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History of the City of Dothan

Incorporated in 1942 by the City of Dothan, Dothan Housing began providing safe, sustainable, sanitary housing for residents of the City of Dothan and surrounding areas. Since that time Dothan Housing has worked to expand our housing options and provide new innovative supportive services for our residents.

Dothan Housing owns and manages a variety of affordable housing units and administers Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers along with a myriad of supportive service programs for residents.

A seven-person Board of Commissioners authorized by laws of the State of Alabama and appointed by the Mayor of Dothan, is responsible for the development of housing policy and the authorization of expenditures.


Poplar Head, named for the poplar trees that encircled the glade where the cool water or “head” (as springs were often called) welled from the earth, was where ancient Indian trails met, crossed, and then continued on. The glade where the spring was located was often used by Indians from the various tribes of the Creek Confederacy as a meeting place and as a campground. 

In the 1830s a fort existed on the Barber Plantation, 10 or 12 miles east of Poplar Head, where the settlers from the surrounding town and hamlets could go when they felt threatened by the Indians. By 1840 the Indian wars in Alabama were over and the fort soon disappeared.

By 1885, the hamlet had grown into a village. The new settlers realized that if the community’s growth was to be sustained they needed a governing body and local law enforcement. On November 10, 1885, the people of Poplar Head voted to incorporate and took as the new town’s name the name of Dothan.

Founding of Dothan Alabama Sign