In the late 1700s and 1800s, horse and ox-drawn covered wagons from Charleston, Savannah, and
Jacksonville, creaked and groaned across the South as pioneer families searched for a place to build new
homes and to start a new life. Those pioneers who passed through the vast pine forests in the southeast
corner of the territory that was to later become the state of Alabama would often stop at a spring known
as Poplar Head, where they would camp for a while and rest. Most of those early travelers believed that
the sandy soil which nurtured the thick pine forests would not be suitable for farming, so they moved on.
Poplar Head, named for the poplar trees that encircled the glade where the cool water, or "head" (as
springs were often called) welled from the earth, was where ancient Indian trails met, crossed, and then
continued on. The glade where the spring was located was often used by Indians from the various tribes
of the Creek Confederacy as a meeting place and as a campground. In the 1830s a fort existed on the
Barber Plantation, ten or twelve miles east of Poplar Head, where the settlers from the surrounding town
and hamlets could go when they felt threatened by the Indians. By 1840 the Indian wars in Alabama were
over and the fort soon disappeared.
By 1885, the hamlet had grown into a village. The new settlers realized that if the community's growth
was to be sustained they needed a governing body and local law enforcement. On November 10, 1885,
the people of Poplar Head voted to incorporate and took as the new town's name the name of Dothan.
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City of Dothan
126 N saint Andrews St.
Dothan, AL 36303
Houston County Administration
462 N. Oates Street
Dothan, AL 36303
Marriage License (334)677-4721
Drivers Licence (334)983-1156
Boat Licence (334)983-5616