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James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Sumiton is located in both Jefferson County and Walker County in central Alabama; the majority of the town is in eastern Walker County. It has a mayor/council form of government.
Sumiton began as a mining town that grew up around a railroad sometime after the Civil War. The first commercial mining venture in Sumiton was Philip and Moran's Mining Company. At various times also known as Bald Eagle, Commercial, Democrat, and Summit, Sumiton's current name, which was adopted in 1926, results from its location at one of the highest points in Walker County. The first post office opened in 1924, and the first public school in 1940. The city was incorporated in 1952.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Sumiton recorded a population of 2,735. Of that number, 88.2 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 9.9 percent as African American, 1.8 percent as two or more races, and 1.6 percent as Hispanic. The town's median household income was $37,569, and the per capita income was $22,910.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Sumiton was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (27.4 percent)
  • Retail trade (17.2 percent)
  • Manufacturing (9.4 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (9.2 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (7.9 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (7.1 percent)
  • Construction (4.9 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (4.3 percent)
  • Public administration (4.3 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (3.5 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (3.4 percent)
  • Information (0.5 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (0.8 percent)
Schools in Sumiton are part of the Walker County School system; the town has one K-8 school. A campus of Bevill State Community College is located in Sumiton.
Old U.S. Highway 78/Highway 5 runs northwest-southeast through Sumiton, and several county roads serve the city. Interstate 22 lies southwest and connects Birmingham with Tupelo in northeast Mississippi.
Events and Places of Interest
The Sumiton Frog Festival is held on Main Street the first Saturday in October. It features arts and crafts, live music, food vendors, and entertainment for children. The Sumiton Senior Center was recently opened to provide seniors with a gathering place; it also serves as a violent weather safe shelter.

Additional Resources

Walker County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Walker County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.
Published:  November 9, 2020   |   Last updated:  September 13, 2016