Alabama was a part of the Mississippi Territory until Mississippi became a state in 1817, at which time the Alabama Territory was formed. The news spread quickly that there was rich fertile soil, good climate and great forest in the Alabama territory. A great invasion of Settlers came to claim land, so many that this land rush became known as “Alabama Fever.” Alabama was admitted as the 22nd state of the United States on December 14, 1819.
The Land Act of 1820 was enacted April 24, 1820 as a United States federal law that permitted the purchase of public domain lands for cash.
The Homestead Act May 20, 1862 was a law passed by Congress in 1862 that granted 160 acres of federal land to any U.S. citizen. An individual was given ownership of the land for free if that person lived on the land for five years and improved the land by building a home and producing a crop.
The Acts of the general Assembly of the State of Alabama on December 4, 1888 divided Mobile County into three revenue and road districts. The districts were further divided into Precincts. The Second District precincts were Citronelle (1), Mount Vernon (2), Creola (5), Mauvilla and Chunchula (6), Albritton (7), Carver’s (8), Steeley’s Store (20).
The town of Semmes was not laid out and named until 1900, when Semmes Land Company was formed by August Pickus, and eight other fellows. According to Probate Records, Book 3, page 484, Semmes Land Company purchased a section of land fifteen miles northwest of Mobile, Alabama and laid out streets, and lots, to their proposed town site. However, not many people came to buy Semmes land and many of the original land company left. “Scrapbook of Memories”
Early Settlers who purchased or homesteaded land in Township 3; Mobile County, Alabama, Albritton Precinct, according to BLM Records, (Bureau of Land Management) are listed below.
1839-Henry Chamberlin, William Goff, Elisha Powell, James Powell, Samuel Swift, Josiah Wilkins
1840-David Rester, Fredrick Rester, Zachariah Rester
1843- Benjamin Howell, Charles Havard, William Goff
1845-Jacob Collins, Benjamin Howell, James Roberts
1846- Samuel H. Wolf,
1848- Daniel McLeod
1859-Abraham S. Woodcock, Martha M. Cook, and John W. McCrary
1877- Benjamin Howell, James Howell, Anna A. Jerkins, Joseph W. Thompson
1879- Henry McCrary, Thomas D. O’Rourke, Henry McCrary, Hiram Powell, Jesse S. Powell, Jackson Rester, Mildred E. Allen, Nancy Cochrane, Sarah M. Whiting, James H. Allen, Isam W. Deese
1880- Frank King, Jackson Pierce
1882-Washington W. Snow
1883- Ralph Garner, Milton McCrary, Littleton Lee, Franklin Brown
1884- Thomas J. Howell, Nathan J. Allen, Commodore Reid
1885- Thomas Simon, Theophilus Snow
1887- Mary J. McCrary
1888- Thomas Howell,
1891- Jesse S. Finlay, John W. Howell, Louis M. Howell, Edward Parker, Jefferson D. Pierce, Henry Rester, Abigail Finlay
1892- Marion Havens, Hiram Powell, John A. Finlay
1893-Charity A. Pearce, & James Pearce
1894-Francis M. Helveston
1895-William E. Powell
1898- James A. McCrary
1899- Henry W. Allen
1900- Ellen Jackson, Nathan H. Howell
1901 -Andrew J. Lowery, Edward Rester
1902- Nellie Simmons, Mary Vickers
1904-John F. Corley, James A. McCrary, Willie Waltman
1905 - Virgil Helveston, Eugene A. Powell
1906- George E. Vickers
1910 -John Rester, Albert Foster
1912- Jerome Joyner
1914- John Helveston
1915- James D. McKinney
1929-Francis Sterling Kemp
Preserving our History