Dothan, Alabama is the largest city in southeast Alabama with a population of 66,408 (2008). It is the county seat of Houston County, Alabama's newest county (1903), which has a population of 98,488 (2008). Portions of Dothan also lie in Dale and Henry counties. Dothan (pronounced DOE-thun) is the largest city in an 85-mile radius and this contributes to making it a center for shopping and medical care. The community from which Dothan emerged was originally known as Poplar Head, named for a local spring and gathering spot. The town incorporated on November 11, 1885, while still part of Henry County.
Dothan is often referred to as:
"The Peanut Capital of the World" - Approximately half of the peanuts grown in the United States are grown within a 100-mile radius of Dothan; Dothan is home to the National Peanut Festival, a two-week celebration held every October-November.
"The Hub of the Wiregrass" - Dothan is the largest city in the Wiregrass, an area encompassing parts of southwestern Georgia, southeastern Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. It is named for Aristida stricta, a plant native to the area, commonly known as wiregrass due to its texture. Intensive cultivation has almost eliminated all occurrences of the plant in natural settings.
"Alabama's Mural City" - Downtown Dothan is home to almost two dozen murals depicting the colorful history of Dothan and the Wiregrass region. The murals are all viewable from city streets.
"The Circle City" - When the Ross Clark Circle was built in the early sixties to completely encircle the city, few planners would have predicted just how quickly the city would grow beyond its limits. The 14-mile four-lane highway was authorized by former Governor "Big Jim" Folsom who directed that it be named for his favorite brother-in-law. At the time it was believed to be one of the first highways in America to completely enclose a city.