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Houston County, Alabama, Heritage

   Judge W. J. Baxley was then elected by the council to succeed Dr. Carroll, he, however, served out the tern and he may be called the first real mayor of Dothan, as the other two [Rev. J.Z.S. Connelly and Dr. R. D. Carroll ] served for about a period of two months.  Judge Baxley was a great asset in the early beginning of Dothan. (Watson, Fred S., Hub of the Wiregrass)


Descendants of Baxley
1-John Barnabus Baxley b. 1795, South Carolina
 +Nancy Ayers 
|--2-Barnabus Baxley 
|--2-Jephtha Baxley d. 8 Dec 1901
|   +Susie Richards 
|  |--3-Edith Baxley 
|      +Jay D. Dinkins , par. John Doby Dinkins and Unknown
John Doby Dinkins
|     |--4-John Baxley Dinkins 
|         +Dorothy Snell 
|        |--5-John Dinkins Jr. 
|        |--5-David Dinkins 
|        |--5-Bill Dinkins 
|--2-Thomas Baxley d. 31 May 1862, Seven Pines
|--2-James Baxley b. James 26 Sep 1838, d. 10 Apr 1919
|   +Martha J. 
|  |--3-Jeptha Baxley b. 24 Sep 1865, d. 20 Sep 1952, Dothan City Cemetery
|  |   +Leecy b. 3 Dec 1870, d. 20 Aug 1936
|  |--3-William Joseph Baxley b. 6 Feb 1859, d. 26 Jun 1929
|      +Mary Josephine Folkes b. 9 Dec 1860, Parker, Florida, d. 6 Oct 1930, 
|       par. J. P. Folkes and Mary Frances Stewart
|     |--4-Grover Baxley 
|     |--4-Owen Baxley 
|     |--4-Emma Baxley 
|     |   +McCall 
|     |--4-Minnie Baxley 
|     |--4-Lillie Baxley 
|     |--4-William Keener Baxley b. 6 Dec 1899
|         +Lemma Rountree 
|        |--5-William Baxley 
|        |   +Lucy 
|        |  |--6-Louis Baxley 
|        |   +Marie Prat 
|        |  |--6-Johnson Baxley 
|        |  |--6-Robert Baxley 
|        |  |--6-Richard Baxley 
|        |  |--6-Evelyn Baxley 
|        |--5-Wade Baxley 
|            +Joan Morris
|           |--6-Hamp Baxley 
|           |   +Emily Carmichael , par. Daniel Carmichael and Donna Gayle 
|           |    Martin
|           |--6-Keener Baxley 
|--2-John Baxley d. 2 May 1863, at Chancellorsville

The Dothan Eagle

 27 Jun 1929

Judge Baxley, Pioneer Citizen, Called By Death.

Oldest Native Citizen of Dothan Succumbs From Heart Attack Last Night.

Was Born Less Than Mile From Headland Ave. Home.

Served on First City Council, Was Third Mayor; Burial Tomorrow Morning.

Judge J W Baxley, Dothan oldest native citizen died suddenly last night at
7:40 from a heart attack at his home on Headland Ave.  He was 70 years old,
and had spent his entire lifetime in Dothan or within three miles of the
corporate limits.

For the last few days he had suffered from what he believed to be attacks
of indigestion, though they were not severe enough to force him to bed.
Yesterday afternoon he complained of the pain and the doctor who had been in
attendance, was called.  He stated his condition was serious, and advised
that relatives be notified.  Less than 15 minutes later, Judge Baxley
expired while sitting on the side of the bed, and in the presence of one of
his daughters, Mrs. Emma McCall, and two sons, Grover and Keener.  Death
came swiftly and mercifully.

Judge Baxley’s full name was William Joseph.  He was born at a point
within less than a mile of his Headland Ave. residence on Feb. 6, 1859, in a
house located on what is now Washington Cherry’s place.

He was married in 1878 to Miss Mary Josephine Folkes, daughter of the late
J P Folkes, the ceremony taking place in Rocky Branch Church three miles
from Dothan.  The Folkes family was one of the first to locate in this
section, and the marriage united two of Dothan’s pioneer families.

Judge Baxley then went into partnership with his father-in-law, conducting
a blacksmith shop located on the site now occupied by Jeff’s Troy Street
Station, at Troy and St. Andrews streets.  In 1885, when Dothan was
incorporated, he was a member of the first City Council.  The late J Z S
Connelly was the town’s first mayor.  He served two weeks, and resigned
after an altercation with a prisoner against whom he had assessed a fine.
The late Dr. R D Carroll succeeded Mr. Connelly, and he, too served only a
short time.  Judge Baxley was the third man to hold the mayorship, being
elected in 1886.  The term was for one year, and he held the office until it

Later Judge Baxley acted as city clerk.  The job at that time paid no
salary, as it required only a small amount of time to discharge the duties.

During this time Judge Baxley was an inveterate reader, and among his
choice of books were law books.  He informed himself on law to such an
extent that he was admitted to the State Bar in 1890.  He practiced law for
a while.

Later he was appointed Justice of Peace, and held this position over 30
years.  He was active until 1923 when the court was changed to the Court of
Common Pleas.

Judge Baxley attended the first services of the Methodist Church in
Dothan.  They were held in the blacksmith shed described in the foregoing.
Later his father-in-law, Mr. Folkes, donated the property in which now
stands the Foster Street Church, and a one-room wooden structure was
erected.  It was replaced in 1903 by the present brick building.  From the
establishment of the Church Judge Baxley was an active member of the board
of stewards until a few years ago when he began to grow feeble.

He was a charter member of Dothan Masonic Lodge No. 466, which was
organized about 1888.  He was the first Worshipful Master of the lodge, and
held office for the first 12 years of its existence.  He later served as
Worshipful Master for a total of approximately one-third of the time since
the lodge was founded.  He was also a member o the K. of P. and the Woodmen.

For many years the Baxley family lived on what is now a vacant lot on the
southwest corner of Troy and St. Andrews street, near The Eagle building.
Keener Baxley, son of the deceased is today practicing law within 100 feet
of where he was born.

The family moved to the present residence on Headland Ave., in 1903.  This
was far beyond the city limits and regarded as out in the country, and Judge
Baxley possessed 50 acres of land which he farmed between his other duties.
Gradually Dothan expanded and he saw his property change from farming land
to city property.

Judge Baxley perhaps knew more about Dothan’s early history than any other
man.  His memory vividly retained countless impressions of men and events
during the early days when the community was known as Poplar Head.  Until
the moment of his death he was mentally alert, and only yesterday afternoon
was discussing an amusing incident which happened many years ago.  He
enjoyed talking about Dothan and it’s history.

Judge Baxley was ruggedly honest and conscientious.  He respected his
friends and loved their companionship.  He was remotely related to a great
many Houston County families, as his mother was a Newton, and a member of
one of the sections pioneer families.  He was widely beloved and will be

His wife preceded him to the grave in October, 1916.  Surviving are three
daughters, Mrs. Emma McCall, who lives at the home on Headland Avenue; Mrs.
George Guilford of Blountstown, Fla., and Mrs. A E Grant, of Jacksonville,
Fla.; three sons, Grover and Keener of Dothan, and J O Baxley of
Thomasville, Ga., Three sisters and two brothers also survive.  They are
Mrs. N S Lisenby of Dothan, Mrs. J W Burdeshaw and Mrs. W M Robinson of near
Headland, Jeptha Baxley of Dothan and Prof.  J A Baxley, superintendent of
the Andalusia City Schools.

Funeral services will be conducted from the home tomorrow morning at 10
o’clock by Dr. H H McNeil who, for many years was a pastor of the Foster
Street Church, and one of his close friends. Assisting will be Rev. J F
McLeod of the Foster Street Church and Rev. J W Budd of the Lafayette Street

The following will act as active pallbearers:  C L Newton, Roy O. Hill,
Dr. J M Stevens, Heard Saxon, Dr. G W Blakey, and N S Lisenby; honorary: O R
Morgan, A H May, F B Culver, J H Boone, E H Hill, R L Cox, C J Rollins,  J L
Crawford, W C Fenn, Dr. H Green, H Blumberg, J E Hornsby, B P Poyner, A E
Garner, J B Saxon, J R Keyton, J L Domingus, A G Grant, J A May, H E Jordan
and I W Orr.

Burial will be made in the City Cemetery with the Houston Funeral Co.. in
charge of arrangements. 
Phil McCall (
The author descends from Private James Baxley [Great, Great, Grandfather])

Fighting For The Confederacy

Five sons of John Barnabus Baxley [Born 1795 Died Unk] served the Confederacy in the 3rd and 6th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiments. The Regiments were recruited from the Dothan area.

One son, Thomas [Company L, 3rd Alabama] was killed on May 31st, 1862 during the Battle of Seven Pines. Son John [Company B, 6th Alabama] was killed during General Thomas Jackson’s flank attack at Chancellorsville on May 2nd, 1862.

Brothers James [Company L, 3rd Alabama], Barnabus and Jeptha [Company B, 6th Alabama] were wounded numerous times. Jeptha was wounded on July 1st 1862 on Malvern Hill and again a year later to almost the same hour on July 1st 1863 at Gettysburg.

Barnabus and James were wounded in September of 1864 during the Battle of Winchester. Having had enough of war, wounded brothers James and Barnabus and unwounded brother Jeptha surrendered at Winchester. The boys were interred as POW’s until June of 1865 and released six weeks after General Lee surrendered the proud Army of Northern Virginia.

James returned to the Dothan area and returned to the farm on what is now Headland Avenue. Barnabus and Jeptha moved to north Florida and established families around the Marianna area. The descendents of the brothers lost touch until recently when the efforts of many utilizing the internet allowed their story to be pieced back together. The author descends from Private James Baxley [Great, Great, Grandfather].

Phil McCall
April 12, 2002



Copyright 1996  These are my own working genealogy files that I share with you.  The errors are my own.  But, perhaps they will give you a starting point.  All original writing is copyrighted.  Webmaster

Copyright 1996  These are my own working genealogy files that I share with you.  The errors are my own.  But, perhaps they will give you a starting point.  All original writing is copyrighted.  Webmaster