December 27, 1946
While reviewing one of his favorite books during a meeting of the LaFayette Rotary Club, Fifth District Judge William Bismarck Bowling suddenly fell to the floor and onlookers were unable to revive him. Bowling died on Dec. 27, 1946, while reading “The Adventures of Captain Simon Suggs” to the Rotarians. He was serving his last term as a judge, having decided to not seek re-election, and was less than a month from retirement. During the first half of the 20th century, Bowling influenced politics, judicial and education systems and religious organizations across Alabama. The former teacher-turned-lawyer won the Fifth District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1920, then was appointed in 1928 to a vacancy on the district court, to which he was later elected to three full terms.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.