John J. Altman was born in Sumter County, AL, the son of John Wilson Altman (b. 1819) and his wife Sarah (Hitt) Altman (b. ca. 1827). He attended Spring Hill College in Starkville, MS prior to attending the University of Virginia in session 47 (1870-1871), where he earned a Bachelor of Law. He practiced law in various cities in Alabama, including Livingston and Birmingham. Altman’s political career included six years as the mayor of Livingston, nine years as alderman representing Birmingham’s sixth ward, and two years (1896-1897) as a state legislator. He was a Democratic presidential elector in 1884 when Grover Cleveland was elected for his first term.
On 24 Feb. 1876, Altman married Cora Adela Lockard (b. 1852) of Livingston, AL. The couple had three children who lived to adulthood: Ida Lockard, John William, and Adelaide Beatrice Altman.
- Ancestry.com. Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.
- Owen, Thomas McAdory. History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography. Chicago, 1921.
- Tombstone of John William Altman, Oak Hill Cemetery, Birmingham, AL. Findagrave.com (accessed 5/6/2011).
- 1860-1900 U.S. Census. Alabama, in Ancestry.com. United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.