Robert Steiner Residence

Robert Steiner

I think Robert Steiner Jr built this Colonial Revival, probably in the 1930s, but his son, Robert E Steiner III became HOH during the 1950s when his father died. Bob Jr & III were both members of the prestigious law firm of Steiner, Crum and Baker, which was founded in 1890 by General Robert E Steiner Sr, father and gf to that pair. Among the many offices held by Bob Steiner III were president of the Alabama State Bar, chairman of the board of trustees of the State Dept of Archives and History, and chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. I think he passed away about a dozen years ago.

Sam Rice Baker of that firm was the barrister-orator of Montgomery when I moved here, and it was he and a then younger Bob Steiner III who defended Montgomery against the appeal to the US Supreme Court for overturn of the famous Sullivan vs New York Times lawsuit about defaming Montgomery and its police commissioner during the Civil Rights struggle. Steiner and Baker lost, but to justify its position the Court had to assume its infamous new stand that “It was OK to say anything about someone if he was a public figure”. The case is considered one of the 25 most significant cases ever heard by the High Court. Don’t you just know that some awfully heavy legal all-nighters went on in this house back around 1963-64.

-Charles Humphries

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