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Situated in northern Lamar County, in central-southern Mississippi, the town of Sumrall was created along the Mississippi Central Railroad during the first decade of the 1900s. Prior to its formal creation Daniel Sumrall operated a grist mill along Mill Creek and, in 1890 a post office was established and named for Sumrall. Later, the J.J. Newman Company chose the town as the site for a large sawmill, as Sumrall was in the middle of South Mississippi’s pine belt, with trees that measured as high as 160 feet tall and 20 feet in diameter. Upon the arrival of the railroad, the town grew rapidly and was incorporated in 1903. Local residents wanted to change the name of the town because, although Sumrall was a native of Mississippi, he served in the Union Army during the Civil War, but the federal government refused their petition to change the name of the post office. The Newman Timber Company was the town’s chief employer for years but when the profitable timber supply was depleted, it closed in 1931. Coming on top of the Great Depression, the town went through a few decades of declining population but, although its population in the 2010 census was less than its population in 1910, Sumrall has experienced steady growth over the past few decades, in part dependent upon outdoor recreation, capitalizing on the Longleaf Trace, a recreational trail that passes through the center of town, following the former route of the Mississippi Central Railroad. Brett Favre, the NFL quarterback who spent most of his career with the Green Bay Packers, is a resident of Sumrall. Nearby communities include Bouie, Clyde, Coral, Epley, Hickory Grove, Higgins, Improve, Lux, and Oloh. Hattiesburg, Mississippi is about eighteen miles southeast of Sumrall.

 

 

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