A Short History of Dora

 

Long before Alabama became a state, the area in East Walker County, later to become the City of Dora . Little is know about East Walker County before 1800. According the the Dora Depot Dora Centennial Book, the area was difficult to reach because it was covered with dense forests.

Wild horses roamed the banks of the Warrior River and Horse Creek, which runs through what is now called Dora. Native Americans, such as the Chickasaw, Choctaw, and the Creek Claimed the area as their territory.

 

The troops of Col. John Coffee burned he last remaining Native American village during the Creek Indian War which along with the War of 1812, opened the territory east of the Mississippi River to white settlers. Men who served in these wars were given land grants to settle in the newly opened area.

 

According to the Dora Centennial book, the earliest known settlers of the site currently known as Dora, were James M. Davis and Ezekiel Morgan.

 

Sometime after the War of 1812, the families of James . Davis and Ezekiel Morgan, along with several other families, left Raleigh, North Carolina and traveled by covered wagon and horseback to Alabama, settling for a time around Blount Springs before moving again.

 

In the late 1820s or early 1830s they found a pretty valley with a creek running through it that they named Horse Creek because of all the wild horses they found there.

 

James M. Davis filed claim to government land in Section 18, Township 15, Range 5, on February 13, 1830.

 

Main Street Dora Ezekiel organ filed claim to his land on November 26, 1831. This land was in the eastern section of the valley along Horse Creek and to the road now know as Old Highway 78. This included the areas now know as Sloss Hollow, and West Pratt.

 

Not long after the homesteaders moved in, coal was discovered on the land. Coal mining soon became a thriving business.

 

There was not real town or community, however until the Kansas City, Memphis, and Birmingham Railroad came through the area in 1886.

 

The railroad build a depot along the rail line. The railroad men called the stop, Sharon, probably after one of their wives or girlfriends.

 

Dora's First Mayor Sam Sellers Within the next few years the town of Sharon was established and a business district began to develop around the depot.

 

The railroad was atop an embankment with Main Street and most of the stores were built much lower than the railroad. This left little room for expansion of the town with stores only possible with Main Street only having one side, but with the growth of mining operations, camps sprang up all around the town of Sharon.

 

The town continued to grow, and on February 18, 1897, the town incorporated with the new name of Horse Creek. The first elected mayor was Sam Sellers, and the aldermen were R. H. Palmer, Bill Mitcher,

F.M. Thompson, J.W. Gravlee, Titus Davis, and T.L. Waldrop.

 

At some point in the early 1900s, the name changed from Horse Creek to the current City of Dora.