Thomas C. Dunlap

Written by: Linda Dunlap Rohrig (

According to my records the first Dunlap in my family came to Winston Co. Al. in 1876, and he was my great-great-grandfather Thomas Carson Dunlap. He came from Coosa Co. Al. Thomas was a blacksmith and a justice of the peace. At Rockford, in Coosa Co. he was the jailer and his wife cooked for the prisoners. He preformed marriages and witnessed land deeds, ect. In Winston, Thomas Carson and his family lived under a huge rock cliff (bluff) while they built their log home. In 1966 the old log house still stood but was almost impossible to get to; the Sipsey River back waters had covered most of the land. Thomas made the door hinges for the old jail house in Houston, according to his grandson William Jasper Dunlap, my grandfather. Thomas is buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, and on his marker it says T. W. Dunlap, it should say T. C. Dunlap. My grandfather William and his brother Sydney had the marker made and put the wrong middle initial. Thomas was married twice, his first wife was Elizabeth Hardin. Thomas and Elizabeth had 8 or 9 children. Thomas was married a second time to Mermelia (Mealy Ann) Ann Thomas, they had 8 children. Mealy Ann is buried at Bethel Church Cemetery a few miles from Haleyville.

William Dunlap owned 240 acres near Pleasant Hill Cemetery in the 1930s. William and his wife Joanna Baldwin were married at the Pleasant Hill Church on Dec. 18, 1899. William and his family also lived under a bluff for one and a half years until they built their house. My dad Daniel Baldwin Dunlap has fond memories of living under that bluff while his dad and his brothers and himself built their house.

In 1963 Henry (Hank) Dunlap, my dad's brother, left Tucson, Arizona, and built a house on Cherokee Bluff at the spot of Henry's old home place. Henry used one of the hinges made by Thomas Dunlap when he built the house. In 1966 Henry and his wife Dot returned to Arizona, and Henry died of cancer in Tucson shortly after their return from Winston. My dad, Daniel Dunlap, bought the property from Henry's wife after his death. We lived there for a short time in the early 70s. The days spent in Winston were some of the best of my life. My husband and three of our children and our daughter-in-law and my dad, Daniel Dunlap made a trip back to Winston in May of this year (2003). The man who owns it now (Charles Cagle) was nice enough to allow us to walk down to the bluff where my dad lived as a boy. We went to the lower bluff were my dad had cut steps in the rock to get down to it when he was a boy. He couldn't make it down to the lower bluff as he walks with a cane so he waited for us at the top. There is a spring that flows out of the rock. My husband folded a big Cowcumber leaf and took it up to him. It was our first taste of that water in almost thirty years. I had not been there since I was a little girl but I felt the same as I did the day we left; it was as if I had just left yesterday. I cried, my dad cried. I made Mr. Cagle cry. I don't know if I will ever make it back to Winston but I will always hold that day in my heart. I was not born in Alabama and only lived there a short time, but for me it is where I belong.