January 27, 1891 - June 18, 1954
Born at New Site, Alabama, he grew up working on his parents' farm. In 1916 he worked in the oil fields in Texas and joined the Texas National Guard. He married Agnes Benson of Alabama in 1917. In 1918 he was commissioned an officer in the 36th Infantry Division. He was wounded by machine gun fire at St. Etienne, France, during World War I and awarded the French Croix de Guerre with gilt star for bravery. He later received the Purple Heart. His wounds left him crippled for life, but his spirit was undaunted.
Returning to Alabama, he served as a school teacher, principal and member of the Phenix City School Board, serving as chairman for six years. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1924, received a law degree from Cumberland School of Law in Tennessee, and practiced law in east Alabama from 1928 until his death. He represented Russell and Lee Counties in the State Senate from 1946 to 1950, and was active in the Methodist Church and various civic organizations. Albert Patterson is remembered as an honest man with the courage to stand by his convictions in the face of great adversity.(Continued on other side)(side 2)(Continued from other side)
The Coulter Building housed the law office of Albert Patterson. Patterson won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of Alabama on June 4, 1954, campaigning on a platform to end criminal activity in Phenix City and the public corruption that allowed it to flourish. As a consequence of his efforts and his support of the Russell Betterment Association, Patterson was fatally shot on June 18, 1954 in the parking lot next to this building. Martial law was declared and General Walter J. "Crack" Hanna and the Alabama National Guard came to Phenix City. The sacrifice of Albert Patterson led to the restoration of law and order in Phenix City.