Semmes is located in Mobile County in the southwestern part of the state. It has a mayor/council form of government. The town was named for Confederate naval leader Raphael Semmes, captain of the CSS Alabama.


Semmes arose as a community centered on a rail line serving the Semmes Land Company, and a timber and lumber company founded in 1900. As the timber industry waned, the nursery trade came to dominate the local economy and still thrives today. The area is a major supplier of azaleas and camellias in the United States. The city incorporated in 2011.


According to 2020 Census estimates, Semmes recorded a population of 5,780. Of that number, 86.4 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 10.9 percent as African American, 4.0 percent as Hispanic, and 2.7 percent as two or more races. The town's median household income was $52,817, and the per capita income was $27,066.


According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Semmes was divided among the following industrial categories:

  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (23.2 percent)
  • Construction (19.9 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (12.5 percent)
  • Manufacturing (10.7 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (8.3 percent)
  • Retail trade (7.6 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (7.1 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (3.8 percent)
  • Public administration (1.8 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (1.5 percent)
  • Information (1.3 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (1.2 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (1.2 percent)


There are no schools in Semmes. Students attend Mobile County schools. The University of Mobile is located 11 miles to the east.


 U.S. Highway 98 runs east-west through the town, and State Route 217 runs northwest-southeast.

Events and Places of Interest

The city of Semmes operates four parks, a disc golf course, an outdoor fitness facility, and a splash pad. The Viking Walking Trail is a nature trail named for the school mascot of the nearby county schools. The Magnolia Grove complex of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail borders the town to the southeast.

Further Reading

  • The Heritage of Mobile County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.

External Links

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Azaleas in a Semmes Nursery

Courtesy of The Mobile Press-Register. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Azaleas in a Semmes Nursery