Dothan is a major city in Houston County, Alabama. It is the principal city of the Dothan Metropolitan Statistical Area. This area comprises the Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties. It is also the county seat of Houston County. It has a total area of 86.8 square miles. 86.6 square miles of the area is land and 0.2 square miles of it (0.23%) is water. The city has a number of nicknames, notably "The Peanut Capital of the World", "Hub of the Wiregrass" and "The Circle City". The first migrant settlement in the area occurred in the 1830s. Though the initial name of choice was Poplar Head, while incorporating it the name was changed to Dotham in 1885. When Houston County was formed, Dothan became its county seat in the year 1903. The name Dotham is Biblical in origin.
The timber industry was the first one to be set up here, and the railroad constructed here (the first in the area) gave a significant boost to trade and economy. Upon clearing timber, cotton was cultivated on the fallow land, setting the cotton industry in motion. However, the boll weevil infestation during the early twentieth century decimated the crop, forcing people to move on to peanut production, which has since continued. Even now, it remains a hub for the production and transport of peanuts and peanut-related products. About one-fourth of the total peanut crop produced in the country is within 75 miles of the city. The city has continued to witness significant economic growth and has a self-supporting airport, the Dothan Regional Airport. Public schooling is administered by Dothan and Houston City Schools. Higher education is provided by Wallace Community College and Troy University. Sony and Michelin Corporations have also set up plants here. Power generation in part is by the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Station near the city. A significant portion of the city workforce is employed at the nearby Ft. Rucker. Other companies with a commercial presence here include Dunbarton, Barrington Seafood, Qualico Steel, Pemco World Air Services, General Electric and many more.
The city also has a thriving cultural scene. It organizes a popular two week long National Peanut Festival every November. Another annual festival is the Toadlick Music Festival. It also has a number of museums and historic monuments. Theatre and music gigs are common here. Other attractions include golf courses, theme parks, the botanical garden and recreational centers.
Dothan's cost of living is 12.30% lower than the country average, making living here comparatively cheaper. It is one of the cheapest cities to live in, for its low rates of taxation.