Patrick McAnally or McAnnally was a lime burner and engineer recruited from Chattanooga to Birmingham in its infancy by Elyton Land Company president James Powell. At Powell's request he examined the limestone available on Red Mountain and designed and constructed a lime kiln to produce quicklime from it. He was also involved in road grading and other civil work on behalf of the Elyton Land Company which was working to build the new city.
Early in his stay, he heard from another man that the company had advertised that the first boy born in the city would be given a plot of land. He sent word to his wife, Catherine back in Chattanooga, who was pregnant, but she said that she was too ill to travel. He traveled to Chattanooga, saw to her recovery, and transported her with him back to Birmingham by carriage with their household.
Unable to purchase a house, he had to build his own. In the meantime, he and his wife took up residence in his workshop on 1st Avenue North and 23rd Street, and it was there that his son, Richard Powell McAnally, was born on November 11, 1871. The boy was, in fact, the first male child born in the city. Hundreds of the area's settlers reportedly congregated to see the child. He was baptized at St Paul's Catholic Church. Nicknamed "Birmy", Richard resided in the city his entire life, serving as an attorney and, for one term, on the Birmingham Board of Aldermen.
Though Powell, then in Montgomery, sent word to "Let McAnally have the lot," the directors were hesitant to make good on the promise. Powell told McAnally that if they backed out, he would donate the lot himself. The company did donate the lot however, on 1st Avenue North near 22nd Street. McAnally also gave his son a half block on 6th Avenue North between 30th and 31st Streets