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James Buckner Luckie | by Dystopos
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James Buckner Luckie

James Buckner Luckie, the subject of this sketch, was born July 16th, 1833 in Newton County, Georgia. He is the son of Hon. William Dickinson Luckie and Eliza Buckner, both natives of Georgia, and of Scotch descent.


Dr. Luckie attended the common schools of his native county till he was sixteen years of age, when his father sent him to the Gwinnett Institute. He remained at this school two years, and his health failing he returned home. Deciding to make medicine his profession, he began its study under Dr. John B. Headrick, who was the leading practitioner of his locality. Dr. Luckie attended his first course of medical lectures in Augusta, Ga., in the winter of 1853-54. The following winter he went to Philadelphia, where he graduated with honor from the Pennsylvania Medical College, in the spring of 1855. Returning home, he began the practice of his profession in Newton County. He remained here, however, only a year, and then moved to Orean, Pike County, Alabama, where he practiced until the breaking out of the war. In 1861 he raised a company of infantry for service in the Confederate Army, and reported in Montgomery, Ala., for duty. The Confederate Government being, at that time, unable to equip his men with arms, etc., his company was disbanded, the men returning home. Dr. Luckie, however, received the appointment of assistant surgeon, and was ordered to Knoxville for duty. When Kirby Smith made his inroad into Kentucky, Dr. Luckie accompanied him as medical purveyor, a rank to which he had been raised from that of assistant surgeon. When Smith's command reached Lexington, Dr. Luckie was, at his own request, relieved from duty as medical purveyor, and made inspector of hospitals, and served in that capacity until the command returned to Knoxville. There he was made chief of the bureau of small-pox and vaccination for the Army of East Tennessee. When Kirby Smith was sent to the department of the Trans-Mississippi, the Doctor was, at his own request, assigned to field duty, doing duty in Grace's Brigade, first in the Sixtieth, then in the Forty-Third Alabama, till the close of the war. The Doctor surrendered with his command at Appomattox Court House.


He then located at Pine Level, Montgomery County, and resumed his practice. He did not remain here long, however, but removed to the city of Montgomery, where he practiced until 1872, when he located in Birmingham. The following year the epidemic of cholera broke out in Birmingham, nearly depopulating it. In all this trying time Dr. Luekie remained firmly at his post, discharging faithfully his duties as a physician, and was himself the last person attacked by the cholera.


In 1880 he was elected to represent the Thirteenth District in the State Senate, which position he filled with honor and credit. He has been councilman for the city of Birmingham, and it was he who, in the early days of the town, organized its fire department, and was himself its first chief. He also organized the Birmingham Rifles and the Birmingham Artillery, and was the first captain of both companies. He has served several terms as censor to the County Medical Society, and is a counselor of the State Medical Association.


He married Eliza Imogen, daughter of Jas. F. and Eliza Fielder, of Georgia. His wife died thirteen months after marriage, leaving one child — her own namesake. In 1866 he married his present wife, Susan Oliver, daughter of James R. and Sarah Dillard, of Montgomery County, Alabama. From this union have been born eight children.


Dr. Luckie is a zealous Mason, and has held many exalted positions in the fraternity. At one time he was Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, and at another was Grand Generalissimo of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Alabama.


He is, at this writing, the Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Maine, and the Grand Representative of the Grand Commanderies of New York and Texas.


He is still a resident of Birmingham, engaged in a large and lucrative practice, built up by his energy and skill, and is loved and honored by all who know him.


- from Jefferson County and Birmingham Alabama: History and Biographical, edited by John Witherspoon Dubose and published in 1887 by Teeple & Smith / Caldwell Printing Works, Birmingham, Alabama

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Taken on February 19, 2010