Ruth Dix Whigham

Ruth Dix Whigham
Born June 3, 1892 in Postoak, Alabama (Bullock County)
Married Ralph Fleming Whigham 06/15/1914 
Died April 28, 1977.  Buried,  Hurtsboro AL
They had two sons:
Ralph Fleming Whigham Jr. 
b. August 17, 1915; d. March 27, 1973. 
Buried in Memorial Cemetery, Montgomery AL

Francis Dix Whigham 
b. April 15, 1920 at 12 (now 20) Marshall St., Montgomery AL. d. February 27, 2000. 
Buried in Memorial Cemetery, Montgomery AL

Ruth was the second child of Albert Sidney Dix and Isadora Nicoles Dix.  Ruth was born in Postoak, Alabama (Bullock Co.)

Her older sister, Nelle, was born a little over two and a half years earlier when the family lived in Brewton AL (Escambia Co.).  Her father was a school teacher 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 Rand McNally Atlas shows that in 1895, Postoak had a post office but no railroad service.  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. 

Nelle and Ruth soon had a little brother, Francis Albert Dix (Uncle Buddy).  Buddy was born on October 22, 1894, in Fitzpatrick AL, (Bullock Co.).

Photo submitted by Frances (Dix) Chapman
Ruth (4), Francis (2), Nelle (7), in about 1896

The next  date we have in the family's peregrinations, is in May of 1897, when Albert Sidney Dix is mentioned in minutes of Butler GA Church Conference meetings.

Ruth's younger sister, Issalee, was born on March 24, 1898, in Butler GA (Location inferred from surrounding dates)
02/2/-1899  Albert Sidney Dix was ordained in Butler GA.   In July of 1900, the family left Butler GA, and moved to Perry GA where the Reverend  Dix served as pastor of the Perry Baptist Church. 

From Ruth Dix Whigham's Red Photo Album
"Ruth Dix aged 7 yrs, 4 mos, visiting her grandparents in Montgomery". 

Ruth was born June 3, 1892.  7 years and 4 months later would be October, 1899.  The long sleeve dress, some leaves on the trees and some on the ground, would seem to bear this out.  Alexander Franklin and Nellie Dix lived at 514 Jefferson Street then according to the Montgomery City Directory.   If this is correct, the houses in the background would be at the intersection of Jefferson St. and N. Bainbridge St. 

The next move was when Ruth was eight years old.  We have a letter to Nelle and Ruth from their aunt Dollie, dated August 25, 1900 to their and address in Knoxville Georgia, where their father was pastor of the Knoxville Church and Benevolence Church. 

The following year, the family gets another baby boy -- Will Allie, named for ASD's two brothers who had died in their prime.  "Billy", as Ruth called him, was born in either Perry GA or Knoxville GA based on dates from surrounding events.

In October, 1901  ASD and family are living in Perry GA, (Houston Co.) where the Rev. Dix is pastor of the Perry Baptist Church, &  Houston Factory Church. They remain there through the fall of 1903, when they moved to Forsyth GA, where ASD was pastor of the Forsyth Baptist Church.


Ruth Dix

Photo submitted by Martha (Whigham) Picardy
Ruth, age 11 years, (front row center) with her fan in this 1903 family poatrait.


Ruth Dix
Photo submitted by Mike and Caroline Lyon

We don't know for sure, but this image bears a strong resemblance to Ruth with her signature fashion statement, the large bow in her hair.  We don't know at all who the man is (AFD?), the location or exact date.  My guess is about 14 years old so around 1906.  Macon GA perhaps? 

Ruth, Philo, and ?

Again, no names with the photograph, but it looks like Ruth to me.

When Ruth was 12 years old the family was still in Forsyth GA, where Dorothy was born on March 20, 1904.  Three years later, Nelle Graduated from Bessie Tift College in Forsyth GA on May 28, 1907.  It was also in 1907 when Ruth, at age 15, enrolled at Bessie Tift College Academy, in Forsyth. 

The next month, the Dixes  moved to Macon GA,  where ASD had accepted a position as manager of the Georgia Industrial Home.  In July of the same year, Granny Dix's mother, Mary Jeniluska (Jenie) Holipeter Nicoles died.  In the years 1907-1910,  Ruth Dix was enrolled at Wesleyan College, Macon GA.  In Ruth's junior year, her baby sister, Eleanor was born (March 13, 1909). In November, 1910, ASD was accepted as pastor at Roberta Baptist Church (near Knoxville).  Tragedy strikes the next month when, two days after Christmas, ASD died.

Below is Ruth's transcript from Wesleyan College and letter written by Ruth in 1970, to the The Wesleyan Alumnae that explains why she could not complete her studies there:

Because the family was living in housing provided by the Georgia Industrial School, the family had to leave to make room for ASD's successor there.  Granny Dix found herself widowed with six children still living at home.  ASD's younger brother, Lell
who was living in Montgomery, secured a home for his sister-in-law's family, next door to his own home. Although we have no hard evidence (the 1911 City Directory for Montgomery is one of the few missing years -- they are listed in the 1912 City Directory), we assume that the grieving family moved to 12 Marshall St., in Montgomery AL in 1911.

Photo  by Russell Whigham, 2003

The wooden columns have been replaced with wrought iron and the house number has been 
changed to "20", but this is the house we all know from scores of photographs, as "12 Marshall St."

Photo  by Russell Whigham, 2003

Highland Park School where Ruth Dix taught in 1913.  Later renamed Highland Avenue School, where her grandson,  Russell Dix Whigham attended first through fourth grades during the years 1950-1954.  Russell's second grade teacher, Miss Katie Hayden, was a teacher at the same time Ruth was there.  During the early '50's, the trolley tracks where Ruth must have ridden, were still in the median.

Ruth married Ralph Fleming Whigham on June 15, 1914 at 12 Marshall Street, Montgomery AL.   The wedding was performed by her grandfather Rev. Alexander Franklin Dix.  Ralph and Ruth made their home in Rutherford.  The following is a transcript of Ralph Whigham's oral history, as he recalled meeting his future wife:

In 1911, a young lady came from Montgomery to teach school in Rutherford.  I liked Ruth Dix and we had a good time together before she went back to Montgomery to teach at Highland Park Elementary School. I visited her a number of times and we corresponded until she agreed to marry me. The wedding was on June 15, 1914. We came back to Rutherford for our honeymoon.  Miss Pauline and Miss Annie Upshaw met us at the train. The next morning we went over to the farm and looked it over. (He had bought 200 acres beyond Powell Creek from Mr. Rutherford.) That afternoon Miss Pauline sent us a leg of goat. We ate on that goat for about a week! Then one day I went in the kitchen and Ruth was talking goat Latin and I knew it was time to get rid of the last of that goat. (If you1ve never heard a bunch of goats in a pen--you can't imagine what goat Latin sounds like!)

After about 15 months, we had a baby boy, Ralph Fleming, Jr. When Ruth’s time was due, I got busy and when after Dr. Hendricks from Hurtsboro. Nothing happened that night, so the doctor came back the next morning, and brought his son, Walter, with him. That boy had to play around the yard and at the store all day long. Late that afternoon, about 5:30, baby boy Ralph was born.

He was the cutest little fellow and after they got him cleaned up, old Aunt Bessie said, I’ve got to bus him.  (Her word for kiss.) We lived in that house for 3 or 4 years (Jean and Dewey Terry live there now), then I built a house on the hill between Rutherford and the Bishop Place. Dix was born while we lived there, but he wouldn't be born in the country. He had to be a big shot and be born in the city. Ruth went to her mother's at 12 Marshall St, Montgomery Alabama to have her second son. Her brother Francis call me on April 15, 1920, to announce the birth of Francis Dix Whigham.  I was on the next train to Montgomery. We were proud of our second son.

“The Dix Girls, Aug. 1922”

Issalee, Eleanor, and Ruth at Issalee's home perhaps in the 1930s?

Ruth in September, 1945, with her first grandchild, Russell Dix Whigham.

March, 1946

The two "RDW's" Rusty and Ruth in Rutherford AL, 1947

Summer, 1948

Christmas, 1949

Ruth, Nelle, Dot, Eleanor, and Issalee
Christmas, 1953 at Dorothy's home, "Thornfield", near Millbrook AL
Photo submitted by Frances (Dix) Chapman


Ruth at Spring Hill School in Barbour County


Ruth's teen years were at Bessie Tift College,
Lab High School in Forsyth Georgia

Ralph and Ruth (Dix) Whigham, May, 1975
Photo submitted by Frances (Dix) Chapman

May 30, 1975