In 1912, Elias Thomas planned to take his wife, Rose, and their children to Lebanon for an extended visit.
âBefore they left, he sold the business to the Jackson Grocery Company, which agreed to lease the building for 10 years,â Hanson wrote.
During his stay in Bteghrine, Elias Thomas started a new business and was elected mayor of his village.
âFor his dedicated work in establishing 14 rural schools, he was decorated by Tsar Nicholas of Russia and presented a magnificent sword with his name engraved on the blade,â Hanson wrote.
Elias Thomas’ return trip to Dothan was again delayed, this time by war.
âThe Lebanese people had no food and no money, but Elias Thomas managed to get groceries and sold them to the villagers for IOUs,â Hanson wrote.
At 39, Elias Thomas Saliba is assassinated. âHis widow Rose returned to Dothan with their six children and rented the historic building to various tenants from 1922 to 1940,â Hanson wrote.
Around this time, his sons began to use the facility for several different purposes, including a roofing business, selling furniture, and an optometry practice.
âAs ET Saliba’s sons moved their businesses and retired, the structure joined its neighbors in the graveyard of vacant buildings,â Hanson wrote. “In the 1970s and 1980s, Dothan retailers flocked to new malls and residents moved away from the downtown core to and beyond the Ross Clark Circle.”