1902 he married Bert Williamson, daughter of David N. and Mary Jane (Daniel) Williamson.
He was on the County Board of Education 1922 to 1928.
Source: Mrs. Frank Ross Stewart, Cherokee County [Alabama] History, 1836—1956, Volume 2 (Centre, Alabama, 1959), pp. 344-345. Reprinted with permission.