Gip Spruiell

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Gip Spruiell
Memorial plaque

Gilbert B. "Gip" Spruiell, also spelled Sprewell, Spruell or Spruill (born July 17, 1866 in St Clair County; died July 3, 1905 in Birmingham) was, along with E. B. Huffman, one of the first two Birmingham Fire Department firefighters to die in the line of duty.

Spruiell was the son of Jeptha and Mahala Rhoda Lawley Spruell. He married the former Sallie Ramsey on February 24 1887. They had six children: Rena, Beatrice (Bertie), Virgie Lillie, Myrtle, Jessie and Harry.

Spruiell and fellow firefighter E. B. Hoffman died fighting a pre-dawn blaze at the Birmingham Paper Company building at 2105-2107 Morris Avenue, where a plaque stands today memorializing the two firefighters' sacrifice. His fellow firefighter A. F. Hawkins, accompanied his remains to Vandiver on the Central of Georgia Railroad. He was buried at Lawley's Chapel Cemetery there.

After her husband's death, Sallie operated a boarding house. She married George Spradley of Shelby County in 1920. She died in 1946 and was buried alongside her first husband.


  • "Early Morning Fire Causes Big Damage; One Fireman Killed" (July 3, 1905) Birmingham Age-Herald
  • "Fire Loss May Reach $150,000 — Dead Firement Will Be Buried Today" (July 4, 1905) Birmingham Age-Herald
  • "Firemen Laid to Rest Yesterday" (July 5, 1905) Birmingham Age-Herald
  • Martin, Scott A. (June 2009) "Gilbert B. Spruiell: First Birmingham Firefighter to Die in the Line of Duty." Shelby County Historical Society Quarterly

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