Oak Hill Cemetery (Birmingham, Alabama)

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For other cemeteries with this name, see Oak Hill Cemetery (disambiguation).
Oak Hill Cemetery
Birmingham skyline from Oak Hill Cemetery Nov 2011.jpg
View of downtown Birmingham from Oak Hill Cemetery
Oak Hill Cemetery (Birmingham, Alabama) is located in Alabama
Oak Hill Cemetery (Birmingham, Alabama)
Location 1120 N. 19th St., Birmingham, Alabama
Coordinates 33°31′32″N 86°49′0″W / 33.52556°N 86.81667°W / 33.52556; -86.81667Coordinates: 33°31′32″N 86°49′0″W / 33.52556°N 86.81667°W / 33.52556; -86.81667
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 77000208[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP July 13, 1977
Designated ARLH October 27, 1975

Oak Hill Cemetery, located just north of downtown, is Birmingham, Alabama's oldest cemetery. Originally 21.5 acres (87,000 m2) on the estate of James M. Ware, it was already a burial ground by April 1869 when it served as the resting place for the infant daughter of future mayor Robert H. Henley. It was marked as "City Cemetery" on the original plats for Birmingham laid out by the Elyton Land Company and was formally sold to the city on December 29, 1873 for the sum of $1,073.50.

Most of the 10,000 or so burials at Oak Hill were interred before 1930, including nine of the ten landholders who founded the city, many early mayors, a Revolutionary soldier, numerous American Civil War veterans, and the first male child born in the city. Although few records exist from the time, most believe the "Potter's Field" section was also used as the final resting place for many victims of the 1873 cholera epidemic.

In 1889 Judge A. O. Lane purchased 200 acres (0.8 km2) on the southern slopes of Red Mountain (Birmingham, Alabama), now Lane Park, for the burial of paupers, thereby ending the use of Oak Hill's "Potter's Field". In 1928 the caretaker's cottage near the center of the property, was removed to the southwest corner of the cemetery and a new "Pioneer's Memorial Building" was constructed of Indiana limestone, designed by Miller & Martin Architects with William Kessler, landscape architect.[2]

In 1977, Oak Hill Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[1] The Oak Hill Memorial Association keeps an office in the former caretaker's cottage and published a quarterly newsletter, the Oak Hill Pioneer, from Winter 1999 to Fall 2006, with articles about the history of the city in the context of the lives of those buried at Oak Hill.

Notable burials[edit]

  • William S. Mudd (1816–1884), builder of Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens
  • Robert Henley, First mayor of Birmingham
  • Frank M. Dixon, Governor of Alabama
  • Louise Wooster, famed Madam
  • Mortimer Jordan, health care pioneer
  • William Hugh Smith, Governor of Alabama 1868–1870
  • Rucker Agee (1897–1985), banker and map collector
  • Edmund Rucker, Civil War general
  • Charles Linn, industrialist and financier
  • John T. Milner (1826–1898), railroad engineer, pioneer
  • Henry F. DeBardeleben (1840-1910), industrialist and developed Bessemer
  • Ellen Pratt DeBardeleben (1844-1894), daughter of Daniel Pratt
  • James Sloss, railroad magnate, founder of Sloss Furnaces
  • John William Tayloe (1831-1904), Confederate Army Major of Roanoke County, Virginia
  • Walter Henley, coal baron, banker, philanthropist
  • F. B. Yielding (1864–1948), founder of Yielding department store chain
  • Henry M. Caldwell, president of Elyton Land Company, owner of Peanut Depot building
  • Arthur H. Parker (1870–1939), educator, namesake of A. H. Parker High School
  • William E. B. Davis, pioneer gynecologist
  • Frank P. O'Brien, manufacturer, mayor, industrialist, developer and opera-house owner
  • Fred Shuttlesworth (1922-2011), civil rights leader

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Hole, Donna C. (November 8, 1976). "Oak Hill Cemetery". National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.  See also: "Accompanying photos". Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.