Many Sport descendants help develop area north of Dozier

Published 12:13 am Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Sport family of Covington and Southern Crenshaw County was introduced in last week’s column. It was followed from the ancestor who came to America, William Sport, through his children, especially the family of his son, Jonathan Sport. Today’s story begins with Jonathan’s only son, William Sport, who was born in 1822 in Marion County, South Carolina.

William moved with his parents and siblings in 1842 to an area near the small Town of Dozier, which at that time fell in Covington County. The site became a part of Crenshaw County when it was formed in 1866.

Within a couple of years, William met and was married to Sarah Jane (Singleton) Oglesby, the widow of a Mr. Oglesby. Sarah Jane was the daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth Singleton, natives of South Carolina, who had moved to Florida when Sarah Jane was a young child. After Solomon’s death, Elizabeth, moved her family to Covington County with some friends. Elizabeth died during the war years in the 1860’s while living in Covington or Clark County.

William Sport lived with his parents and farmed with them until he was married at 24 years of age. He became a well-known and respected citizen of his community and Crenshaw County. He created three settlements in the area and improved three farms. He eventually lived on the Conecuh River where he owned more than 600 acres of good farmland. In 1884, he erected a water-powered gristmill, which he operated for the remainder of his life.

From early on, William was faithful to his church and a strong leader in it. In 1853, he was appointed as a delegate to the Conecuh River Baptist Association for the Union Baptist Church of Christ, which was located near the Burnout community and one of the earliest of the Primitive Baptist churches in the area. He was re-elected the following two years as well. In December 1860, he was elected as a deacon at the Union Church and ordained in May 1861. He continued to serve as a delegate for the church at the association meetings through1863. There is no record of his serving in 1864 and 1865, which was most likely due to the effects of the war. He resumed the delegate position in 1866. In 1867, he was appointed a delegate to the Second District Meeting at the Bethany Baptist Church. He and his wife received “letters of dismission” from the Union Church in 1869, which was surely due to William having organized and founded the Enon Baptist Church near Dozier.

During the war years, William enlisted to serve with the state militia along the coast near Mobile. He was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, Alabama Reserves, in which he became a sergeant. His son, John Sport, enlisted at 16 years of age as a private in the Covington County Home Guard and served under Captain J.F. Brady. Following the war, William and John returned home and continued to be leaders in their community.

William and Sarah Jane lived to have 12 children, two of whom died in infancy. They were as follows: John Solomon, b. 1847, m. 1871 Mary Nancy (Frost) Murphy; William G., b. 1851, d. 1933, m. Martha Stripling; Thomas Benjamin, b. 1853, d. 1907, m. Adeline Augusta Weatherford; Malachi, m. Sallie Merrill; Daniel W., b. 1866, d. 1937, m. 1883 Mollie Kimbro; Joseph Nathaniel, m. ?; Sarah Ann, m. Andrew Hardidge; Amanda E., m. Gabriel Wallace; Martha, m. William E. Stripling; and Eliza, d. young and single.

The oldest son, John Solomon Sport, was born to William and Sarah in the small community known as Piney Woods, which later became Sport. He grew up helping with the family farm and at age 16 enlisted in the Confederate Army. In 1871, he was married to Mary Nancy (Frost) Murphy. She was born in 1841 near Macon, Georgia, and was the daughter of Hilary Frost. Before this marriage, she had married a Mr. Murphy by whom she had three children: Malcolm, Benjamin and Annie Murphy.

John and Sarah had five children born to them: Callie, b. 1872, m. Joe J. Handley; Ella, b. ca 1875, single; Fannie, b. 1877, d. 1918, m. Willie Bryan; William Richard, b. 1880, d. 1933, m. 1902, Martha Elizabeth Bryan; and John D., b. 1887, m. Fannie Lee Robbins.

The next son, William G. Sport, was married to Martha Stripling (or Striplig). This couple had three children, but two of them died as infants. The surviving child was a son, Johnnie W. Sport, b. 1877, d. ca 1950, m. Sallie McGhee. Johnnie and Sallie had four children: James A., b. 1900, d. ca 1952, m. Pearl Parker; Abbie L., b. 1902, d. 1949, m. Archie Webb; Argel B., b. 1908, m. Louis May; and Annie E., b. 1912, m. Guy Sheffield.

The third son, Thomas Benjamin Sport, was married to Adeline Augusta Weatherford, and they reared six children: William Jennings, b. 1876, d. 1908, m. 1900 Daisy Fields; Lemuel Green, b. 1877, m. Cumi Kimbro; Mattie Lee, b. 1881, m. 1904 Daniel Jackson; Effie Elma, b. 1885, d. 1942, m. 1912 Benjamin Franklin Etheridge; Thomas Marvin, b. 1887, m. 1911 Annie Maude Campbell; and German Fletcher, b. 1892, d. 1950, m. Dollie Sasser.

The fourth son, Malachi Sport, was married to Sallie Sport, and the couple reared two children: William A., b. 1894, m. Mab Sermon; and Leon Emmett, b. 1901, m. (1) ? Faulkner, by whom he had two children, Saramal, b. 1925, m. Victor S. Musich; and Leon Emmett Jr., b. 1928. The names of Emmett’s second and third wives are not known at this time. He is believed to have had one or two more children by the third wife.

The fifth son, Daniel Webster, was married to Mollie Kimbro circa 1883. They reared three children: Hilary Herbert, b. 1890, m. 1914 Edna Sasser; Grover Flemming, b. 1896, d. 1955, m. 1915 Carrie Lou Blackmon; and Molay Hobson, b. 1898, m. 1922 Kizzie Free.

The sixth son, Joseph Nathaniel Sport, was married and had two children. At this time, the names of his wife and children are unknown to this family.

There appears to be enough genealogy available on the next generation of this family to merit an additional column for next week. The source for today’s writing is again the family records of Jean (Sport) Brooner. These have been researched and compiled by her, Frost Bryan, Steve Etheridge, and James Horace Sport.

Anyone who has any correction to the above or additional data on this family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or E-mail:


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will hold a covered-dish dinner meeting on Thursday, December 4, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Sir Francis McGowin will present a program describing the holidays during the 1860s.