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About Mobile County

Welcome to Mobile County


Mobile County, in southwest Alabama, is home to 414,000 people. The County has eleven municipalities – Bayou La Batre, Chickasaw, Citronelle, Creola, Dauphin Island, Mobile, Saraland, Satsuma, Semmes, Prichard, and Mt. Vernon. The County is adjacent to the Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Mobile County was created by proclamation of Gov. David Holmes of the Mississippi Territory on December 18, 1812. The territory that would become Mobile County had a rich and colorful colonial history. Both the City and the County of Mobile derive their names from Fort Louis de la Mobile, a French fortification erected near present-day Mount Vernon in 1702. The word Mobile is believed to come from a Choctaw Indian word for "paddlers." The area was occupied by the French from 1702-63, by the British from 1763-80, and by the Spanish from 1780-1813, and finally by the United States.

Mobile County was created soon after the U.S. Congress annexed the Mobile District of West Florida. Spain initially maintained its claim over the area but peacefully coexisted with the Americans in the territory. The following year, however, General James Wilkinson occupied the district with a military force, and the Spanish commandant surrendered his garrison on April 13, 1813.

The northern portion of Mobile County is home to the MOWA (Mobile and Washington County) band of Choctaw Indians, whose ancestors settled in the area after the Creek War ended in 1814. Although the MOWAs have not received official recognition from the federal government, the group was formally recognized as a tribe of Alabama in 1979.

The County has a total area of 1,644 square miles (4,258 km), of which 1,233 square miles (3,193 km) is land and 410 square miles (1,064 km) is water. It includes several islands, including Dauphin Island, Gaillard Island and Mon Louis Island.

Mobile County is governed by a three-member County Commission. Each Commissioner represents a district and is elected by of that district to serve a four-year term. One of the Commissioners is selected as Commission President.

Mobile County has the state’s only saltwater port, the nation’s ninth-largest by tonnage. Two commercial airports offer service – Mobile Downtown Airport and Mobile Regional Airport. Mobile County has several universities, including the University of South Alabama, the University of Mobile, and Springhill College. Mobile is home to America’s oldest Mardi Gras celebration.

Read more about Mobile County’s rich history here.