Sumterville was first known as Patton’s Hill in honor of William S. Patton who lived on the north side of the community. It was a stagecoach stop between Montgomery and Gainesville. By 1844, the town had grown large enough to be incorporated, so the name was changed to Sumterville. At one time, there were eight businesses, an inn (owned by the Webb family), a West Alabama Male Academy, and a Girls Boarding School. There were also several churches built between 1831 and 1841 including Old Side Primitive Baptist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, and the Episcopal Church (which was moved to Gainesville in 1839). During the Civil War, the Boys’ Academy was turned into a hospital, and 35 soldiers are buried in unmarked graves in the Methodist Church yard. As late as 1852, there was a dentist’s office, a drugstore, and a bookstore. Sumterville was settled close to an old Indian village, and even today, arrow heads, bits of bone, and pieces of pottery can be found on the hill just east of town. Today, Sumterville is just a few homes and three streets that form a triangle, Summterville Road, Ozment-Bell Road and County Road 20.
The Bethel Presbyterian Church was established on September 22, 1835, about 3 miles toward the northwest near Emelle where the Bethel Memorial Chapel now stands. It was moved to its present location in 1897. There are extensive church records on the Pr …learn more
This church traces its beginning to the “Old Primitive Baptist Church” which was the first church organized in the western part of the Sumter County. The Old Primitive Baptist Church, which was located about 4 miles west of the present Sumterville Bapt …learn more