Freeman Daniel

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Freeman Bradley Daniel (born April 26, 1856 in Perry County; died March 19, 1913 in Birmingham) was a grocer, druggist, brick maker and the second Mayor of Avondale.

Daniel was educated at Summerfield by John Massey and graduated from the Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He married Emily Thomas Bozeman of Haleyville on June 23, 1881. The couple had six children, but only the eldest three, Tommie Sue, Freeman Bozeman, and Aubrey Winfield, survived infancy.

Daniel moved to Birmingham in 1884 and bought property in the area of King's Spring, which later was developed as Avondale. He operated a transfer business, then sold it to buy a grocery store on 20th Street North. He sold that in 1888 and opened a drug store closer to his home in Avondale. He was among the group of residents that petitioned the Alabama State Legislature to incorporate the town. His sister, Mattie Daniel, opened the first Avondale School in a building owned by her brother.

In 1901 Daniel entered the brick making business and soon became known as the supplier for nearly every brick building of note in the vicinity and many of the "best houses" in other areas of Birmingham, including rebuilt Avondale School, and his own large home at 4320 Avenue E.

Daniel was a charter member of the Avondale Methodist Church. He was elected Mayor of the town in 1889 and served a two-year term. He was re-elected as interim mayor in 1908 to serve during the Greater Birmingham annexation into Birmingham. Feeling the the town was being shortchanged by having to turn over its surplus municipal reserves to Birmingham, Daniel briefly mounted a resistance to the annexation, calling Avondale a "sovereign town".

Daniel died from injuries sustained when he accidentally stepped into an open elevator shaft at the Young & Vann Building in Birmingham. He was taken to St Vincent's Hospital and there pronounced dead from a skull fracture. He is buried at a family plot at Oak Hill Cemetery.

References

  • Browne, Catherine Greene (2007) History of Avondale. Birmingham: A. H. Cather Publishing Co.
  • Miller, P. A. (August 18, 2013). "Freeman B. Daniel." RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project.