On this day in Alabama history: Thomas Martin died

On this day in Alabama history: Thomas Martin died
Aerial photograph of Martin Dam. (Alabama Power Company Archives)

December 8, 1964

Former Alabama Power Company president Thomas Martin died Dec. 8, 1964, after decades of making the state a better place.

Born in Scottsboro in 1881, Martin graduated from the University of Alabama law school and joined his father’s firm in Montgomery. Much of his early casework and research introduced him to the issues of river management, real estate and dam construction. In 1911, he was brought in to facilitate the work that led to the building of Lay Dam.

He served as general counsel of Alabama Power from 1912-1920, then moved to company president. During a time when mergers, acquisitions and consolidations were making utilities national, Martin fought to ensure that what would become Southern Company would be operated and run by Southerners. He founded the Southern Research Institute to ensure that industries across the region could remain competitive.

Turning his attention back to the state in the 1950s, Martin spearheaded a new wave of dam construction along the Warrior River and the upper Coosa and helped organize economic development efforts across Alabama.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200

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