Dr. Achilles Lucian Moorman practiced medicine around the turn of the 20th century out of a charming office building located along Main Street in downtown Bexar, Alabama. If you were to visit Bexar today, there would be no sign that a bustling little town even existed, but at one time it was home to several businesses, churches, schools and many fine homes. I can claim kinship to many of the families that once called Bexar home, including my great-great-great grandfather William Tillman Bishop. Bexar was established around 1830, and when the first post office opened there in 1843, the community was named as a tribute to the many men of the area who fought at the battle of the Alamo during the Mexican War.
Dr. Moorman was married to Mary Ophelia Stone, granddaughter of Dilmus J. Stone who has been attributed as the 'founder' of Tremont, originally known as Stones Crossroads. Many Itawambians who lived just over the state line from Bexar were loyal patients of Dr. Moorman. Right across the street from Dr. Moorman's office lived the family of Henry and Susan Robinson. Henry was a brother of my great-great grandfather George E. Robinson, and Henry's wife Susan Florence "Sukey" Evans was a sister to my great-great grandfather John T. Evans. Told you I have some Bexar connections! After Dr. Moorman died around 1922, Ophelia moved back to Tremont and their home was purchased by Henry and Susan's daughter, Kate, and her husband Morman Stone, who was a cousin of Ophelia.
The 1880 census indicates that thirty-two year old Dr. A. L. Moorman was a boarder in the household of Henry and Susan Robinson. He married Ophelia in 1883 in Itawamba County, and they had daughters Corrine and Jessica both of whom moved to Florida. Ophelia was the daughter of John Henry Stone Sr. and Florence Emmaline Cowden, and many of her grand nieces and nephews live in the Tremont area today.
The photographs below of Dr. Moorman's office can be found on the website for the Library of Congress and are part of the Historic American Buildings Collection. They were taken in 1936 by photographer Alex Bush. [Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey, Reproduction Number HABS ALA,47-BEX,1-] The information that accompanies the photographs at the LOC website indicates that the building is of "folk architecture" and built "approximately 1830." The 1830 date is doubtful as the structures built at that time would have been of crude logs!
Today, the building that housed Dr. Moorman's office is located across the street from the historic Old Jacinto Courthouse in Alcorn County, having been moved there several years ago. Many of the office's architectural details, including the heavy "rope" moulding and deep window "seats," were duplicated in Dr. Moorman's home.
The first photograph pictures the front of the medical office. Note the beautiful trim work! The second photo shows the rear of the building while the next two photographs show the interior. At the time the photographs were taken, the office had been converted to a residence. Although the office was in unkempt condition, you can still see the beautiful craftmanship and details that went into its building.
Morman and Kate Robinson Stone's granddaughter has wonderfully vivid memories of Dr. Moorman's former home and office in Bexar, and I invite her to share whatever information she would like with our readers.
Marion County, Alabama
Bexar post office, Beat No. 4
Achilles L. Moorman 57 AL VA AL physician, married 17 years, born March 1843
Mary O. Moorman 39 MS AL AL, born July 1860, 2 children, 2 living
Jessica G. Moorman 16 AL AL MS, born May 1884
Anna C. Moorman 8 AL AL MS, born Aug 1891