Christian Enslen

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Christian Frederick Enslen (born March 31, 1830 in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; died August 14, 1915 in Birmingham) was a merchant and founder of the Jefferson County Savings Bank.

Enslen was the son of John and Wilimena Moser Enslen. He emigrated to the United States at New Orleans as a teenager in 1845 and settled in Wetumpka to train as a blacksmith. He volunteered with the Alabama Rifles during the Mexican War and enlisted in the Confederate army on January 8, 1861 at Montgomery. He served in the 3rd Alabama Wetumpka Light Guards until April 23 of that year, and was afterward detailed to the Confederate Arsenal at Selma, where he made horseshoes, through the end of the Civil War.

Enslen moved to Birmingham in the Fall of 1871 where he worked initially as a blacksmith. He and his son, Eugene went into the mercantile business together and prospered as merchants in the young city. He was a charter member of the Mineral City Lodge No. 74 of the International Order of Odd Fellows, organized on November 8, 1872.

Enslen was the founding president of the Ellen Ross Iron Works and served on the Birmingham Board of Aldermen under mayors James Powell and William Morris. He founded his bank and directed the construction of its headquarters, the four-story Jefferson County Bank Building on the southeast corner of 2nd Avenue North and 21st Street in 1884. He was one of the directors of the re-organized Henderson Steel Company in 1888.

Enslen and his wife, the former Elizabeth Flynn, had six children, Emma Jane, Charles Frederick, Mary Wilhelmina, Eugene Flynn, John Henry and Emilia Frances.

Enslen died in 1915 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.


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