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AAFA #0068

1915 MS –1988 MS




Jackson, Hinds Co., MA—Sunday, 25 September 1988


PHILADELPHIA [Neshoba Co.]—Herman W. Alford, 72, a lawyer, died of cancer on Saturday [September 24] in F.G. Riley Memorial Hospital in Meridian.

            Services are 4 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church with burial in Cedar Lawn Cemetery. Visitation is before services at McClain-Hays Funeral Home.

            Mr. Alford, a Philadelphia native, was a lawyer with Alford Thomas & Kilgore. He was a deacon at the First Baptist Church, where he also taught Sunday school and held other church offices. He was a veteran of World War II and was retired from the Mississippi National Guard as a brigadier general.

            Mr. Alford was a member of the Philadelphia Masonic Lodge, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Philadelphia Exchange Club and the Neshoba County, the Mississippi and the American bar associations. He was a director of the Neshoba County Fair Association and the Citizens Bank and was on the county's Industrial Development Committee for several years.

            “He had a love for his county and this state that was almost unbelievable,” said Robert Thomas, Mr. Alford’s son-in-law and law partner. “He like to comment that in his lifetime he was able to see Neshoba County go from a horse-and-buggy age, and that was how he described it, to an industrial age, where everybody who wanted a job could get one....”

            Mr. Alford’s daughter, Janne Thomas of Philadelphia, said her father found the time to get involved in needed projects.

            “Over the years, he just began to see things that were needed. It would just come to his attention and he would just see that it was done....”

            Survivors include: wife, Gwendolyn; sons, Herman Alford Jr. of Philadelphia and Patrick Alford of Louisville; daughter, Janne Thomas of Philadelphia; brother, Bennett Alford of Kosciusko; sister, Cleo McLemore of Panama City, Fla.; and four grandchildren.

Photos from Cedarlawn Cemetery, Philadelphia, Neshoba Co., MS—

Permission granted by the photographer, LWB


AAFA NOTES: SSDI records show that Herman Alford (SS# issued in MS) was born 26 Sept 1915.

            We included the obituaries of his wife, Gwendolyn Poole Thomas Alford; his daughter Janne Alford Thomas; and his brother Bennett Warren Alford in Mississippi Obituaries.

            In March 1983 Gil Alford received a letter from Mr. Herman Alford, Attorney at Law in Philadelphia, MS. The letter started as follows: “Your letter addressed to Pat Alford dated February 28, 1983, was opened by me, his father. I note that you had written him some previous letters to which he has not responded.” There followed a warm five year association between Mr. Herman and Gil Alford with several exchanges of significant amounts of Alford information. Mr. Herman Alford made financial donations to both the association and before that to the work of Gil Alford. As member #0068 he was one of the founding members of AAFA.

            Herman was born in Philadelphia, Neshoba Co., MS, the son of Benjamin Warren Alford and Phronettie Davidson. According to Herman, she had previously been married to John Hamrick/Hambrick.

            Herman married Gwendolyn P. Thomas 6 July 1942 in Hinds Co., MS, and they had Herman Alford Jr., Patrick Alford and Janne Alford. Janne married Robert Thomas, Herman’s law partner.

            Benjamin's parents were John Madison Alford and his second wife Sarah Frances Cooper. John Madison was the son of John Alford born about 1800 in North Carolina. A complete chart on this branch of the Alford family was printed in Gil Alford's newsletter, ABOUT ALFORDS, issue #4, July 1983.          

            He was preceded in death by siblings Jewell, Clennie, and Homer Lee Alford.

            His lineage: Herman Woodrow 1915 MS1, Benjamin Warren 1875 MS2, John Madison 1826 GA3, John 1801 NC4.