We at The Bibb Voice wish to pay honor and respect in the passing of Bibb County’s own, Stanley Michael Mahan, Jr., better known as Doc Mahan to all. A man who touched, in a very special way, every life that crossed his path in his 84 years as a resident of Montevallo and Brierfield, Alabama.
Mike Mahan served the people of this area for decades as not just a family dentist, but also as an expert historian, seasoned art/artifact collector, volunteer fire chief, masterful musician, and community leader. Mike was a loving husband to his wife Linda Chambers, a violinist whom he met while playing in the symphony orchestra in Columbus, Ga.
Photo: Mike at his the Dental Office.
Mahan became a graduate of Auburn University in 1956 and in 1966 graduated UAB Dental School. Doc built and practiced dentistry for 50 years in Brierfield at Mahan Creek Dental, which still uses the restored 1790’s era log cabin built by his long lost relative Anthony Mahan. It was always a work of love for Doc as more than 200 years earlier his ancestor, Dr. Stanley Michael, settled in the Bibb County community of Brierfield.
Often helping others at his own sacrifice, Doc Mahan hosted a Dentistry from the Heart charitable events at his office for many years, providing basic dental care for hundreds of people in pain who could not afford to pay for needed services themselves.
Mike and Linda’s long time home is also on Mahan Creek just across Alabama Highway 139. It is the meticulously maintained “Montebrier”, and is registered as a National Historic Place.
Mike Mahan along with Marty Evers and many others helped establish Brierfield Ironworks Park
as a County Park for Bibb County. Now Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park serves thousands of people annually from around the State and Nation as a true treasure of Historic Bibb County. Historic structures at the park include Mulberry Church, Sunshine Morton House, Brierfield Lodge, Ashby Post Office, Hayes/Morton Inn and the Iron Furnace ruins.
Mike authored his book, “No Hill Too High for a Stepper: Memories of Montevallo, Alabama,” published in 2014. It is a historical memoir of his life during the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s.
The book is about the reflections of his time spent growing up in Shelby county and in the college town of Montevallo. The book was sponsored by the Cahaba Trace Commission and is one of the series of of books called “Voices Along the Trace”.
The accomplishments and services rendered by Mike Mahan to the people who knew him are many and vast. Those who know him will carry the affect of meeting “Doc” throughout their rest of their lives. He was a unique individual with a powerful driving force throughout his life.
His long time associate and friend Marty Evers said of Mike, “He didn’t limit his affections to just Brierfield and Montevallo. As a member of the Alabama Historical Commission, he dashed across the entire state whipping up enthusiasm for saving old buildings and sites.”
I think Marty pretty well describes what it was like to spend time with one Mike Mahan. He spent his entire life saving a vanishing history, spurring everyone he met to live out loud, and leaving all with an increased enthusiasm for life.
Well done Mike Mahan! You will be missed old friend.
By David Daniel
“Mahan Pens Memoir on Montevallo” – Shelby County Reporter – 2014
“Dentist, …Receives Special Honor” – Alabama Nursing Home Association
“Montevallo Bids Farewell to Community Icon” – Shelby County Reporter
“No Hill Too High For A Stepper”– Books on Amazon