Sports Crossing founded by Sport ancestors

Published 11:59 pm Friday, November 28, 2008

The Sport family of Crenshaw County had additional generations to live in the area and to have it become known as Sports. The specific site along the old Dozier/Brantley Highway included a bar and later a general merchandize store, which was owned and operated by Lemuel Green Sport. A small railroad depot was erected there, and residents would ride to Andalusia for a very small fare. The Sports Cemetery was located only a short distance from the store and the railroad.

The next generation in this family would be the great grandchildren of William and Sarah Jane (Singleton) Sport. Their oldest son, John Solomon, and wife, Mary Nancy, had the following grandchildren: Their daughter, Callie, and her husband, Joe J. Handley, had the following six children: Fannie Brown, b. 1891, m. 1910 Raymond E. Thagard; Lennie Rebecca, b. 1894, m. 1917 Calvin O. Kimbro; Mary Audrey, b. 1901, m. 1922 Lucine L. Robbins; Annie Lucile, b. 1904, m. 1928 E.E. Whittle; Redge, b. 1911, m. 1935 Bonvile Merdith; and Faye, b. 1914, m. 1934 James Colquette.

John Solomon and Mary Nancy’s daughter, Fannie Sport, and her husband, Willie Bryan, reared four children: John Foreman, b. 1903; Joe Durward, b. 1905; Dixie, b. 1908; and Richard Frost, b. 1913.

John Solomon and Mary Nancy’s oldest son, William Richard Sport, and his wife, Martha Elizabeth Bryan, reared the following children: Richard Guy, b. 1904, m. 1924 Annie Mae Sanders; Willie Rex, b. 1906, m. 1929 Susanna Marrill (or Merrill); Kate, b. 1908, d. 1911; Nellie Jo, b. 1911, m. 1929 Bowers Caswell; Annie Laura, b. 1913, m. 1942 Jimmie C. Robertson; John Ray, b. 1917, d. 1955, m. (1) 1941 Francis Ward (2) Myrtle Anderson World; Ralph Donald, b. 1919, m. 1947 Bennie F. Jordan; and James Horace, b. 1925, m. 1946 Sybil Ruth Rogers.

John Solomon and Mary Nancy’s next son, John D. Sport, and his wife, Fannie Lee (Robbins), reared the following children: Made, b. 1910, m. 1935 C.L. Clark; Max, b. 1913, m. 1939 Inez Deloney March; Clyde, b. 1916, m. 1933 Gerldean Moore; Dow, b. 1919, m. 1940 Johnnie Opal Bozeman; and Mary, b. 1920, m. 1946 James Gibson.

The next set of grandchildren, those of William G. Sport and his wife, Martha (Stripling), were listed in last week’s column.

The grandchildren of Thomas Benjamin Sport and his wife, Adeline Augusta (Weatherford), include the daughter of their oldest son, William Jennings Sport, and his wife, Daisy (Fields). Thelma Marie was born in 1903.

Thomas Benjamin’s second son, Lemuel Green Sport, owned and operated a bar at Sports Crossing. The building was later removed, and Lemuel erected a general store in its place during the early 1920s. After the new highway was built a short distance to the west, Lemuel moved one half the building housing the store up to the west side of the new highway in 1939. He moved his family’s house on logs pulled by mules to a site on the east side and across the road from the store. Lemuel Green and his wife, Cumi (Kimbro), reared two children: Shirley Jean, b. 1930, m. Clifford Eddie Brooner; and Joyce, b. 1932, m. James Lamar Faison. Shirley and Clifford’s son, Steven Brooner, owns and cares for some of the property that has been in the Sport family for several generations. Joyce Faison has retired and moved back to a house located on the site of her childhood home.

Thomas Benjamin’s daughter, Mattie Lee Sport, and her husband, Daniel Jackson, had the following children: Ethel Currie, b. 1905; Dollie Odessa, b. 1912; Thomas Gaston, b. 1914; James Coleman, b. 1918; Effie Elma, b. 1885, d. 1942, m. 1912 Benjamin Franklin Etheridge. The Etheridges had the following children: Carl, b. 1912, m. (1) Myrtis Turner (2) Lucille Stevens; Dixon, b. 1914, m. 1943 Bertie B. Dean; Bennie Kate, b. 1918, m. Joe Rex Kimbro; Joe Tom, b. 1920, m. Mary Sue Allred; and Neil, b. 1924, m. Louise West.

Thomas Benjamin’s son Thomas Marvin Sport, and wife, Annie Maude (Campbell), reared the following children: Thomas Coleman, b. 1912, d. 1950; Eva Lita, b. 1916, m. Marion Durwood Dean; Edward Ford, b. 1922; Osa Ray, b. 1925; and Annie Fay, b. 1927.

Thomas Benjamin’s family experienced a horrible tragedy in 1907 when he was shot while filling-in at his son’s bar. To quote a statement in his obituary, “He lived near his place of birth till April 23 when he was most shamefully murdered by a drunken youth for no cause only Mr. Sport refused to credit him for some alcohol out of his son’s bar.  He was tending to the bar while his son was grinding corn at his mill.” In the obituary, Thomas B. was highly praised for his character and fine treatment of his family and neighbors.

During the three days between the time he was shot and died, Thomas B. issued a public statement: “I am soon to pass away and I desire to make an expression of thanks to the people generally for their kindness during my affliction. Dear neighbors: I thank you kindly for your care and sympathy toward me while I have been here suffering from the assassin’s hand who has taken my life for no wrong I erer did him. If I die I want this published, and if I live I will attend to the matter; but I feel that a few hours will call me to another world. My love to all.”

The grandchildren of Malachi Sport and wife, Sallie (Merrill), were presented in the previous column.

The grandchildren of Daniel Webster Sport and wife, Mollie (Kimbro), included the children of their oldest son, Hilary Herbert Sport, and wife, Edna (Sasser): Lexton, b. 1916, d. 1942; Linda, b. 1918, m. 1946 Frank Garner; Martha Etta, b. 1921, m. 1942 Dewey F. Flower; William Braxton, b. 1924, m. 1945 Nell Owens; Ima June, b. 1929, m. 1947 Taylor Hollis; and Garner Webster, b. 1932, d. in car wreck.

Daniel Webster Sport’s son, Grover Flemming Sport, and wife, Carrie Lou (Blackmon), had the following children: Estie Lee, b. 1919, m. 1939 William Mederith; James Harold, b. 1925, m. Oklahoma girl; Lenora, b. 1928, m. 1948 Martin Wyatt; and Robert Daniel, b. 1939.

Daniel Webster’s son, Moley Hobson Sport, and wife, Kizzie (Free), had three children: Lomas, b. 1924, d. 1925; Dazell, b. 1926; and David, b. 1932.

The grandchildren of Joseph Nathaniel Sport are not known at this time. He did marry and have at least two children, Sallie and Benton.

This concludes the review of the Sport family in the column. Appreciation is expressed to Jean (Sport) Brooner for sharing her family records. She credits Frost Bryan, Steve Etheridge, and James Horace Sport with researching this family and helping compile her genealogy.

Anyone who might have additional information on the Sport family is requested to contact this writer, 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 cover-dish dinner meeting on Thurs., Dec. 4, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Andalusia Public Library. Compatriot Francis McGowin will present a program describing the holidays during the 1860s.