William Beach Dix
William Beach Dix
Born: March 19,1865, Midway AL
Ordained:  March 8, 1885 (age 19) in Union Springs AL
Died:  August 27, 1886 (age 21)
Buried: Oak View Cemetery, Albany GA

There is no known photograph of Uncle Will.  The only information that we have discovered comes from Mary Vernon (Dix) Sproles and her son, Ed Sproles Jr.  All of the documents below are from the scrapbook that Nellie Beach Dix kept in memoriam to her children died in their prime.

Mary Vernon (Dix) Sproles made these notes including the following excerpt, following a conversation with Madeline Dix Reeves, daughter of Thomas Murrell Dix, on July 22, 1994:

... I asked [Madeline]  if she didnít tell me she had been to * Uncle Willís grave in Albany Ga.  She said she and Mr. Reeves and his son W.P. Jr. (who has died) were on their way home from Fla. when they happened to come through Albany Ga.  She said there are two cemeteries in Albany, an old and new.  She knew he would be in the old one.  No one was there to direct them so they just drove around and happened to go right to it.

She said when Uncle Will became ill he was taken to his parents home in Union Springs, Ala and died there but he had been such a loved pastor of the Baptist Church in Albany, the congregation asked that he be buried in Albany and they paid the funeral expenses and had the stone erected.  Madeline took a picture of stone but said she had no idea where it was. 

Mary Vernon Dix Sproles

*William Beach Dix

Here are the other items on W B from the scrapbook.  I scanned these a week or so back and just had not gotten around to sending them.  Some are clearer than others, the newspapers have yellowed or beyond, is browned a term used for such??

This batch is quite voluminous, and somewhat interesting.  It must have been a real disappointment for AFD to have a son who was apparently a gifted preacher and then to lose him so young.  But, as we have noted, sadness must have been a common resident in those days.

Ed Sproles Jr.


Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.

Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.

Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.

Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.
Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.

Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.

Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.

Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.

Transcribed by Russell Dix Whigham, 2008

Albany, Ga.

     From the records of the FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH was organized by Rev. Jonathan Davis, about 1840.
     In 1844, the first church was built.    The first pastor was Rev. Lott Warren.  The church was remodeled  in  1892.   The building was torn 
down the latter part of 1911and the corner stone for the preesent church was laid May, 1912.  In Feb. 1918, the church was finished and ready 
for worship. 
     The pastors serving are named in order:  Lott Warren, W. W. Maund, Joseph Baker, E. T. Winkler, Needham Collier, T. D. Mathews, Charles Mallory, S. G. Daniel, G. T. Cooper, S. G. Hilyer, C. M. Irvine, S. P. Callaway, W. A. Baily, W. H. Whisset, F. C. Johnson, R. D. Mallary, B. 
F. Riley, K. T. Hanks, J. S. Loyd, W. B. Dix, E. E. Folk, D. B. Ragsdale, E. B. Carroll, P. F. Crawford, J. J. Bennett, B. W. Davis, W. L. Richards, Lamar Sims, J. A. Smith, and the pastor very much beloved and honored, pastor, James Baxter Turner.


Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.
Obituary from New York Newspaper
Where "June" is lined through above, "March" was written in on the page of the scrapbook.

The "Mrs. Alston", mentioned as a friend in the above obituary, was more than just a casual acquaintance.  The following are excerpts from Dimple Dix Hall's journal.  Dimple is writing in the third person, referring to herself as "she" and "her".

Three years were spent in Stevenson. 

Her music teacher was Mrs. Alston, Cousin Lizzie to most everybody in Stevenson, and as Cousin Lizzie she became a dearly beloved friend of the entire family and the love of his life to Will. He also took music, had his lesson after school. I had mine the last period and waited for them and we went home together down the mountain. 

When she was sixteen the family moved to Union Springs, Ala. Her father, mother, Bert, Will, and Cousin Lizzie, all teaching in the Union Springs Institute.  Her father was a Baptist minister and had combined teaching and preaching wherever he was located. At Stevenson there was only an undenominational church, and they were glad to have a preacher of any denomination Ė while teaching in Union Springs he had several churches out in the country which he served in turn, and they paid the preacher in produce of all kinds - vegetables, chickens, eggs, meat, milk, butter, wood, potatoes, syrup, and some money - all of which came in handy in caring for a large family and boarders.

[I wonder if Cousin Lizzie was one of the boarders?]

While in Union Springs, Will decided to be a minister and studied with his father, was ordained at 19 years of age, preached a few times to country churches and was chosen as Pastor by the First Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. Cousin Lizzie went to Dawson, Ga., to teach music. She was 15 years older than Will, had two sons and one daughter, was very lovable and attractive with a wonderful voice in her small body. You wondered how could it be. Will told the story of his love for her to his associate ministers in Albany and told them they, he and Cousin Lizzie, would abide by their decision as to whether they ever married or not. The two ministers decided against the marriage, told Will he'd have to make the choice between his love and his ministry. So they were never married, but 'twas Cousin Lizzie who held his hand as he lay dying of heart trouble, her kiss was the last that he asked for he was only twenty-one, and his church in Albany asked that he be buried there. 

[Ed and I guessed that the marriage was denied because Cousin Lizzie was divorced.  Is this still a common practice?] 


Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.

Submitted by Ed Sproles Jr.

From The Union Springs Herald, 01 September, 1886
Submitted by Eugenia Hobday

Death of  W, B. Dix.

The above young divine died at the residence of his parents in this city last Friday night, aged about twenty years. Ha was brought here from Albany, Ga., a week previous to his death, having suffered from a protracted spell of sickness, and was in It sickly condition at the time of his removal. His malady was heart disease, and it was well known the summons of death was likely to come at any moment. His - remains were carried to Albany for interment, interment, he having expressed wish that he should be laid to rest in that city. , Mr. Dix. was a young minister of bright promise. He was ordained more than a year ago,served churches churches in this vicinity a short time, when he was called to the larger field of labor in Albany, and at tho time of his death was pastor of the Baptist Baptist church in that place. He ' was a thorough scholar, possessed a bright and analytical mind, and his career of of usefulness had only begun begun when he was called to blighter fields above. He was the second sou of Rev. and Mrs. A. F.Dix, who have resided in Union Springs for tho past three years, his father being principal of the Union Springs Institute daring that period.

Woodcut of a cross with words from hymn "Rock of Ages", believed to have been made by William Beach Dix.

My mother, Mary Vernon Dix Sproles, has a framed object in her home of the following description. The image is a cross fabricated from thin wood as one might use for veneer. The image is formed by removing shaped pieces of wood so that the remaining wood forms a latticework cross covered with ivy. Incorporated in the ivy and latticework are the words:

"In my hand no price I bring"

which are found in the hymn "Rock of Ages." The wood cross is mounted on a red cloth backing and framed under glass in a gold colored frame.

The framed cross was given to my mother by her "Aunt Dimple" (Mrs. James Hall) when they found it in a storage room at Mrs. Hallís house in Pine Grove, Alabama. Mary Vernon and some of her family visited Aunt Dimple after the funeral of Grandpa Nix. Mom lived in Decatur at the time, they had traveled to Montgomery following the hearse bringing Mr. Nixís remains to Montgomery for burial. The Halls had a large house on their farm in Pine Grove, but by this time most or all of the children were out on their own and Uncle Jim had died. They found the framed cross with a dirt dobber nest in the corner of the frame and Aunt Dimple told Mom to take it if she liked it. My mother did like it, and cleaned it up and has displayed it in her home for years.

According to the information that my mother has, her fatherís older brother, William Beach Dix (1865-1886), made the cross.  This cross may be one of the few items that we have that relates to William other than his obituary notices.

Ed Sproles


Oak View Cemetery
Albany GA

Photo submitted by Mike and Caroline Lyon

Mike Lyon wrote:  The notation "Aunt Vernon" is in my wife, Caroline's, handwriting.  The "Albany, GA" predates that.  Caroline and her aunt Winifred Hall went through many of these photos in the late 70s and made notations where they could identify folks.

There is an inscription on the left side, but the angle is too shallow to read it.  I assumed that it was Uncle Will's grave since your grandmother had a photograph made with it, presumably taken by your grandfather, and that we don't know of any other Dixes in Albany GA.  I decided to say it is unless someone knows better.

Well, here's the proof:

Photograph by Larry Childs

Larry Childs jcdist1comm@wmconnect.com