Judge Samuel H. Sprott biography

HON. SAMUEL H. SPROTT, judge of the circuit court in the sixth judicial circuit of Alabama, was born in Sumter county, his present home, June 24, 1840, a son of Robert and Mary (Bothwell) Sprott. His parents were born in Ireland, and were of Scotch-Irish lineage, and were Scotch Presbyterians. They came to the United States in 1838, and one year later found their way to Alabama, settling in Sumter county, where they ended their days. Unto these parents were born three sons and two daughters. Of these children, Samuel H. and the daughters are still living. The three sons participated in the Civil war as Confederate soldiers. One was killed in battle, 1864; another died a few years after the close of the war. Samuel H. went into the army as a private, and in the fall of 1863 he was promoted to a lieutenancy, and soon after was made captain of company A, Fortieth Alabama regiment, under Gen. Joe Johnston, with Brig.-Gen. Alpheus Baker. As captain of this company, Judge Sprott surrendered at the close of the hostilities at Salisbury, N. C., being at that time in the brigade of Gen. E. W. Pettus. The parents of Judge Sprott were poor, the father a farmer, but they were unable to give their children the best of educational advantages. Young Sprott first attended the country schools, and then attended the Barton academy of Mobile; when the war came on he had gained a fair academical education, and upon the close of the war he began school teaching, which became a stepping stone to the profession of the law, and to a brilliant career as an advocate, and to distinction as a judge. Soon after the war he began the study of law, to which predilection lead him. To his character of mind, the profession of law has proven well adapted. In 1867 he was admitted to the bar, and at once became a partner at Livingston, Ala., in the practice of law with Maj. (now Chancellor) Cobbs, of Alabama, who was his preceptor in the law. The partnership with Maj. Cobbs was discontinued in 1871, and for two years thereafter Mr. Sprott and W. G. Little, Jr., were partners. From 1875 to 1883, Mr. Sprott and J. J. Altman were associated together in the practice of their profession. In March of the latter year Mr. Sprott was appointed judge of the sixth judicial circuit of Alabama, to succeed Judge W. S. Mudd, who had resigned that office. In 1886, Judge Sprott was elected to the same judgeship, defeating Judge James B. Head, now of the supreme court of Alabama. In 1892, he was denominated and elected without opposition. His continuance in office is cited as an evidence of his popularity with the people, and with the practitioners of law, and by the profession he is regarded as fair, impartial and profound, and perhaps there is not a more learned and popular circuit judge than he in Alabama. It is much to the credit of the judge that, though he began in life under somewhat adverse circumstances, by means of close study, integrity, together with a legal mind, he has advanced to a high station as a jurist. In 1868 the judge was fortunate in securing in marriage the hand of Miss Leonora Brockway, daughter of Dr. A. E. Brockway, of Gaston, Ala. To the marriage have been born two sons and four daughters. Of his daughters, the eldest is the wife of Hon. T. L. Long, of Walker county, who was a Cleveland and Stevenson elector in 1892. Judge Sprott is a member of the Old School Presbyterian church, of which he is an elder. He is a royal arch Mason, and is high priest of his commandery at Livingston. As a speaker Judge Sprott is logical, forcible and learned; and is no less talented as a writer, and particularly in history has he manifested interest and deep research. He is a leading member of the Sumter County Historical society, and has done much to compile and preserve an interesting record of the events of his native county.

Source: [Anonymous], Memorial Record of Alabama: A Concise Account of the State’s Political, Military, Professional and Industrial Progress, Together with the Personal Memoirs of Many of Its People (Madison, Wis.: Brant & Fuller, 1893), pp. 935-936.