Sumter County Alabama
A photo of the Alamuchee-Bellamy Covered Bridge in Sumter County, Alabama. It was taken by M.L. Devall in October 2007 on the campus of the University of West Alabama.
Sumter County, Alabama, was created on 1832 Dec. 18, from former Choctaw Indian territory.
The county is located in the west-central part of the state, bordering the State of Mississippi to the west and the Tombigbee River to the east. Sumter County encompasses 907 square miles.
The county seat was established at Livingston Alabama in 1833.
Sumter County Alabama History
Sumter County was part of the Choctaw Nation, which was made up of four main villages. The first settlers in Sumter County were French explorers who had come north from Mobile. They built and settled at Fort Tombecbee, near the modern-day town of Epes. In 1830, with the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the Choctaw Indians ceded the land that is now Sumter County to the government.
Sumter County Alabama Cities
Livingston was incorporated on January 10, 1835. At the 2010 census the population was 3,485, up from 3,297 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Sumter County and the home of the University of West Alabama. The area now known as Livingston was part of the traditional territory of the nation of Choctaw Indians until the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. At that time, settlers from the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia established the first European-American community about two blocks from the current Courthouse Square, near the corner of Madison and Spring Streets.
York was founded around 1838 after the merging of two communities, Old Anvil and New York Station, the latter a station on a stagecoach line. The rail came through in the 1850s and later, the “New” was dropped from York Station in 1861. With the discovery that another community in Alabama bore that name, the “Station” was dropped and York was formally incorporated on April 6, 1881. At the 2010 census the population was 2,538, down from 2,854 in 2000. From 1920-1980, it was the largest town in the county. Since 1990, it has been the second largest city behind the county seat of Livingston.
The Coleman Center for the Arts in York houses a small art museum. The museum, a library, genealogical room, and a cultural center occupy an early-twentieth-century store. Local citizens contributed the land, building, services, and funds for the center. In addition to its permanent collection, which includes an original etching by famed French Impressionist painter Pierre-August Renoir, the museum features traveling exhibits as well.
Sumter County Alabama Towns
The Cuba post office existed prior to 1850, with nothing in the present-day area of the town of Cuba but wilderness. As the town was settled, the post office became known as Cuba Station. The Town of Cuba was incorporated in 1890.
Emelle is a town in Sumter County, Alabama, United States. The town was started in the 19th century but not incorporated until 1981. Emelle was famous for their great cotton.
Epes is a town in Sumter County, Alabama, United States. Initially called Epes Station, it was incorporated as Epes in 1899. At the 2010 census the population was 192, down from 206 in 2000. Epes has its origins in Fort de Tombecbé (Fort Tombecbe), one of the major fortifications built under Louis XIV of France, in what is now the American south, in the early eighteenth century. Fort Tombecbe was built in Choctaw lands and would play a major role in colonial France’s efforts to stop British intrusions into the area. Bienville claimed that the new fort was to protect the Choctaw from the Chickasaw. Tombecbe was a major French outpost and trade depot among the Choctaw, the largest Native American group in the colony.
Gainesville is a town in Sumter County. Founded in 1832, it was incorporated in 1835. Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest surrendered his men near Gainesville on May 9, 1865, at the Civil War’s end.
There are a number of historic cemeteries and churches. The First Presbyterian Church dates from 1837 and has been rescued from fire on three occasions—once with a hand-to-hand bucket brigade. Inside, visitors may see whale-oil lamps, box pews, the altar’s original chairs, and a bell made in part from 500 melted silver dollars. Several denominations share this church, thus labeling themselves “Metho-bap-terians.” Other interesting sites in Gainesville include the 1872 Methodist Church, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church founded in 1879, and a Confederate cemetery.
Geiger is a town in Sumter County. It incorporated in 1912.
Sumter County Alabama Census-designated Places
Bellamy is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in Sumter County.
Panola is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Sumter County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 144. Panola is 6 miles north-northeast of Geiger. Panola has a post office with ZIP code 35477.
Sumter County Alabama Unincorporated Communities
Intercourse, is an unincorporated community located at a crossroads in Sumter County.
A post office called Intercourse was established in 1840, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1913. It is named for the traffic intersection of the town’s crossroads (called “intercourse” at that time).
Ward is an unincorporated community in Sumter County. Its ZIP code is 36922.
Warsaw, also known as Jamestown, is an unincorporated community in Sumter County. The community was originally called Jamestown, in honor of Jamestown, Virginia. The name was then changed to Warsaw, likely in honor of Warsaw, Virginia, where some of the earlier settlers of the area arrived from. A post office operated under the name Jamestown from 1832 to 1842, and under the name Warsaw from 1842 to 1910.