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Crossing the Tombigbee River from the east on interstate 20/59 into Sumter Co. Epes can be identified by the striking limestone bluffs reaching up to 80 feet in height.

The river formed the eastern boundary of the historical Choctaw lands. When French settlers came up the river from Mobile in 1736 they established Fort Tombecbé which became a major trading post for the Choctaw Nation.  The Treaty of Paris of 1763 meant France ceded most of its North American territory to Great Britain including Fort Tombecbé. The British renamed it Fort York but abandoned it for the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) leaving it to the Choctaw Natives.  In 1793 Spain acquired the site from the Choctaw via the Treaty of Boukfouka and built a new fort, which was named Fort Confederación. After the United States took possession it continued to be used as a trading post with the Choctaws until its abandonment with the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Signed in 1830 between the Choctaw Indians and U.S. Government the treaty pushed the Native Americans west into Mississippi and Oklahoma. Today the site is owned by the University of West Alabama and the Archaeological Conservancy, and operated by the staff of the Black Belt Museum

Sparsely settled by European Americans and enslaved African Americans the Southern Railroad construction started in 1861 being built across the southeast, at the start of the American Civil War, cutting straight across Sumter Co. through Epes.  Epes wasn’t incorporated until 1899, named for Dr. John W. Epes, who donated the right-of-way for Southern Railroad. By 1900 Epes had 331 residents (reflecting the Three-Fifths Compromise), three cotton gins, a cotton compress, cotton seed oil mill, creamery, handle company, The Casey Hotel, The Bowers Boarding House, a school, two grocery stores, a drug store, general merchandising stores, and two livery stables. The second stockyard in Alabama opened in Epes in 1936. Standing on the bluffs, one could hear the ferries and steamboats traveling down river. Epes continued to grow to its peak population in 1920 with 722 residents. Though it is not the center of commerce it once was, now with 192 residents as of the 2010 census, Epes continues to be a scenic summer escape for Sumter residents. What is now the Norfolk Southern Railway, the Tombigbee River and Interstate 20/59 intersect at the Port of Epes where you can find Mannington Mills, Inc. and available industrial property.

  • 2010 Population – 192
  • 2010 Median Age – 40.8
  • 2010 Number of Households – 83
  • 2008 Median Household income – $27,778
  • 2008 Per Capita – $13,919
  • Population within 30 miles – 51,484
  • Distance to Interstate 20 – 1.6 miles
  • Distance from city to:
    •  Meridian – 44.9 miles
    •  Tuscaloosa – 52.5 miles
    • Birmingham – 105 miles
    • Montgomery – 153 miles
    • Mobile – 177 miles

Contact Epes:
PO Box 127
Epes, AL   35460

(205) 652-7298

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