About Justice Pelham Jones Merrill 

Pelham Jones Merrill, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, was born in Heflin, Cleburne County, Alabama, December 1, 1907, the son of Lilla Belle (Jones) Merrill and Walter Benjamin Merrill.  His father was a lawyer, state legislator, and Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit.   Justice Merrill grew up in Heflin and graduated from high school there.

He attended the University of Alabama and graduated from that institution at the age of 18, after which he taught and coached for five years.

Justice Merrill obtained his law degree from the University of Alabama in 1934  and returned to Heflin to practice law.  He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1936 and became very involved in the Alabama Democratic Party at the State level. 

With the advent of World War II, Merrill volunteered for service in the Air Corps and served until 1946; he remained in the Air Force Reserve until he retired with the rank of colonel in 1967.

Following his discharge, Merrill again was elected to represent Cleburne County in the Alabama House of Representatives. Twice he was elected to serve the House as Speaker Pro-Tem. The press honored him as the "Most Resourceful Member" for the 1947 session and as the "Most Effective Member" for the 1951 session. He gave up his legislative career when he was elected an associate justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 1952. He subsequently was re-elected for consecutive terms until his retirement in 1976.

Judge Merrill was active in striving for improvement in the judicial system in Alabama. Judge Merrill was a member of the American Bar Association, the Alabama Judicature Society, the Alabama State Bar, and the Alabama Law Institute.

Justice Merrill was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 1978.  He is now deceased.