The Founding of Dothan
In the late 1700s and 1800s, horse and ox-drawn covered wagons from Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville traveled across the South as pioneer families searched for a place to build new homes and to start a new life. Those pioneers, who passed through the vast pine forests in the southeast corner of the territory that was later to become the state of Alabama, would often stop at a spring known as Poplar Head. Poplar Spring, named for the poplar trees that encircled the glade where the cool water, or ”head” (as springs were often called) welled from the earth. It was where ancient Indian trails met, crossed, and then continued on. The glade where the spring was located was often used by Indians from the various tribes of the Creek Confederacy as a meeting place and as a campground. By 1885, the hamlet had grown into a village.
The new settlers realized that if the community’s growth was to be sustained, they would need a governing body and local law enforcement. On November 10, 1885, the people of Poplar Head voted to incorporate and took Dothan as the new town’s name since there already was a Poplar Head, Alabama. The name came from Genesis 37:17 “….for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan.” “A writer can put on paper the history of the town, but the history belongs
Erected 2010 by Alabama Tourism Department and the City of Dothan.
Location. 31° 13.444′ N, 85° 23.454′ W. Marker is in Dothan, Alabama, in Houston County. Marker is on North St Andrews Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located in the parking lot of the Dothan Civic Center. Marker is in this post office area: Dothan AL 36303, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dothan Opera House (within shouting distance of this marker); Johnny Mack Brown (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Main Street Commercial Historic District (about 400 feet away); Poplar Head Spring (about 400 feet away); Marvin Holman (about 500 feet away); The Naming of Dothan (about 600 feet away); 1905 Houston County Courthouse Bell (about 700 feet away); Federal Building (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dothan.
Categories. • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 25, 2011, by David J Gaines of Pinson, Alabama. This page has been viewed 562 times since then and 55 times this year. Last updated on May 28, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 25, 2011, by David J Gaines of Pinson, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.