Oak Hill Cemetery
- This article is about the cemetery in Birmingham. For others, see Oak Hill Cemetery (disambiguation).
Oak Hill Cemetery, located between 17th and 19th Streets and 11th Avenue and 13th Court North, is Birmingham's oldest and most distinguished cemetery. Originally 21.5 acres on the estate of James M. Ware, it was already a burial ground by April 1869 when it served as the resting place for the infant daughter of future mayor Robert Henley. It was marked as "City Cemetery" on the original plats for Birmingham laid out by the Elyton Land Company and was formally sold to the city on December 29, 1873 for the sum of $1,073.50.
Most of the 11,000 or so burials at Oak Hill were interred before 1905, including nine of the ten landholders who founded the city, many early mayors, a Revolutionary soldier, numerous Civil War veterans, and the first male child born in the city. The earliest marker memorializes Jesse Thompson, the father of Mayor B. A. Thompson. Although few records exist from the time, most believe the "Potter's Field" section was also used as the final resting place for many victims of the 1873 cholera epidemic.
The Birmingham City Directory in 1883 states the established price of burial lots as three cents per square foot. It also warns that while no one will be forced to pay for a plot in advance of burial, if payment is not received within 60 days after death, the lot reverts back to the city, where then the body will be removed and reburied in the pauper burial ground.
In 1889 Judge A. O. Lane purchased 200 acres on the southern slopes of Red Mountain, now Lane Park, for the burial of paupers, thereby ending the use of Oak Hill's "Potter's Field". In 1928 the caretaker's cottage near the center of the property, was removed to the southwest corner of the cemetery and a new "Pioneer's Memorial Building" was constructed of Indiana Limestone, designed by Miller & Martin Architects with William Kessler, landscape architect.
Since 1913 Oak Hill has been under the care of the Oak Hill Memorial Association, a group created to preserve and maintain the monuments, grounds, and records of the cemetery. The New Deal-era Works Progress Administration carried out improvements to the cemetery in the 1930s. Later that same decade, vandals damaged the Grand Army of the Republic monument, which had been erected in 1891.
In 1977, Oak Hill Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Oak Hill Memorial Association keeps an office in the former caretaker's cottage and published a quarterly newsletter, the Oak Hill Pioneer, from Winter 1999 to Fall 2001, with articles about the history of the city in the context of the lives of those buried at Oak Hill.
- Rucker Agee (1897–1985), banker and map collector
- William Barker (1829-1899), engineer who layed out the original plat of Birmingham
- Arthur Brown (1867-1939), pioneering African-American surgeon
- John Burford, Revolutionary War veteran
- Henry Caldwell (1836–1895), physician, president of Elyton Land Company, banker
- Lula Mehaffey Connell (1895-1988), educator, first female graduate of Howard College
- William Elias B. Davis (1863–1903), pioneer gynecologist
- Ellen Pratt DeBardeleben, daughter of Daniel Pratt
- Henry F. DeBardeleben (1840–1910), industrialist and developer of Bessemer
- Frank Dixon (1892-1965), Governor of Alabama (1939-1943)
- Paul Earle (1839-1900), banker and member of the Birmingham Board of Aldermen
- Christian Enslen, founded Jefferson County Savings Bank
- Eugene Enslen, president of Jefferson County Savings Bank
- Edward Erswell (1846-1910), carpenter and undertaker
- Andrew Fulenwider (1860-1920), real estate executive
- Daniel Fulenwider (1834-1904), business owner and investor
- James Going (1842-1910), real estate executive and member of the Birmingham Board of Aldermen
- Robert Green, Birmingham founder
- Luman Handley (1840–1910), Presbyterian minister
- Emma Hawes (1859–1888), victim of the Hawes murders
- Irene Hawes (1882–1888), victim of the Hawes murders
- May Hawes (1880–1888), victim of the Hawes murders
- A. J. Hawkins (1886–1980), city engineer
- Robert Henley (1843–1873), First mayor of Birmingham, editor of the Birmingham Sun
- Walter Henley, coal baron, banker, philanthropist
- Goldsmith Hewitt II (1834–1895), US Representative
- T. L. Hudgins (1814–1888), merchant and banker
- Bertram Hudson, educator and banker
- Andrew Johnston, railroad officer, industrialist, founder of North Birmingham
- Mortimer Jordan Jr (1844–1889), health care pioneer
- George C. Kelley, helped develop East Birmingham
- Peyton King (1826–1893), plantation owner at Avondale and attorney
- Charles Linn (1814–1882), industrialist and financier
- James Luckie (1833–1908), physician and state senator.
- Alburto Martin (1830–1879), attorney and Birmingham founder
- Richard Powell McAnally (1871–1928), first male child born in Birmingham
- John A. Milner (1833–1909), cousin of John T. & Willis, engineer and member of the Birmingham Board of Aldermen
- John T. Milner (1826–1898), railroad engineer, surveyor of Birmingham
- Willis Milner (1842–1921), engineer of Cahaba Pumping Station
- Philip Mock (1881–1951), survivor of the R.M.S. Titanic
- William Mudd (1816–1884), attorney, judge, Birmingham founder, builder of Arlington
- Frances Nabers (1804–1853), farm owner, father of William Nabers
- William Nabers (1830–1918), Birmingham founder
- Frank O'Brien (1844–1910), manufacturer, mayor, industrialist, developer and opera-house owner
- Thomas O'Byrne (1861–1913), liquor distributor, proprietor of the Peerless Saloon
- A. C. Oxford (1835–1925), pioneering photographer
- A. H. Parker (1870–1939), educator, namesake of A. H. Parker High School
- Thomas Peters, Birmingham founder
- William Pettiford (1847–1914), Baptist minister, founder of Alabama Penny Savings Bank
- D. C. Redington (1840–1900), photographer
- Edmund Rucker (1835–1924), Civil War general, namesake of Fort Rucker, builder of the Walter Agee residence
- Fred Shuttlesworth (1922–2011), Baptist minister, Civil Rights Movement leader
- James Sloss (1820–1890), railroad magnate, founder of Sloss Furnace Company
- William H. Smith, Governor of Alabama 1868-70
- Idyl King Sorsby (1862-1939), designer of the Flag of Birmingham
- Sylvester Steele, Birmingham founder
- Edward M. Tutwiler (1846–1925), railroad and mining engineer, developer
- Robert Van Hook (1856–1893), founder of First Christian Church
- William Walker Sr (1811–1890), pioneer farmer and merchant
- Margaret Ketchum Ward (1840-1919), called the "Mother of Birmingham"
- James A. Ware (d. 1888), Birmingham founder
- Thomas Haynes Watts (1838–1879), developer of the Watts Building (1888) and Watts Building (1927)
- J. B. Webb, owner of the Dude Saloon
- John Westbrook (1818–1888), merchant and real estate trader
- Lewis White (1932–2017), radio personality and educator
- Louise Wooster (1842–1913), famed Madam
- Benjamin Worthington (1814–1884), plantation owner, Birmingham founder
- Howard Yeilding (1899–1964), Jefferson County Personnel Board president
- Frank Yeilding (1864–1948), founder of Yeilding's department store chain
- Peter Zinszer (1857–1895), merchant
- Jeane, Gregory. "A Brief History of Oak Hill Cemetery". - accessed April 1, 2006
- Satterfield, Carolyn Green. (1976) Historic Sites of Jefferson County, Alabama. Prepared for the Jefferson County Historical Commission. Birmingham: Gray Printing Co.
- Garrison, Greg (October 21, 2011) "The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth will be buried in Birmingham's Oak Hill Cemetery." Birmingham News
- "Birmingham's City Cemetery" in The Heritage of Jefferson County, Alabama (2002) Clanton: Heritage Publishing Consultants. ISBN 1891647547, p. 136
- Hicks, Terri L. (2013) "Oak Hill Cemetery: A Reflection of Early Birmingham, 1871-1913" M.A. thesis. UAB