U.S. Snagboat Montgomery Memphis is located in southwestern Pickens County in the west-central part of the state on the Tombigbee River just east of the Mississippi border. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
Memphis was established in 1841 by James William Wallis and was a thriving port town on the Tombigbee River. It had a ferry that also was called the Memphis, and the busiest landing was Jackson’s Landing. Cotton was the main export item, and steamboats brought in essential supplies such as flour and sugar. At one point, as many as 50 families lived in the town, supporting a number of stores and services. Like many towns that depended on river trade for their prosperity, the development of railroads and road systems harmed river traffic and dependent businesses. Memphis was itself bypassed by the railroad, which went through Aliceville instead.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Memphis recorded a population of 10. Of that number, 100.0 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American. The town’s per capita income was $11,670.
According to 2020 Census estimates, no employment data was available for the workforce in Memphis.
Students in Memphis attend Pickens County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
County Highway 1 cuts through the southwest corner of Memphis.
Events and Places of Interest
Memphis is located on a bend of the Tombigbee River, which offers water sports such as boating, fishing, and swimming. Just north of the town is the Pickensville Campground operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Also nearby is the U.S. Snagboat Montgomery, a steam-powered sternwheeler moored at the Tom Bevill Lock and Dam that impounds Alice Lake. The vessel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989 for its decades-long role clearing river channels Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and features interpretive exhibits. Due east is the Aliceville Museum and Cultural Arts Center, which features exhibits on that town’s role hosting Camp Aliceville, a World War II prisoner of war camp.
Pickens County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Pickens County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2003.
Smith, Nelson F. History of Pickens County, Ala. Carrollton, Ala.: Pickens Republican, 1856.