Heritage Day continues to grow as it has every year since it began in 2003. It is truly a fun family community event for all ages. Arbor Day has become a part of the Heritage Day Celebration. Everyone had an opportunity to receive a free plant. Plants were donated by Buddy Martin, Martin Nursery. Buddy is a native of Semmes.
Bedding plants and house plants were offered for sale by the MGM High School Agriscience/Horticulture Academy. Classes are taught by Emil Dent. Students are taught the science of growing plants, successful management and marketing skills which they put into practice with the sale of the plants they have grown.
A display was presented by Mr. Charles Crabtree, instructor in the MGM Signature Academy of Biomedical Science.
You see, our goal is to not only remember our history, our past, but to look and move forward to the future.
Semmes Land Company
August Pickus, James E. Good, Arthur H. Humphrey, John S. Crawford, Abraham Westhafer, John H. Oren, Emanuel Goode and A.R. Funk in Christian County Illinois formed the Semmes Land Company came south to Mobile, Alabama.
According to Mobile county probate records, on November 28, 1900 the Land Company purchased a section of land fifteen miles northwest of Mobile in Albritton Precinct and began to lay out the town of Semmes near the railroad station. A. R. Funk built a hotel next to the railroad station.
The men boarded with the Charles McCrary family while laying out the town of Semmes. Charles McCrary had homesteaded in Albritton Precinct in 1870 had a “stop over house” for people to stay in when traveling to and from Mobile.
Semmes becomes a City Municipality
The people of Semmes on August 17, 2010 voted to become Alabama’s 461st municipality. Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis declared the City of Semmes incorporated on May 2, 2011
Interesting note about the author!
Mary P. McKinney was one of the writers that traveled in Alabama, recording life in the Great Depression under the WPA Program. Her grandparents G.M.D. Turner and Mary Diana Winthrow Turner were Semmes pioneers moving to Semmes in 1900.
www.alabamapioneers.com publishes a newsletter that has some of the articles on Alabama History that were written in depression period of time as well as other interesting historic articles.
Below is a page from the original "SCRAPBOOK OF MEMORIES" published in 1997.
Clayton Miller is buried in the Miller (town) Cemetery founded by his family who homesteaded in this area. Miller Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the Semmes Community at large. The cemetery was organized in 1868 and is located on Lott Road just east of Spice Pond Road. Miller town was a small community with churches and stores during pioneer days. The oldest person buried in the Miller cemetery is Louis Miller, born in Germany in 1813. He married Charity Kidd in 1853 in Mobile and when their child died from severe burns they buried him here in 1868.
- John F. Harroun
Mr. and Mrs. John F. Harroun came to Semmes in the late 1800’s from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They built their own home, which was located just off Hwy 42 (aka Hwy 98). This historic 1900 house remains today.
John was the first Justice of the Peace in Semmes. He had the authority to marry people, settle legal disputes, issue warrants, presided over a court that heard misdemeanor cases; cases involving small debts, landlord and tenant disputes, or other small claims court proceedings.
John organized the first Sunday school at Mt. Pleasant Church and for many years was the Sunday school superintendent. He conducted church services and officiated at the funeral services in the absence of the regular pastor. The Mount Pleasant church was renamed Semmes First Baptist in the year of 1904.
The church moved from time to time as the population shifted. The first move for the church from the original site, the log cabin school, was to the place of Mrs. Turner-Strike off of the G.M. & N Railroad later GM&O. The next move was 1.2 miles northwest of the Strike place. A site was chosen and a building was erected only to find out later the land had been purchased by a couple up north which required another move. John had built a new barn and offered for the church to meet in it until new land could be secured and a new church built.
Thomas Jefferson Howell in 1902 gave land to build a new school and a new church in the new center of town, close to the railroad station. A replica of the church stands on this property, at the corner of Wulff and Nursery roads, there today along with the original 1902 school.
Due to failing health, John sold their farm home and moved to Mobile to live with their daughter. At this time, residents of Semmes Held a mass meeting and presented him with a loving cup in appreciation for his 38 years of service to the community.
When I asked Tom Dodd, Jr. about his memories of Mr. Harroun he had the following to say: “Mr. Harroun had a remarkable dog. When Mr. Harroun would head to the church in his car, to ring the bell for Sunday Service, his dog would go thru the field and be sitting on the church steps waiting for him.”
Scrapbook of Memories 1997
Historic 1900's John F. Harroun House
Painting by Jeanette Lyles Byrd
Preserving our History