Dowdy was well-known physician in Wing

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 18, 2002

Dr. Bob Dowdy was a medical doctor who practiced medicine in the Boggan Level area during the 1920s and in the Wing community during the 1930s. From there he moved to Hacoda during the 1940s and finally to the Huckaville community north of Florala where he lived until his death in 1953.

The Dowdy family was residing in Virginia in 1793 when Dr. Dowdy's grandfather, Woodson H. Dowdy, Sr., was born. Woodson was also a medical doctor in Virginia. He was married to a young lady named Sarah who was born in 1803. The couple was living in Campbell County, Virginia, in 1833 when their son, Woodson H. Jr., was born. Their other children included the following: Mary Jane, b. 1825; Frances, b. 1829; Sarah, b. 1831; Robert, b. 1835; and William, b. 1841. The family was living in Franklin County during the 1940s and probably when Dr. Dowdy died in 1850.

Woodson H. Dowdy, Jr. was a physician just as his father and son were. He grew up in Virginia and married Mary Elizabeth B. Jones who came from a prosperous family in northeast Georgia. The couple had two sons before Woodson Jr.'s untimely death in 1864 near Atlanta. Being a physician, he was probably helping treat the many wounded in that area. Seemingly, his lungs were damaged from breathing the thick smoke during the burning of Atlanta. A short time later his weakened lungs could not withstand the pneumonia, which he had developed, so he died at the young age of 31 years.

The two sons were Edgar Lee, b. 1856, d. 1922, m. Addeline Johnson; and Robert Wilburn "Bob," b. 1861, d. 1953, m. (1) Jeppie Edwards (2) Rosa Lee Iverson. The family was living in North Carolina when Edgar was born and later located in Northeast Georgia. Following the death of their father, their mother was married to Bedford Jones who became one of the richest men in Randolph County, Alabama. Apparently he moved the family there to pursue gold prospecting, which was common from Dalonega, Georgia, to Gold Ridge in Randolph County.

The stepfather, Bedford, had the Dowdy brothers working on the farm and sent them out to plant a crop. While on this assignment, they decided to abandon this wife, so they ditched the wagon and rode the horses all the way to Nashville, Tennessee. Their father and grandfather had been physicians, and they knew there had to be a better life for them. They enrolled in the Nashville Medical School from which both earned their medical degrees circa 1891.

Dr. Edgar was married to Addeline, and they settled in Etowah County of North Alabama. They reared the following children: Barnham Columbus, b. 1878, m. Elizabeth Elliott; Etoile Vascome, b. 1883, m. Robert Norris; Sarah Ruby, b. 1891, m. Blooma Veazey; and Hoyt Windell, b. 1894, d. 1966, m. Ruby Geraldine Whorton.

Dr. Bob returned to Randolph County for a few years where he practiced medicine and operated a store with his stepfather, Bedford Jones. He and his first wife, Jeppie Edwards, had one son, Ronnie, who was born circa 1885. Following her death, he was married to Rosa Lee Iverson, daughter of Dr. Robert Iverson who earned his medical degree in pNew York. Rosa had a talented voice and played the piano beautifully. At her sixteenth birthday she was given a baby grand piano, which was moved with her to every residence until it was destroyed in later years.

Dr. Bob and Rosa reared the following children: Imogene, b. 1891, m. Roy Medley; Robert Woodson "Skeets," b. 1892, m. Mrs. Bessie Huckabaa when he was in his 80s; Ruth, b. 1893, m. Zora Daniels; Jeppie, b. 1896, m. Charles McKay; William Edgar "Bill," b. 1897, m. Alma Wiggins; Lannie (Donna ?), b. 1901, m. Pearl Pierce; Hattie, b. 1904, m. Fox Wilson; Spegil, b. 1907, m. (1) Mary (2) Eloise (3) Fannie Lou Rathel; and Catherine, b. 1909, m. Ezra Jack Cotton.

Descendants of Dr. Bob remember him telling of the vivid memory he had of looking back and seeing Atlanta burning during the war. After his father's death during the war, he and his brother as very young boys were being taken to an uncle's home in Virginia.

It appears that Dr. Bob moved his family to Covington County during the 1920s. He settled first in the Boggan Level community. While he was residing there his home was located near a pond, which became known as Dowdy Pond in honor of him. During the 1930s, Dr. Bob moved to Baldwin County where he practiced medicine and operated a store. While he was living there his second wife died. After her death, he moved to Adell, Georgia, where some of his sons were residing. He soon returned to Covington County and settled at Wing where he continued practicing medicine. During the 1840s, he moved east to Hacoda, but he returned after a few years to the Huckaville community north of Florala. He lived here until his death in 1953 at an advanced age in the 90s. He was buried beside his wife in the Beda Baptist Church Cemetery.

Appreciation is again expressed to the Donald Cotton family for sharing their family records for this writing. Donald is the son of Catherine (Dowdy) and her husband, Ezra Cotton, the son of Dr. Bob. His cousin, Doris (Dowdy) Steele, who was the daughter of William Edgar Dowdy, also shared family information. Other descendants of Dr. Bob reside in Andalusia, Wing, Baker, and Escambia Farms.

Anyone who might have corrections to the above or additions to the Dowdy and related families is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at Route 9, Box 97, Andalusia, AL 36420.


The Leroy and Addie Elmore family reunion will be held Saturday, October 26, at the Frank Jackson Park in Opp. All family and friends are invited and asked to bring a covered-dish dinner.