Sumrall is a quiet town located 15 miles west of Hattiesburg in the northern part of Lamar County. The town was named after Dan Sumrall, who came to the area after the Civil War. Mr. Sumrall had traveled through the area during the war, when he was an officer in the Union Army. He liked what he saw and returned after the war. He bought a water mill from Author Lott, which was located on what is now Highway 42. Arthur Lott was the son of Watts Lott, who first settled the area.
Mr. Sumrall maintained the mill and built a cotton gin and trading post. In 1890, he applied for a post office for the trading post. It was approved and named the Sumrall Post office. In 1891, the J.J. Newman Lumber Company bought the water mill and gin from Mr. Sumrall. The community quickly grew into a large trade area.
On July 22, 1903, a group of men sent a letter to Governor A.H. Longino, petitioning for the incorporation of the town. The men were not pleased with the name Sumrall, so they wrote the Attorney General asking what the town should be named. The Attorney General replied that they could name the town whatever they wanted, but the post office would always be named Sumrall. They felt there was no choice but to keep the name Sumrall, even though most Southern towns during that time were named after some great Southern gentlemen, not a “Yankee officer”. The town was incorporated on October 6, 1903.
Today the Town of Sumrall operates under a Mayor and Board of Aldermen form of government. The current Mayor is Mr. Heath Sumrall. The members of the Board of Alderman are: Shirley Barnard, Lee Granberry, Jim Ford, Trina McLendon, and Brittany Fortenberry. The 2010 census lists the population of 1421. On April 30, 2007, annexation was completed that doubled the land mass size of the town. The annexation encompassed the new elementary school on Todd Road, The Pointe at Mill Creek on Highway 42 West and areas north and south on Highway 589.
As of August, 2013, our local school had an enrollment of 1,391 students and was a level 5 school. The local school is part of the Lamar County School District. Our Schools are consistently recognized as one of the best in the state having achieved Level 5 status. The school year beginning in August 2013 indicated an enrollment between 1800 and 1900 students in Kindergarten through 12th Grade.
Recently our jail and courtroom, which was named a Historical Landmark, was renovated. The courtroom was the site of the first all women jury in the state.
Sumrall is also home to several parks, including the Lions Club Park and recently improved Town Park on Rocky Branch Road. The Long Leaf Trace, a designated National Recreation Trail, begins in neighboring Hattiesburg and continues through Sumrall ending 40 miles later in Prentiss. Bikers and joggers alike can enjoy the pristine beauty along “The Trail”. Over 100 retail businesses and restaurants call Sumrall home.