Dr. Tobias Dalton came to Opp to practice medicine

Published 12:01 am Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Dalton ancestor to move to and settle in Covington County circa 1902 was Dr. Tobias Elect “Tobe” Dalton, who became an early physician in the Town of Opp.

He was a native of Pike County where he was born in 1866 in the Henderson community.

He was married there in 1902 to Daisy Lena Casey.

Reviewing Dr. Dalton’s ancestry, the earliest one found by this writer was Bailey G. Dalton, born in 1798.

He was married in 1823 in Putnam, Ga., to Celia Elizabeth Weatherby (1805-1836), so she died quite young.

Among their children was a son named Perry Woodward Dalton, who was born in 1836 in Randolph County, Ga.

Perry was married in 1857 in Muscogee, Ga., to Nancy Mary (or Mariah) Ann Jordan who was born in 1839 In Muscogee, Ga.

She was the daughter of Williamson Theophilus Jordan (1805-1895) and Harriet “Tiggie” Chapman (1800-1895). Williamson T. was the son of Radford Jordan and Elizabeth Middleton (Hogg). Harriet “Tiggie” was the daughter of Samuel and Harriet Chapman.

Perry Woodward and Nancy Mary Ann (Jordan) Dalton were the parents of the above Dr. Tobias Elect Dalton.

They had moved their family from Georgia to Pike County, Ala., only a short time after their marriage and a few years before the War for Southern Independence.

Their first two children were born before Perry was drafted into the Confederate Army.

Several notations of his service where found including the following: Co. I, 1st Regiment, Swanson’s Volunteers; Company I, 61st Alabama Infantry under Col. Swanson; and Company F, 1st Alabama Conscripts is engraved on his Confederate headstone.

Perry and Nancy Mary Ann Dalton reared the following children: Dr. Christopher Columbus, b. 1858, d. 1921, m. 1880 Matilda Hill Snead (1855-1921); Lilla, b. 1860, d. 1880, single; Tobias Elect “Tobe,” b. 1866, d. 1938, m. Daisy Lena Casey (1876-1940); Nancy L., b. 1869, m. Alan Hill; Raleigh D., b. 1869, d. 1912; Rossie, b. 1869; William Theophilus Sr., b. 1871, d. 1937; Emma Ruhama, b. 1873, d. 1921; Cora, b. 1875, d.1947; Tessora, b. 1875, d. 1922, m. 1892 John Irvin Johnson (1870-1941); Exa Beatrice, b. 1879, d. 1945, m. Lemuel A. Carroll; Jep Paul, b. 1881, d. 1930, m. Manyte Hollis; Hattie, b. 1887; and Frank, b. 1888.

Several of the sons became physicians and/or operated drug stores. (Some of this data may be questionable since three of the children were listed as being born in 1869.)

Dr. Tobias Dalton and his wife, Daisy Lena (Casey) were the ones who moved the Daltons to Covington County from Pike County.

Their first child was born in Coffee County in 1902, but they moved that year to the young Town of Opp where their second child, a daughter, was born two years later in their new home.

Tobias or “Tobe” attended Troy State Teachers College to become a teacher, and he worked in that profession in Pike County for a few years before deciding he wanted to become a physician. He chose to attend Emory University to seek his medical degree. Upon receiving it he began his practice in the Curtis community of Pike County.

Upon his marriage, he and his wife moved to Opp where he opened a medical practice and purchased a drug store.

He acquired the store from Frank Smith and hired Elrige Sims to operate it. In less than a year he sold the store to J.A. Whaley Jr., and thus it is best remembered as Whaley’s Drugs.

The Dalton couple resided in a house located on North College Avenue, which was the site of the old Baptist pastorium.

The house was a large, gabled structure and was painted white. Unfortunately, it burned in 1930.

Mrs. Dalton (Daisy Lena) was quite a leading citizen and influential member of the community.

During their first year of residence, she became one of the 27 charter members of the First Baptist Church, which was organized on April 13, 1902.

The organizing elders were John Bass Shelton and A.T. Sims of Georgiana, and A.T. Sims became their first pastor. She also served as the first organist for the church and donated the second dollar for the “Pastorium Building Fund.”

Dr. and Mrs. Dalton reared the following two children: William Casey Dalton, b. 1902, d. 1955, m. 1929 Janie Pearl Boone (1907-1974), with both being buried in Georgiana; and Sallie Mae Dalton, b. 1904, d. 1972, buried in Daytona Beach, Fla., m., but divorced, Robert “Josh” Collingsworth Reynolds (1904-1981). (Some sources list a child, Willie Mae Dalton, but that appears to be a misprint.) William Casey and Janie had one daughter, Diana Dalton, b. 1936, m. 1960 William M. Mayo. Sallie Mae and Josh Reynolds had two children: Gloria Reynolds, b. 1937, single; and Larry Reynolds, b. 1938, m. 1964 Elizabeth Bojar.

It is a pleasure to feature Dr. Tobias Dalton’s family since they served a valuable service to Covington and other counties.

Such men often labored during trying times and without the medical resources they needed.

Our commendations are expressed to him and his colleagues.

Sources for this writing included the following: Ancestry.com, the Roster of Civil War Soldiers of Alabama, Gus and Ruby Bryan’s Covington County History, 1821-1976, and a family story written by Dr. Tobias Dalton’s granddaughter, Diana Dalton Mayo, and published in The Heritage History of Covington County, Alabama.

Anyone who might find an error in the above or who has additional genealogy on the Dalton family is encouraged to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.


The Covington Historical Society will be meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests and new members are most welcome.


Curtis Thomasson is seeking family information and genealogical records on families that might be featured in this column. If you have any available data or any question, please contact him at any of the above addresses. This would be greatly appreciated.