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It is the county seat of Bibb County. Brent was founded in 1887 as a station on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which had built a line through what became Brent from Montgomery to Selma. The city was named for James Witherspoon Brent, who owned land near where the railroad crossed his property. A post office operated under that name from 1888 to 1905; it reopened in 1907 with its current spelling but closed again in 1942 due to World War II postal service restrictions. It has since been reestablished and continues operation today. The town incorporated on February 2, 1901. In 1906 it had an estimated population of 700, which rose steadily until reaching 1,200 by 1910. That year saw construction begin on two major buildings: Sturdivant Hall (now known as City Hall) and First Baptist Church (which later merged with another church).