1891 was the 20th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- February 14: Carbon Hill was incorporated.
- February 18: Oneonta was incorporated.
- April 16: President Benjamin Harrison delivered a speech at Capitol Park.
- May 6: Pell City in St Clair County was incorporated.
- May 11: The Southern Baptist Convention held a conference at the O'Brien Opera House and organized its Southern Baptist Convention Sunday School Board.
- May 22: 11 were killed in the 1891 Pratt No. 1 Mine explosion.
- June 10: The East Lake Hotel burned to the ground.
- June 12: Charles Swinney gave a balloon demonstration at Lakeview Park.
- Summer: Lakeview Theatre featured a lavish performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's H. M. S. Pinafore staged on a replica ship floating in the lake, which was surrounded by electric lights.
- September 26: A traveling medicine salesman ascended by hot air balloon from a vacant lot at 1st Avenue North and 19th Street. A spectator had his leg caught in the rope and was carried aloft, but was uninjured.
- December 14-19: Samuel Gompers presided ove the 11th Annual Convention of the American Federation of Labor at Erswell's Hall in Birmingham.
- The Alabama Mineral Exposition Building was demolished.
- The Alabama Water Company began using Hawkins Spring as a municipal water supply for Bessemer.
- The Birmingham Public Library re-opened under the auspices of the Birmingham Board of Education, using a large room in the Enslen Building.
- The Pratt School was organized.
- Carbon Hill in Walker County was incorporated.
- Cory Chappell authored a version of the Noccalula legend published in The Souvenir.
- St Mark's School was established for the education of African American children.
- Mercy Home was founded by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
- Hudgins' fountain was moved to Capitol Park.
- The North Alabama Good Roads Association was founded.
- The No. 1 South Bessemer streetcar line was electrified.
- Woodlawn was incorporated.
- February 12: The Birmingham Railway & Electric Company absorbed the Bessemer and Birmingham Railroad.
- October 10: The Birmingham Railway & Electric Company began operating Birmingham's first electric streetcar.
- The Birmingham Labor Advocate switched from daily to weekly publication.
- The original Golden Rule Bar-B-Q opened in what is now Irondale.
- E. B. Norton opened Norton's Drug Store at 20th Street and 2nd Avenue North.
- Excelsior Laundry moved to 1805 2nd Avenue North.
- March 15: Trinity Methodist Church (Southside) held their first service in their new chapel.
- May 3: Shiloh Baptist Church was organized by pastor Thomas Walker.
- October 18: South Highland Presbyterian Church was incorporated.
- Birmingham's first Orthodox Jewish congregation organized.
- Edgar Glenn succeeded John Robertson as pastor of Trinity Methodist Church (Southside).
- Isaac Hochstadter succeeded acting president Aaron Stern as president of Temple Emanu-El.
- W. R. Kirk succeeded J. E. McCann as pastor of Avondale United Methodist Church.
- Thornton Whaling became pastor of South Highland Presbyterian Church.
- J. White succeeded Thomas Walker as pastor of Sixth Avenue Baptist Church.
- March 6: William Wier was elected Captain of the Birmingham Police Department.
- June 17: Robert Brown registered as a pharmacist in South Carolina.
- November 3: Andrew Beard was granted a patent for a rotary engine.
- Nathaniel Barrett moved from Morgan County to East Lake.
- Sylvester Daly and David Fox ended the year securely in control of the City Democratic Party Executive Committee.
- Carrie Hill moved to Birmingham with her parents and siblings.
- John Hearst Miller accepted the position of Birmingham City Recorder.
- Joseph Zoettl was enfeebled by heart palpitations and a Europe-wide flu epidemic.
- March 16: Irita Van Doren, newspaper book editor
- June 10: Frank Hartley Anderson, architect and artist
- June 18: Luther Hollums, Birmingham Police Chief
- June 26: Octavus Roy Cohen, author
- August 4: John Davis, architect
- September 15: Nouna Chenoweth, genealogist and gardener
- October 11: Frank Spain, attorney
- November 24: Ben Gross, radio critic
- Jenks Gillem, college football coach
- Alexander McLaughlin
- Jimmy Morgan, President of the Birmingham City Commission
- June 26: William Leslie Welton from high school in Lynn, Massachusetts.
- Arthur Brown earned his M.D. at the University of Michigan.
- Charles Glenn with a bachelor of science.
- Cliff Hare earned a bachelor of science at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama.
- February 9: Attorney Robert Thach to the former Stella Bringier of New Orleans.
- May 5: Nathaniel Barrett to the former Annie Pearl Troup.
- July 15: Peddler Louis Pizitz to the former Minnie Smolian.
- Birmingham Age-Herald business manager Henry Gray to the former Bessie Martin.
- February: William Cahalan, attorney
- February 6: Robert W. Huffman, namesake of Huffman
- March 9: Josiah Morris, co-founder of Birmingham
- August 6: William McDonald, Birmingham alderman
- November 18: Enoch Ensley, Ensley founder
- John Camp, Texas state senator
- Mary Anderson Parker, first wife of A. H. Parker
- See also 1891 Pratt No. 1 Mine explosion.
- "Judith the Daughter of Judas: A Tale" by Margaret O'Brien
- Birmingham Water Works Dam
- First United Methodist Church
- The Morris Hotel was completed (demolished 1958)
- "Old Main" administration building at Howard College in East Lake (demolished 1960)
- Third Presbyterian Church, destroyed by fire April 17, 1901
- Trinity Methodist Church (Southside), demolished c. 1926
In 1891, The Chilean Civil War was fought. The first working escalator ("inclined elevator") is invented. The Wrigley Company was founded in Chicago. The London-Paris telephone system was opened. The Music Hall in New York (now known as Carnegie Hall) had its grand opening. The first public demonstration of a prototype Kinetoscope was given at Thomas Edison's lab. Stanford University in California opened. Asteroid 323 Brucia became the first asteroid discovered using photography. James Naismith invented basketball. Nikola Tesla invented the Tesla coil.
Notable books published in 1891 included The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, L'Argent by Émile Zola. Notable music released included "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay" by Henry J. Sayers, "The Laughing Song" by George W. Johnson, and Fantasy Pieces for Oboe and Piano by Carl Nielsen.
Notable births in 1891 included physicist Walther Bothe, Chief Justice Earl Warren, composer Cole Porter, wrestler Man Mountain Dean, and writer Henry Miller. Notable deaths included Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, painter Georges Seurat, showman P. T. Barnum, poet and essayist James Russell Lowell, inventor Pierre Lallement, and novelist Herman Melville.
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