John Abercrombie (congressman)

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John William Abercrombie (May 17, 1866[1] – July 2, 1940[1]) was President of the University of Alabama and a member of the United States House of Representatives from Alabama.

John William Abercrombie
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1917
Member of the Alabama Senate
In office
Personal details
BornMay 17, 1866 (1866-05-17)
St. Clair County, Alabama
DiedJuly 2, 1940 (1940-07-03) (aged 74)
Montgomery, Alabama
Citizenship United States
Political partyDemocratic Party
Spouse(s)Rose Merrill Abercrombie
Alma materOxford College (Alabama), University of Alabama
ProfessionAttorney, politician, college president


Abercrombie was born in St. Clair County, Alabama,[2] near Kellys Creek Post Office, in 1866. He was the son of Henry M. and Sarah A. (Kendrick) Abercrombie. He attended rural schools, and ultimately graduated from Oxford College (Alabama) in Alabama in 1866. He went on to receive a degree in law from the University of Alabama in 1888. He was admitted to the bar that same year. On January 8, 1891, he married Rose Merrill.


Abercrombie practiced in Cleburne County, Alabama through 1890. He also served as a high school principal, city school superintendent, and college president from 1888 through 1898.[3]

Elected to the Alabama Senate, Abercrombie served from 1896 through 1898. He then served the state as the state superintendent of education from 1898 to 1902.[3] In 1902 he was made the President of the University of Alabama and he served in that capacity until 1911.[2]

In 1912, Abercrombie was elected from the Democratic Party to the United States House of Representatives, where he served from March 4, 1913 to March 3, 1917.[4] He went on to serve as Solicitor of Labor and Acting Secretary in the United States Department of Labor from 1918 through 1920. In 1920, he was elected the Superintendent of Education in Alabama.


Abercrombie resided in Montgomery, Alabama, where he died on July 2, 1940 (age 74 years, 46 days). He is interred at Greenwood Cemetery, Montgomery, Alabama.[3] He was a Freemason and a member of Scottish Rite,[5] as well as the Kappa Alpha Order (collegiate social fraternity); Phi Beta Kappa (collegiate honor society); Knights of Pythias; Woodmen; and Kiwanis.[6]


  1. ^ a b "John Abercrombie". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  2. ^ a b   "Abercrombie, John W." . Men of 1914. Chicago: American Publishers' Association. 1915. OCLC 49777827.
  3. ^ a b c Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989: Bicentennial Edition. United States: Government Printing Office, 1989. ISBN 0-16-006384-1
  4. ^ "John Abercrombie". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  5. ^ Denslow, William R. 10,000 Famous Freemasons, Vol. I, A-D.
  6. ^ "John Abercrombie". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 16 May 2013.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
District inactive
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
District inactive