In the Southeast corner of Geneva County, Alabama is a small town by the name of Bellwood. Located in the northern part of Geneva, it is one mile west of the Choctawhatchee River and about 12 miles north of Geneva. The population in 1910 was only 201.
Choctawhatchee River (Wikipedia)
The town was incorporated in 1907 but is no longer an incorporated city. Today Bellwood is in the community of Coffee Springs, Geneva County, Alabama area and part of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area.
Bellwood Post Office
Surnames in Bellwood City Cemetery
Some surnames listed in Bellwood City Cemetery include: Beasley, Broxson, Floyd, Gatlin, Jerkins, Kelley, Mount, Patrick, Smith, and Watson.
During the days after the War Between the States, life was difficult for the newly freed slaves in Alabama, but in the small town of Bellwood lived a lady who was determined to help others in need.
First black Female doctor
Born on December 25, 1870, Sally Darby Broxton became the first black female doctor in Bellwood. She made her own medicine by using herbs and other things. Her home was used to care for the sick, as well as the needy and homeless. and she never turned anyone away. Dr. Sally delivered many of the babies in the area and raised several children who were not her own. She was also a fortuneteller.
Dr. Sally’s husband was named Sam Broxton and she had one child Lillie Broxton who was born in 1889 and died October 3, 1967. Lillie married C. J. Brown and she followed in her mother’s footsteps. Soon she claimed the title Dr. Lillie Brown. Like her mother, she opened her home for her patients. She even had rooms with numbers on the doors. A son and daughter were born to C. J. and Lillie.
Dr. Sally Darby Broxton died January 20, 1953, and her daughter Lillie died October 3, 1967, but many in Bellwood remember their loving care.
- Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen: Dictionary of Alabama ca. 1904
- Geneva Public Library
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