This community, settled during the mid-1830s, was first called Fulford’s Cross Roads, then Missouri Cross Roads when a post office was established here in 1846. The name Perote, adopted in 1850, was suggested by veterans returning from the Mexican War (1846-48), who remembered a citadel in Mexico by that name. Incorporation followed in 1858.
Early settlers in the area, who came primarily from the Carolinas and Georgia, included the following families: Boykin, Reeves, Sellers, Crossley, Blue, Harp, Locke, Peach, Hixon, Culver, Johnson, Adair, Ardis, McCall, Rumph, Brabham, Miles, Cameron, Starke, Wilson, Walker and Ivey. Methodist and Baptist churches were among the first structures in the community, around which much of the social life centered, including “protracted meetings” – revivals.
Perote grew rapidly in the 1850s so that by 1860 the community was thriving with several doctors, stores, a carriage factory, a Masonic lodge, and a school. At the beginning of the War Between the States (1861–65), the school numbered about 150 students. Many of the young men from the school served in the Perote Guards, organized in 1859 as war clouds gathered. They went off to war as part of the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment with uniforms and a flag handmade by the women they left behind.
The community’s fortunes fell following the war as cotton cultivation, the area’s traditional leading economic pursuit, receded in importance. By-passed by the railroad and experiencing several disastrous fires, Perote suffered a steady decline in business activity and population.”