|Born: September 01, 1863, Midway
Married: Isadora (Nicoles) Dix, June 18, 1888
Died: December 27, 1910, Macon GA
Buried: Riverside Cemetery, Macon GA
The first child of Alexander Franklin & Helen "Nellie" (Beach) Dix, Albert Sidney Dix, "Bert", was born on September 1, 1863 in Midway, Alabama, in what was then Barbour County. Several large counties were divided into smaller counties during reconstruction. As a result, Midway is now in Bullock County, Alabama . Alexander Franklin Dix (AFD), had come to Alabama from the Buffalo-Niagara, New York area at the request of Alexander's first cousin (on his mother's side), Edward Milton Butterfield, to join him in teaching school there in 1859.
[The city of Buffalo's name was not taken from the animal of the same name; rather, it is claimed to have been named after its location at the origin of the Niagara River. Beau fleuve is French for "beautiful river".]
Apparently, Alexander liked the South. He went back to New York to marry Helen "Nellie" Beach on January 02, 1861, then returned to Midway with his new bride, to resume his career and start their family. Shortly after returning to Alabama however, the War Between the States began. It must have been quite a struggle of conscience with so many of their New York relatives siding with the Union Army, but Alexander decided to enlist in the Confederate Army on May 12, 1862. During his stint in the CSA, he served under General Albert Sidney Johnston. When AFD's first born son came along on September 1, 1863, he named him after his admired general.
On March 19, 1865, Bert got a little brother --
Beach Dix, "Will", then a couple of years later, a little sister
Lillis "Dimple" Dix on April 18, 1867. AFD was discharged
and paroled from the Confederate Army
on April 9, 1865, so obviously, some furloughs were allowed.
These are the earliest known photographs of ASD.
|On April 18, 1869 (Dimple's second birthday)
AFD was ordained as a minister at the Midway Baptist Church and later
pastored at Enon Baptist Church . On October 10, 1869, Nellie
Butterfield "Daisy" Dix was born.
On June 14, 1871, Mary Belle "Dollie" Dix born. AFD & NBD have demonstrated a subtle sense of humor, nicknaming their girls with the alliterations "Dimple, Daisy, and Dollie Dix". Tradgedy strikes the family only four months later when, at less than two years of age, Nellie Butterfield "Daisy" Dix died (August 22,1871). Daisy's modest little grave marker is located in the cemetery behind the Midway Baptist Church.
We have no date, but we know that Bert was baptized by Rev. Joseph Dill * in Union Springs AL, and that ASD was eight years old when the family moved away from Union Springs, so it must have been around this time.
* The first president of the State Normal School at Troy (1887) was Joseph Macon Dill. There's a pretty good possibility that this is the same Rev. Dill who baptized ASD. Still checking. <http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Multimedia.jsp?id=m-3148>
Another clue was found in <http://www.firsttuscaloosa.org/Legacyoflove.pdf>
: "... Dill's younger brother, Rev. Jacob Smiser Dill, pastor of the Union
Springs Baptist Church, agreed to assume the pastorate on March 1, 1884..."
In October of 1871, the family moved to Winchester, (Franklin County) Tennessee where AFD had accepted a position as pastor of the First Baptist Church, where he pastored from October 1871 through September 1877. While in Winchester, AFD taught at, and received his M.A degree from, Mary Sharp College. There seems to be some evidence that AFD spent some time in this area of Tennessee when he was serving in the war. From the Alabama Department of Archives and History's "Civil War Service Database".
The Midway Cadets became Company E 1st Battalion Hilliard's Legion in May 1862. I was detailed for duty in office of assistant Adjutant General of Legion, afterwards held at same duty at department headquarters of E. Tennessee until April 1864.Daniel Dix was born on February 12, 1873, in Winchester. Daniel's older sisters, Dimple and Dollie (ages six and two), in their attempt to say "Daniel", could only say "Lell". The name stuck and he later adopted the name, calling himself Lell Daniel Dix throughout his adult life.
In school years 1871-1877, ASD and WBD were enrolled at Carrick Academy, then from 1878-80, Winchester Normal School and College in Winchester. During this time, AFD was the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Winchester (his second call) where he remained through September, 1878 in addition to his teaching duties at Winchester Normal School and College, between 1878 and 1879 (his last year). Also, during this time, Bert, Will, Dimple, Dollie, & Lell attended Winchester TN Carrick Academy / Winchester Normal College, through 1880.
1880 United States Census
* Note that under the "Rel" (Relationship) that Paul and Philo
were listed as "Other" -- a catagory for adopted children or boarders.
I had the priviledge of asking Lell's daughter, Annie Goulding (Dix) Meiers
about this before she died. She just laughed and dismissed that as
an census enumerator's error. It's also obvious that the census taker
visited the Dix home before June 16, when Murrie was born.
Back to Alabama
In July, 1880, after their decade stint in Tennessee,
the Dix family moved to Stephenson, Alabama (Jackson County) where
AFD accepted the poistion of president of William and Emma Austin College,
and remained there through the end of the school year of 1883.
That July, AFD and family returned to Union Springs, where he served as principal of the Union Springs Institute.
On September 4, 1884, while still living in Union
Springs, AFD preached in a revival back at his old church in Midway, and
the following year on March 8, 1885, ASD's brother, William Beach Dix,
following in his father's footsteps, was ordained as Baptist minister at
age nineteen in Union Springs. During this time, 1885-1886,
AFD was President of Classical Institute, Union Springs, Ala.
Tradgedy struck the family again on August 27,1886,
when William Beach Dix died in his prime.
He died at home in Pine Grove, but his congregation in Albany Georgia,
requested that he be buried there.
During 1886 and 1887, AFD Pastored Country several surrounding community churches including Midway, Fairview, Aberfoil and Liberty as a circuit preacher.
From Ruth Dix Whigham's Red Photo Album
(No date or location. Bowler hats were in vouge around the turn of the 19th/20th century.)
Cousin, Ann Howell, who lives in Brewton, found the following in the book, History of Escambia County by Annie C. Waters 1993, ISBN is 0-87152-463-5. It tells of the building and planning for the Brewton Collegiate Institute.
A lot was on Belleville Avenue was chosen and Charles Sowell erected a fence and planted oaks. Professor Walter R. Thompson, a Mississippian moved immediate to Brewton in the capacity of headmaster. The building was a two story structure constructed of heart-pine lumber. It was a private school, supported by student fees and stockholder certificates. The Brewton Collegiate Institute opened in September 1886, and was at once accepted as a college preparatory and vocational institution, consisting of both grammar and high schools. Prof. A.S. Dix presided over the intermediate class of males, Mrs. Kate M. Gage over the same grade of females. Miss Annie Clay presided over the primary department and Miss Dimple Dix's domain was the music department.Ann writes:
So... at one time both ASD and his sister Dimple were here.The following passage was typed on a 3 X 5 card by Mavis Whigham, and found with her family history information:
Albert Sidney Dix (called "Bert" by all who knew him) was teaching school in Brewton, Alabama. There he met Francis (Frank) Marion Nicoles, building contractor, through a friend, "Mr. Lovelace". Frank Nicoles' daughters, Isadora and Etta were students at Tuskegee Female College /Alabama Conference Female College, in Tuskegee AL (later moved to Montgomery and renamed Huntingdon College). Albert (Bert) Sidney Dix and Isadora Nicoles were married 06/18/1888.
A. S. Dix, E. M. Lovelace, and W. Y. Lovelace, Brewton AL
We had assumed that Bert and "Issie" were married in Brewton. However, the Index to Marriages, Volume A, Sept. 25, 1879 - Aug. 25, 1892, Escambia, Alabama, does not include the Dixes!? Perhaps Albert and Isadora returned to Bullock County to be married by the family patriarch, Rev. Alexander F. Dix. We'll see this again when their first child is born.
We know of no connections to Decatur at that time, but will persue this to see if it holds up."Albert S. Dix was married to Isidore [sic] J. Nicoles at Decatur Ala. June 18 1888".
From The Alabama Baptist, June 27, 1889 pg 2 col 6, we learn that the couple had left for Anderson, Tennessee immediately after the wedding:
From a private letter to the senior [Alexander Franklin Dix] from sister Dix [Nellie?], of Pine Grove, he extracts the following: Our eldest son, Professor A.S. Dix, and his wife [Isadora] have come home for the summer after a year at Anderson, Tennessee. On last conference day they united with our church – the former by letter, and the latter by experience, and Mr. [A.F. ?] Dix had the pleasure of baptizing her [Isadora] ... on the first Sunday.Anderson, Tennessee is just across the state line from Alabama, just up the road from Stevenson AL. The nearest large city would be Chattanooga TN. The studio location in the photos below is pretty good evidence for these photographs being made during their year in Anderson.
Back to Bullock County
Nearly two years later, Nelle gets a baby sister. Ruth Dix was born in Postoak AL, Bullock Co., on June 03, 1892.
Ruth was the second child of Albert Sidney Dix and Isadora (Nicoles) Dix. Although we have no official birth record, our personal records and oral history indicate that Ruth was born in Postoak Alabama (Bullock Co). Her father, Albert, was a school teacher when they lived in Brewton, so we can only assume that he was still teaching when their young family moved back to the vicinity of his birth and early childhood near Union Springs The 1895 Atlas shows that Postoak had a Post Office. It's now a dead town located at the intersection of Bullock County Roads 8 and 11 in southwestern Bullock County. 32°0'3"N 85°49'12"W, about 10 miles southwest of Union Springs. Interestingly, put purely coincidentally as far as we know, there's a "Pine Grove" church shown on the General Highway Map for Bullock County there and a "Liberty Church", one of the churches mentioned among AFD's churches at Postoak.
On October 22, 1894, the family gets a boy. Francis Albert Dix (Buddy) was born in Fitzpatrick AL, Bullock County. Fitzpatrick, located on Alabama Highway 110, between Union Springs and Montgomery, still exists (has its own Post Office and Zip Code, but that's about it. I'm curious about the circumstances of the first three children all born in Bullock County, yet in different communities. Did the family move within the county that often?
Below is a photograph of the Albert and Isadora's first three children who were born in Bullock County. The date of the photograph below is 1896. Once again the timeline is unclear. The next record of the ASD family is from Butler GA. I've found no information on the Photo Artist, F. P. Pepper. If we could learn where his studio was in 1896, we could pin down the date of the move to Georgia a little better.
"Papa and his friends"
Obviously, that's "Bert" in the back-middle. We don't know any of the other "friends" or exactly when this was taken. The other portraits made at the "F.P. Pepper - Photo Artist" studio were during the time the young family was back in Bullock County.
Albert Sidney Dix is mentioned in minutes of Butler,
Georgia, Church Conference meetings on May 22, 1897. We can only
assume that his still teaching. The following year, the family's
fourth child, a daughter, Issalee, was born on
March 24, 1898, in Butler GA. Although we don't have direct evidence for
Issalee's place of birth, the location inferred from surrounding events
and dates. On February 28, of the following year, ASD is ordained
in Butler GA. Source: American Baptist Year-Book, under "Ministers
Ordained in 1899".
Albert Sidney Dix and Isadora Nicoles Dix -- date and location unknown
Albert Sidney Dix
ASD is still in Butler GA, per the 1900 Census Microfilm records found by Lyn Simonton. Lyn & Tom also came up with the following found at Mercer University Library in Macon. Lyn writes:
In the Rehoboth Baptist Association Minutes of October 16-17, 1900, we found in the "Statistical Report" that A.S. Dix was listed as pastor of the Knoxville Church. He is also listed as pastor of the Benevolence Church, also in Crawford Co. I believe many of the small country churches back then (Knoxville had 45 members, Benevolence had 29) only had services a couple of times a month, so I guess he probably alternated between the two, or held services at different times of the day on Sunday.In 1903, the family moved from Perry GA to Forsyth GA, where ASD served as pastor of the Forsyth Baptist Church. Again, from Lyn's research:
In the Rehoboth Baptist Association Minutes of October 13-15, 1903, he was listed as pastor of the Forsyth Baptist Church which had 230 members, as opposed to the 170 and 51, respectively, in the Perry Churches.We have deduced that the AFD family portrait was made in 1903, based on the inclusion of the youngest child, Paul and Vernon's son, Oliver Dix.
Front row, L-R: Helen (7), Lillis (10), Nelle (14),
Ruth (11), James Hall Jr.(5), Francis (9), Elhannon Winchester "Chester"
On March 20, 1904, ASD's daughter, Dorothy born in Forsyth GA. (From her book of poerty, "Plateau Pauses and Other Poems")
(First) Baptist Church in Forsyth Georgia, as it appeared when ASD was pastor in 1903
Dr. A. S. Dix at 2nd Baptist Church, April, 5 1907
Nelle Graduated from Bessie Tift College on May 28, 1907, in Forsyth GA. In June, the family moved to Macon, where ASD had accepted the position of Manager of The Georgia Industrial Home.
At age 15, Ruth Dix enrolled at Bessie Tift College Academy, in Forsyth GA for the 1907-1908 term. Upon completion of her studies there, Ruth continued her studies as a student at Wesleyan College, Macon GA from 1908-1910.
The last child of the family, Eleanor (Dix) Smith, was born in Macon GA on March 13, 1909.
On November, 7, 1909, Nelle (Dix) Smith's daughter, Nelljie (Smith) Newman, born.
Albert Sidney Dix (Standing in back), Alexander Franklin Dix, Nelljie Dix Smith, and Nelle Dix Smith (21) (holding Nelljie). Note: Nelljie was born November 7, 1909, so the picture was made sometime in 1910. Please note that this photo has four generations of Dix family.
On November 14, 1910, ASD was called as pastor for the coming year at Roberta Baptist Church (near Knoxville GA).
Again, from Lyn Simonton:
Now, back to the listing of pastors serving the Roberta Baptist Church (this is very near Knoxville). It states that Brother A.S. Dix was "called as pastor for ensuing 12 months" on November 14, 1910, and "accepted." This was only about six weeks before A.S. Dix's death on December 27, 1910. I had always thought that he had pastored a church while in Macon, and it seems that I was right, although for a very short time. (Rehoboth Baptist Association Minutes of October 16-17, 1900, we found in the "Statistical Report")
Submitted by Eugenia B. Hobday
Albert Sidney Dix died in Macon GA on December 27, 1910. He is buried Riverside Cemetery, Macon GA. We have several disparate accounts of the specific circumstances of his death.
Version 1: Martha Picardy recounted that, as a teen, she was picking at a scourge of adolescents -- a pimple on her face -- in the presence of her grandmother, Ruth Dix Whigham, who admonished her in the strongest of terms, NOT to "pick at that". She then went on to tell Martha that her father (ASD) died of toxemia -- commonly known as blood poisoning -- as a result of picking at a bump on his face or neck that became infected. Of course, this was long before anyone knew about antibiotics. Left untreated, the infection led to his demise.
Version 2: Lyn Simonton writes:
Yes, I did know how Albert Sidney died, but I wanted to add one more gruesome detail from my mother's version of his death. He not only picked at a pimple on his forehead, he picked at it with a pocket knife! It seems that I heard somewhere that his death was connected to uremic poisoning, possibly a result of the blood poisoning from the infected pimple. LynVersion 3: From Will Allie "Billy" DIX Jr.
Pop (Will Allie "Billy" DIX Sr.) told me he stepped on a nail at the construction site and got the infection. The doctor did not tell Granny Dix [or] anyone about this. "Florida" Billy -- Will Allie Dix Jr.Lyn replied:
The letter from Billy Dix (from Florida) was interesting. I had never heard the story about Grandfather Dix (Albert Sidney) stepping on a nail at a construction site. The pimple story was the only one I'd ever heard anyone mention (my mama and Aunt Ruth, mainly). I'd love to know which one is correct. I guess the blood poisoning part still stands, however. If the doctor "never told Granny Dix or anyone else" what really caused his death, then where did Uncle Billy get the story?It's not unreasonable to think that "the authorities" would seek to "protect" the genteel women folk from the unseemly truth, although, either story is equally ugly unless "the nail" story would make it seem like more of an accident than the self-inflicted "knife" story. Again I'm reminded at both the amazing accuracy and complete fallibility of human memory. We'll "stick" with the knife version for now, if for no better reason than consensus. RDW
Version 4: From Alice Newman Shannon
Can you stand to hear another story about why or how A.S. Dix died so young?!! I remember my Mom (Nelljie Smith Newman) telling me that the doctors had told him to stop eating "red meat" (heart or kidney disease) and he refused to follow their directions.
The Macon Daily Telegraph December 29, 1910
Macon Weekly Telegraph
February 22, 1911, J. A. Harris is now the General Manager of the Georgia
Because the family had lived in the manager's residence of the Georgia Industrial Home, and because ASD's successor would soon be occupying the home, Isadora (and her seven children still living at home), were forced to find a new home.
Early in 1911, "Granny Dix"and family, including the widowed grandpa Nicoles who was also living in Macon at the time, moved to Montgomery at 12 Marshall Street.
According to the 1910 Montgomery City Directory, ASD's brother, Lell and family lived at 24 Marshall St., Montgomery AL. The 1911 City Directory, is tantalizingly missing, but the 1912 edition lists Lell at 24 Marshall St., and Isadora as "head of household" at 12 Marshall St. I think it would be safe to assume that Lell was instrumental in helping his late brother's family relocate to Montgomery.
While in Montgomery, one-by-one, her children completed their education, married, and moved away to begin their lives with their spouses. In 1929, Eleanor married and moved from Montgomery to Atlanta and took Granny Dix to live with her. From 1929 until her death in 1952, Granny Dix lived a year at a time with her children.
(Back Row) Nell & John (Jack Jr.), Buddy, Granny Dix,
Will Allie "Billy", Ruth
Based on Jack Jr.'s birth, this photo must have been made
in 1917-1918, before Buddy went to France.
Mrs. Abert Dix
L-R: Ralph F Whigham Jr., Ralph F. Whigham
Ruth Dix Whigham (holding Little Dorothy Harris), Dix Whigham, Eleanor
Dix, Isadora Nicoles "Granny" Dix, Jack Smith Jr., Dorothy Dix Harris,
Albert Dix, Nelle Dix Smith, Audrey Dismukes (in front of Nelle)
Uncle Aubrey (Aubrey Dismukes Sr.) is behind Nelle.
Nelljie Smith is standing between
Aunt Nelle and Aunt Issalee. Audrey Dismukes (in front of
Jim Dismukes, Sarah Dismukes, (in front of Nelljie) June (Aubrey, Jr.)
Dismukes, and the smallest boy (may be Albert Dismukes) in front of
their mom, Isalee. (I guess Nic, Pat, and Dan were
not born yet.) On either side of Isalee, on the back
row, Will Allie (Uncle Billy) and Mable Dix. The other two children on
the end must be Bill and
Mable's children, Ruth and Little Billy. June 22, 1930. Not
pictured: Chiles Harris (photographer?) & Etta Smith.
[ My memory is that Dad said this was at Will Allie Dix's (Uncle Billy's) home in Cusseta, AL I asked Will Allie Dix Jr. (rightmost in the photo above) if he could confirm but didn't get a direct answer. He DID say his sister Ruth (next to him above) and seems to be about 4-years old) was born in Cusseta in October, 1926, so this could fit the June, 1930 timeline. RDW-8/2019]
Family Reunion July 10, 1939 at Ruth Whigham's home in Rutherford AL
Front row, Left -Right: Reggie, Eleanor, Dix, Frances, Granny
Dix, Bert, Nicky, and Pat
Isadora Nicoles Dix
Isadora Nicoles Dix toward the end of her life
On March 29, 1951, Granny Dix died in Robinson
Springs AL; She is buried Riverside Cemetery, Macon GA
u-0007.jpg “On board the ‘Miami’ en route to Cape Florida, March 1925.
Granny Dix & friend.”. Who’s the friend? Velma?
u-0008.jpg Granny Dix and friend sitting in front of coconut palms on same trip as in u-0007.jpg above.
u-0009.jpg “Both pictures were good. This is the one I did not think would take. March 1925.” Same trip as in u-0007.jpg.
u-0010.jpg “Thursday, March 19th, 1925, Miami Beach, Fla. ‘Uncle John’ “.
[Who was Uncle John? Same trip as above.]
u-0011.jpg “Miami Fla., March 1925”. We know this is Granny Dix. Just included it with other photos of same trip.
u-0012.jpg “July 19,1918, Franklin Tenn. For Eleanor. The Kodak was so close to ‘Billy’ that he looks like a big-headed horse.”
Granny Dix & friend in a horse-drawn buggy.
u-0013.jpg WWI soldier in uniform and woman in front of Model T.
[The Model T Ford was produced from 1909 until 1927.
The Model A Ford automobile as manufactured from 1928 through 1931.]
u-0018.jpg Granny Dix, man in white straw hat (skimmer), Woman, and WWI soldier, all standing on a wooden bridge.
u-0019.jpg Same two couples as in u-0018 but in different outfits.
Did the widow Dix have gentlemen callers?
u-0020.jpg WWI soldier, young girl, and 2 boys with caps on Model T.
“??? Learre???, Charles ????lon, Nov.1917”.
u-0022.jpg “Eleanor Dix, Granny Dix, Nelljie Smith & 2 soldiers.”
[Pretty sure this is at 12 Marshall St. Soldier on the right looks like the one in u-0020.jpg]
u-0017.jpg “June 9th, 1918” Woman & WWI soldier sitting on porch/steps of 12 Marshall St., Montgomery AL
u-0023.jpg Two younger couples on a porch with Granny Dix in a rocking chair.
[The house address is “104” (just to the left of the man sitting next to Granny Dix).
Frances Chapman has a letter from “Velma” to Lois Dix in Atlanta with a return address of 104 Marshall St. written in 1933.
Also see the next three photos at the same house. I found this house in the “100” block of Marshall St. ]
u-0006.jpg WWI soldier and woman on steps of house with double columns with stone bases.
[104 Marshall St.]
u-0021.jpg WWI Soldier, woman, Granny Dix on steps of house with stone bases [104 Marshall St.].
Toddler girl on porch.
On rear: ”??ard Smith, Co. D, 146 Infantry, Camp Sheridan, Jan. 1918. Left for Camp Lee, Petersburg VA. May 21, 1918.”
u-0035.jpg “Easter Sunday, 1930”, Granny Dix and friends in front of large block masonry house.
[104 Marshall St.]
April, 2016 view of 104 Marshall St. Now numbered "102" Marshall St.
u-0028.jpg Two women in swim suits at water’s edge, “Now put this in the fire. Feb. 1919”