"The Friendly City"
The history of Sumiton
An oral history of the city
In the year of 1921. The name at the time was Summit. Mr. W.D. McGinnes was superintendent of Mines at that time. Alta Coal Co., Mines was the only industry Dr. Guinn here. About year 1924, Phillips Cotton Gin started up ginning cotton for 3 years.
Several region mines started and went out of business in that time. We have 5 or 6 truck mines now. At first there were only 55 homes in the mining town and 16 out side houses. 71 homes in all with about 400 population with our stores: Parker's Store, Company Store, Fowlers Store, and Roberts Store.
There was no Highway only a direct road through Summit, mud holes mostly. We only had three small Schoolrooms at that time and 3 teachers, Professor S. J. Smith, Mrs. S. J. Smith, and Miss Head. The building was apart of the old white school that burned down. The Negro church was the only church here at that time.
At first every one worshiped in the little white schoolhouse together. Then the Church of God built them a church. Then, as our town really begin to grow the Methodist church was build. More rooms were built to the schoolhouse and more homes were built. The Highway was brought through. The Baptist Church was built.
About 1926 when we decided we wanted a Post Office here, we found we would need a new name for our town, as there was another town whose name was Summit. So we thought we would like for our name to be Sumiton.
So that is what we are; and some town we have grown to be, I Think! With 2 brick schoolhouses, nice churches, and good homes and many more stores and people. The city known as Sumiton today, was known as Bald Eagle until about 1899.
At that time, the name was changed to Summit, probably because of its high elevation. Just like all of the other towns in this area, its roots began in the coal mines. The first mining operations were done by Philip's and Moran's Mining Company. As more and more families moved into the area to take advantage of the increasing number of jobs, several businessmen began constructing stores to take advantage of the growing market.
The first of these stores were general merchandise type stores such as Gravlee's General Merchandise, Morgan's Grocery Fowler's Grocery and Hamilton's Grocery
Click here to view the history as printed in Sumiton's 50-Year Celebration Book.