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15 July 2010

Alfred Iverson Branham, a Biographical Sketch

Source: Georgia and Florida Biographies [database on-line].
Original Data from Biographical Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida,
Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, and many
Early Settled Families in These States
. F. A. Battey & Company, 1889.
Transcribed by S. Lincecum 2005.

Alfred Iverson Branham was born January 5, 1855, at Lumpkin, Stewart County, Ga. He is a son of I. R. and Julia (Iverson) Branham. He is of Scotch-Irish stock on his father's side and Danish on his mother's. Both the Branhams and Iversons are old and distinguished families in Georgia. The founder of the Branham family in America came to Virginia and settled some time in 1700. From there the grandfather of Alfred Iverson Branham emigrated to Georgia about the year 1800 and settled at Eatonton, which has since been recognized as the family homestead. I. R. Branham, father of Alfred I., was born at Eatonton in 1826 and still lives there. He was educated for a lawyer and practiced some years, but his hearing becoming bad he quit the profession and began teaching school. He has been teaching now more than forty years and has been one of the most successful educators in the State.

Through his father Mr. Branham is connected with a number of other well known Georgia families, prominent among them being the Coopers, Nisbits, Boykins, Richardsons, Wingfields and Goodes. The mother of Alfred Iverson Branham was a daughter of the Hon. Alfred Iverson, judge, congressman and prominent politician of ante bellum days. He will be remembered as the colleague of Robert Tombs in the United States Senate at the time Georgia seceded, and, excepting Mason and Slidell, was probably the bitterest of the Southern members in congress in his denunciations against the North. Nor was he slow to act when the time came to fight. Although too old to enlist, he nevertheless shouldered his shotgun, and, marching to the front offered his services as a volunteer soldier.

Mr. Branham has three sisters and two brothers now living: Mrs. Charles Lane, of Macon; Mrs. Carrie Means, of Houston County; Mrs. L. G. Walker, of Chattanooga, Tenn, whose husband is editor of the Chattanooga Times; I. R. Branham, Jr., in the dry-goods business at Memphis, Tenn, and R. E. L. Branham, of Brunswick. Mr. Branham received his primary eduaction at Brownsville, Tenn. He then attended Bethel College, at Russellville, Ky, two years, and on leaving there went to the University of Tennessee, at Knoxville, which institution he attended one year. He holds the degree of A. M. from the Mercer University of Macon. After leaving college Mr. Branham went to New York city, where he spent considerable time engaged in newspaper work. He returned to Georgia in 1877 and began to teach school; taught private schools for two or three years; was then elected professor of the sub-freshman class in the University of Georgia. He held this position for some time and continued to do some newspaper work at intervals. Liking the newspaper field better than the class-room he resigned his professorship to accept a position on the Atlanta Constitution. On quitting this position he was called to the city editorship of the Macon Telegram. Afterwards he returned to the Constitution's staff and continued on that paper until he was called to Savannah to accept the position of associate editor of the Savannah News. It is a remarkable fact that although Mr. Branham has probably done as much newspaper work as any man of his age he yet never sought a position at any paper. On account of the failure in his wife's health Mr. Branham resigned his position on the Morning News in July, 1887, and moved to Brunswick, where he took charge of the public schools. He organized the present system in the schools there and the citizens speak in highest praise of his work as an educator. Mr. Branham married Miss Lucy Turner, at Eatonton, December 24, 1877. This estimable lady died at Brunswick, December 20, 1887, leaving two children -- Louise Julia and Lucy Turner. Mr. Branham is a Mason and an active member of the Baptist Church.

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