Alvin Avant, Attorney at Law, of Smithville, was born in Dekalb County in 1856, a son of William C. and Nancy (Williams) Avant. The father is of French descent, Born in 1822 in Dekalb County. His father, Benjamin Avant, was a native of Virginia, who immigrated to Dekalb County at an early date. William C. married and settled in the Twelfth District of his native county, where he is a prosperous and respected farmer and possessor of 300 acres of valuable land. His wife was also born in Dekalb County, of English descent. She is now sixty-two years of age.
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Of their eleven children, Alvin is the fifth. His early education was received at Fulton Academy in Smithville. At the age of eighteen he commenced the study of medicine under the care of Dr. J. S. Harrison. In 1873 he entered the medical department of the university at Louisville, Ky., graduating in March of the next year as M. D. For one year he practiced in Smithville, at the expiration of which time he abandoned medicine and took up the study of law. His preceptor was M. D. Smallman, now judge of the Sixth Circuit of Tennessee. Mr. Avant was admitted to the bar in 1879. The same year he was elected county attorney, serving two years. January 1881, he became superintendent of public instruction, holding the office four years, declining another re-election. Since that time he has given his attention to his profession. In 1881 he entered into partnership with Hon. B. M. Webb and Judge J. S. Gribble, the latter withdrawing in 1883, the firm being known as Webb & Avant. Our subject is a talented, able lawyer, enjoying a good practice. He is a gentleman in the full sense of the word, and highly esteemed by a large circle of friends. He is a member of the Christian Church, and a Democrat. His parents belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church South.