Semmes, Alabama

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Semmes, Alabama
Location of Semmes in Mobile County, Alabama.
Location of Semmes in Mobile County, Alabama.
Coordinates: 30°46′41″N 88°15′32″W / 30.778°N 88.259°W / 30.778; -88.259Coordinates: 30°46′41″N 88°15′32″W / 30.778°N 88.259°W / 30.778; -88.259
CountryUnited States
 • MayorDavid Baker
 • Total12.23 sq mi (31.68 km2)
 • Land12.21 sq mi (31.61 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
217 ft (66 m)
 • Total2,046
 • Estimate 
 • Density458.34/sq mi (176.97/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
FIPS code01-69240

Semmes (pronounced /sɛmz/, locally /sɪmz/) is a city in western Mobile County, Alabama, in the Mobile metropolitan statistical area. Formerly an unincorporated community, voters in Semmes approved incorporation of a part of the community as the city of Semmes on August 17, 2010.[3] After a statutory enumeration, or census, the town was officially declared incorporated on May 2, 2011, by Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis.[4] The statutory census indicated that the town has a population of 2,897 people. It covers 2,100 acres (850 ha).[5] Semmes first mayor was Judy Hale, a female resident of the city.


Semmes is located at 30.778N, -88.259W. Elevation is 256 feet.[6] The Semmes area is bounded to the North by the Citronelle area, bounded to the East by the cities of Saraland and Prichard, bounded to the South by the city of Mobile, and finally bounded to the West by Big Creek Lake.


Semmes is on the central Gulf Coast and has a subtropical climate, which consists of warm, wet winters and very hot, very humid summers. Semmes is also vulnerable to hurricanes, which the area frequently experiences.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F (°C) 60 64 71 79 85 90 91 91 87 80 70 63 77
Avg low °F (°C) 40 43 50 58 64 71 73 73 69 57 49 43 57
Rainfall (in inches) 4.8 5.5 6.4 4.5 5.7 5.0 6.9 7.0 5.9 2.9 4.1 5.3 64
Relative Humidity(%) 59.0 73.0 71.5 72.5 71.5 72.5 74.0 76.5 76.5 74.0 70.5 72.0 75.0
Source: Climate Zone[7]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)5,594[2]
U.S. Decennial Census[8]


The community was named for Admiral Raphael Semmes (1809–1877), an officer in the United States Navy from 1826 to 1860 and the Confederate States Navy from 1860 to 1865.


On March 3, 2010, the members of the Friends of Semmes and the associated Incorporate Semmes organizations presented Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis with a petition seeking to incorporate an area within the Semmes community as the City of Semmes. The proposed incorporation did not include the entire area known as Semmes due to certain population density requirements of Alabama State Law. Judge Davis set the date for the referendum as Tuesday, August 17, 2010.[9] After voting closed, unofficial returns showed the plebiscite passing with 74.19% of the voters in favor of incorporation. The vote must be certified by the Probate Judge to be official, however, this seems almost certain as the number of provisional ballots is not enough to overcome the deficit.[10] Some voters complained about the "zig-zag" nature of the proposed city limits which excluded some areas of the community from the vote, with some even referring to the proposed city as a gerrymander.[11]

Once the election was certified in August, the Mobile County Probate Judge ordered an enumeration, or census, of the citizens of the new municipality, in accordance with Alabama law. The enumeration was completed in late April, 2011, and the city was declared incorporated by the Probate Judge on May 2, 2011. The Probate Judge also set the date of the first municipal election which was scheduled for June 28, 2011, to elect the mayor and the 5 at-large city council seats.[12] Additionally, the City of Mobile, upon the issuance of the order of incorporation, removed the Semmes from its police, fire, and planning extraterritorial jurisdictions, and no longer provides any services to the areas or collects any taxes in the area.

Mayor David Baker

Only one person, Judy Hale, filed with the Probate Judge to run for the office of Mayor, and, as such, was deemed elected without an election taking place. Likewise, only 5 citizens qualified to run for the 5 at-large City Council seats, and were subsequently deemed elected. Those Council Members are: Jerry Shirey, Dave Baker, Mary Calhoun, Phillip Dodd, and Teresa Bonner. They took the oath of office at the first Semmes City Council meeting on June 6, 2011. In 2015 and 2016, Semmes held its general election, and Judy Hale's reelection campaign came up short after reports of corruption, and David Baker won. He was sworn in around November.[13]


Leaders of the incorporation effort stated to members of the local media and to some citizens not included in the incorporation area that future plans include several annexations of the surrounding area.[13]


Primary and secondary education[edit]

Semmes is a part of the Mobile County Public Schools system.[14]

Primary (all K-5)[17]
  • Semmes Elementary[18]
  • Allentown Elementary[19]

Elementary schools serving nearby areas outside of the city limits:[17]

  • Elsie Collier Elementary School[20]
  • Tanner Williams Elementary School[21]
  • Turner Elementary[22]

Private schools:[23]

Higher education[edit]

Semmes is in proximity to five tertiary institutions:[24]


Community Park[edit]

The first-ever Community Park in Semmes opened on February 3, 2007. The 10,400 sq ft (970 m2) park was built adjacent to the Semmes Community Center at a cost of $600,000.[25]

Semmes Heritage Park[edit]

Semmes School is the oldest continuous-in-use school in the State of Alabama and is listed on the Alabama Historical Landmarks.
In 1994, a group of volunteers, former students, teachers and community citizens formed "Alumni & Friends of Semmes School, Inc." to preserve the 1902 one-room Semmes School and return it to its original location. The Mobile County School Board had planned to tear down the school when concerned citizens formed a group to save to school. The School Board gave a 99-year lease to the group and moved the school back to its original site. The school was restored to its 1902 status in 1998 by volunteers and donations, and continues to operate with volunteers as a hands-on 1900s school. Alumni & Friends of Semmes School is a volunteer organization whose goal is that Semmes 1902 School will continue to be used as a living history classroom. Malone Chapel is a replica of Mt. Pleasant Church that was located on this exact spot. The chapel is rented for weddings and special events with the funds going towards operational expenses.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Semmes voters overwhelmingly approve incorporation". Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  4. ^ "Semmes order of incorporation" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-05-10.
  5. ^ David, Ferrara (2010-08-18). "Semmes voters approve incorporation almost 3 to 1". Press-Register. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  6. ^ "Semmes Community Profile". Retrieved 2007-02-11.
  7. ^ "Mobile". Retrieved 2007-02-14.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "Incorporate Semmes Website". Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  10. ^ "Mobile County Probate Court Bulletin". Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  11. ^ "Semmes Voters NBC LOCAL 15". Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  12. ^ "Probate Court News". Retrieved 2011-05-10.
  13. ^ a b "City of Semmes Facebook Page".
  14. ^ "Semmes Jurisdictions." City of Semmes. Retrieved on November 29, 2018. Used in combation with school attendance boundary maps
  15. ^ "High School." City of Semmes. Retrieved on November 29, 2018. Also: "Montgomery High School Attendance Zone." Mobile County Public Schools. Retrieved on November 29, 2018.
  16. ^ "Middle Schools." City of Semmes. Retrieved on November 29, 2018. Also: "Semmes Middle School Attendance Zone." Mobile County Public Schools. Retrieved on November 29, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Elementary Schools." City of Semmes. Retrieved on November 29, 2018.
  18. ^ "Semmes Elementary Attendance Zone." Mobile County Public Schools. Retrieved on November 29, 2018.
  19. ^ "Allentown Attendance Zone." Mobile County Public Schools. Retrieved on November 29, 2018.
  20. ^ "Collier Attendance Zone." Mobile County Public Schools. Retrieved on November 29, 2018. Revised May 28, 2013. See Collier and Taylor changes
  21. ^ "Tanner Williams New Attendance Zone." Mobile County Public Schools. Retrieved on November 29, 2018. Former attendance zone
  22. ^ "Turner." Mobile County Public Schools. Retrieved on November 29, 2018.
  23. ^ "Private Schools." City of Semmes. Retrieved on November 29, 2018.
  24. ^ "Colleges." City of Semmes. Retrieved on November 29, 2018.
  25. ^ "Mobile Co. Commission..." Archived from the original on November 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
  26. ^ Center, Bill. "It all started in Semmes". Union-Tribune Publishing Company. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  27. ^ Clary, Gareth. "Former Alabama football player Ralph Staten arrested after high-speed chase in George County". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved 15 March 2015.

External links[edit]