Sports settlement dedicated with marker

Published 4:59 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On September 26, an historic marker was installed at Sports, Ala., on U.S. Highway 29 between Brantley and Dozier near Mile Marker 67, between Double Branch and Three Mile Creek.

The marker was obtained through the Alabama Historical Marker Committee. The committee verifies and approves the information that is placed on the marker and assists the sponsor with ordering. The sponsor is responsible for obtaining permission from the property owner to place the marker in a spot where a motorist can easily drive a vehicle off the road to view it. The State Highway Department will install signs notifying motorists that a

historic marker is ahead.

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The text on the marker at Sports reads: “The area known as Sports was settled by Jonathan Sport and his son, William, who migrated from South Carolina in 1842. Jonathan and William owned 600 acres of land in the area at one time, farming and operating a grist mill. William’s sons John Solomon, William Garmon, Thomas Benjamin, Malachai, Daniel Webster, and Joseph Nathaniel have descendants living in the area in 2009. Originally called “Piney Woods,” Sports first appeared on an official railroad map in 1900. Alabama Historical Association, 2009”

According to excerpts from “Memorial Record of Alabama,” Jonathan Sport, his wife Margaret Baily (Bailey?), their 3 daughters (Mary Amanda, Sarah Ann, and Thaney) and one son (William) moved from South Carolina, in 1842 to what is now known as “Sports”. At that time, the area was a part of Covington County. Jonathan and William farmed and operated a grist mill. During the 1860s, William served as a delegate to the Conecuh River Baptist Association from Union Baptist Church of Christ and in 1869 he, his wife, and others received a letter of dismissal from the Union Baptist Church of Christ very likely in order to found and organize Enon Baptist Church, near Dozier, Alabama. Jonathan Sport was born in North Carolina, and his wife, Margaret, was born in South Carolina. William Sport (Jonathan and Margaret’s son), farmer and miller of Beat No. 8, Crenshaw County, Alabama, was born in Marion district (South Carolina) in 1822.

The family lived in Marion County until 1842 when they came to Crenshaw County. William Sport made three settlements in that neighborhood and had improved three farms. Since 1870, he lived on his place on the Conecuh River where he owned over 600 acres of good farming lands. In 1884 he erected a water power or grist mill.

During a portion of the Civil War, he served in the state troops on the coast near Mobile. Mr. Sport was one of the earliest settlers in Crenshaw County.

A special thank you was given to Steven Sport Brooner for placing the marker on his property, and to Joyce Sport Faison, Brenda Faison, James B. and Laurie Faison, Jeannie Gibson, Betty and David Sport and Mattie Pearl Sport for helping to pay for the marker.