Historic marker honors Daniel Dozier, town

Published 4:06 am Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Town of Dozier is a small, rural one located in the southeastern area of Crenshaw County, Ala. Actually, it was in Covington County until the new Crenshaw County was created in 1866. It is located along U.S. Highway 29 just across the Conecuh River from the Rose Hill community. And it is still near the Covington County line and has normal association with it.

Norma Williams and her grandchildren, Emmalee Kage Mixon and John Robert Mixon, stand by the historic marker dedicated to their ancestor, Daniel Dozier and the Town of Dozier.

Saturday, October 21, 2017, was a special day in Dozier. An historic marker was unveiled and dedicated to the Town of Dozier and the memory of Daniel Dozier, the outstanding citizen for whom the town was named. The ceremony was staged around the monument, which is located next to U.S. Highway 29 at the north entrance to the Dozier Cemetery. Dedicatory comments and a prayer were voiced by a descendant, Norman Williams. She and Jean Brooner spear headed the project for placing the marker.

The inscription on the sign reads as follows: “DANIEL DOZIER (August 15, 1805—November 4, 1878). Born in South Carolina and orphaned as a young child, Daniel Dozier arrived in Alabama around 1817. As an adult, he operated a large farm and grist mill and served as minister for several churches. He was a moderator and leader in the Conecuh River Association for more than fifty years. He married Elizabeth “Betsy” Taylor in 1824. The couple had fifteen children. Daniel Dozier died in 1878 and is buried in Good Hope Primitive Baptist Cemetery in Covington County. The Town of Dozier was named in his honor. Incorporated in 1907, Dozier was known as “The Flowing Well City,” because of the many artesian wells locate there, including one in the town center, which provided water for residents and livestock. Another artesian well filled the public swimming pool. In the early twentieth century, the vibrant Town of Dozier included a train depot, hotel, post office, bank, several mercantile stores, a feed mill, cotton gin, lumber mill, textile mill, telephone exchange, doctor’s office, and a school. Alabama Historical Association, 2017.”

Although there was not a large crowd present, there were quite a few interested citizens and descendants of the honoree, Daniel Dozier. It is significant that there were several generations of the descendants present who ranged in ages from nine to 90 years. Following the ceremony, the crowd adjourned to the First Baptist Church for fellowship and refreshments.

Daniel Dozier was an early settler in the Dozier area. He was born in 1805 near the Pee Dee River in South Carolina. He was the son of Benjamin Dozier and Frances Wall, but he was reared by his mother’s brother, Thomas Wall. Frances’s death soon after Daniel’s birth led to him going to live with his uncle. Thomas Wall and his brothers, Absalom and Wright Jr., migrated into Covington County circa 1825 and settled in the area that would become Leon.

Since Thomas Wall was a minister of the gospel in the Primitive Baptist Church, Daniel received thorough training in that discipline. During his early manhood, he became a member of that church and was ordained to the ministry himself. He began a career that spanned nearly 50 years as a minister. He is remembered as having a good speaking and singing voice, which enabled him to help the churches grow. Through the years, he regularly served four churches in the Leon/Dozier area. He was a part of the constitution of the Conecuh River Association and was its moderator for more then 50 years. He was one of the most noted preachers of the area and was instrumental in organizing several congregations of the Primitive Baptist faith.

Daniel was quite successful as well in his secular work and was able to never accept any money for his church service. He was an excellent farmer, a blacksmith, a wheel wright and owned a grist mill. Although he had no formal education, he had an extensive library from which he leaned much on his own.

Daniel purchased his first land in 1837 when he acquired an 80-acre tract and a 40-acre one in the Dozier community. He added another 80 acres in 1840, 40 acres in 1855 and 240 more acres in 1856, all in the same community. He had as many as three slaves by 1860 to help farm the land. In 1864, he was serving in the Confederate Army as a private in Company C, Covington County Reserves. He was listed as owning a gun and being 59 years of age, and four of his sons were also rendering service.

Daniel became a public figure as early as 1828. At that time, he was an early leader in helping establish the new Conecuh River Baptist Association. By 1830, the local voting precinct for Beat Number Five was created at his home, which lasted until 1836.

Even though Dozier was a small, growing little town years before it was incorporated in 1907, it became a rather thriving community. Daniel Dozier was the first postmaster and was succeeded up through 1976 by the following: Mrs. Babe Dozier, Willie Clark, L.L. Mallette, J.A. Jackson (acting), and L.C. Sirmon.

Daniel Dozier was first married to Elizabeth “Betsy” Taylor, daughter of Wendell and Rebecca (Arnett) Taylor, natives of North Carolina. They were the parents of the following 15 children: Benjamin, b. 1825, d. 1861, m. Molce E. Holley; Frances “Fanny,” b. 1827, d. 1883, m. Ceaborn Weatherford; Paul, b. 1828, d. 1899, m. Adeline Holley; Elias, b. 1829, d. 1886, m. (1) Martha Jem Feagin (2) Martha C. Jackson; Sarah “Sally,” b 1831, d. 1881, m. Elias Holley; Daniel, b. 1832, d. young; Rebecca, b. 1834, d. 1895, m. Brown Handley; Green Berry, b. 1836, d. 1910, m. Arrinia Rebecca Rowell; Prudence Spier “Prudy,” b. 1838, d. ca 1862, m. James Dorman; Anne, b. 1840, d. 1914, m. (1) Benjamin Dorman (2) Warren A. Jackson; Thomas Wall, b. 1842, d. 1863, single; James Absalom Wright, b. 1845, d. 1929, m. Minerva Holloway; Mary Elizabeth, b. 1847, d. 1916, m. James M. Stinson; Emily Adeline, b. 1849, d. 1917, m. Preston Bryan; and Elkanah Taylor, b. 1852, d. 1922, m. Amy Nall. The many later descendants have spread throughout the country and some abroad.

When Elizabeth Dozier died in 1866, she was buried in a wooded area on family property in the Searight community. Her grave is well marked and maintained, and it is the only known one at that site. However, it is adjacent to a cemetery for black citizens that is being used currently. During his later years, Daniel Dozier was married to Lavinia Jackson who was believed to be buried beside him in the Good Hope Cemetery. In recent years at one of the annual family reunions, his descendants updated his gravesite with a modern headstone, which incorporated the original one. The names of all of his 15 children were inscribed on the backside of this monument for genealogical significance.

In 1988, the Dozier family descendants revived a tradition of having an annual reunion, which is held on the third Saturday each May at the First Baptist Church of Dozier. Anyone interested in more information on the Dozier family or the procedure for securing an historic marker may contact Norma Williams in Gantt at 334-388-2535.

Appreciation is expressed to Norma and Jean Brooner for this heritage achievement. Their records were the primary source for this writing; however, some historical facts were gleaned from Wyley D. Ward’s Early history of Covington County, Alabama, 1821-1871 and his Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama.

Anyone who might have corrections or additions to this story is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 2, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Compatriot Bob McLendon of Troy will be the speaker. Guests who are interested in Confederate heritage and prospective members are cordially invited.