Elyton Cemetery

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Elyton Cemetery, located at 425 2nd Avenue North near Arlington Home and Gardens, is known as the oldest cemetery in Birmingham. The land that the cemetery is on was purchased by Colonel John Dupuy in 1821 as part of a 40 acre tract of land. Colonel Dupuy bought the land from William Ely, for whom the city of Elyton was named. The cemetery was donated to the city of Elyton before Dupuy's death in 1856.

There are 142 burials recorded at this cemetery, the oldest belonging to an "Infant Son" who was born and died in 1805. Elyton Cemetery is also the burial place of Joab Bagley, the first probate judge elected by Jefferson County voters. Most of the cemetery's burials predate the founding of Birmingham in 1871. The latest burials were those of Agnes Nicholson in 1919 and Velma Mae Melton in 1987.

A historic plaque was dedicated at Elyton Cemetery by Mayor George Seibels on December 14, 1969. The headstone of pioneer Williamson Hawkins, who died in 1875 and was buried on a family plot, was relocated to Elyton Cemetery in 1970.

In the brick courtyard of the cemetery was a marble statue known as the "Laughing Girl", though it has not been seen intact since the mid- to late 1970's. According to the Birmingham History Center, there is a chance that the statue was sculpted by Giuseppe Moretti.

The cemetery has a long history of neglect. As far back as 1891, area groups were raising money to clean up the plots, and the area currently lies in a state of disrepair.

Notable burials


External links