William Nabers

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William Franklin Nabers (born August 6, 1830 in Jefferson County; died November 15, 1918) was a farmer and land owner who became one of the original investors in the Elyton Land Company's project to develop a new city of Birmingham. His family's land was sold to the company to form the Birmingham plot, his workshop at the center of town was remembered as the "First House in Birmingham", and his large home at Nabers' Grove, which hosted meetings of Birmingham's founders, remained a Southside landmark for several years.

Nabers was the second of eight children of Francis Drayton Nabers and Matilda Mullins Nabers. He helped his father farm in Jones Valley before going off to the University of Tennessee for his education. He inherited land from his father in 1853. On February 5, 1867 he married Betty Worthington, daughter of attorney Benjamin Worthington and settled down to farm. Both Nabers and his father-in-law became shareholders in the Elyton Land Company. Nabers sold much of his land to the company at $25 per acre. Once Birmingham began to flourish, he was able to live off the rents from his numerous holdings. His Crystal Palace hosted a number of large barbecues and served as a setting for speeches by politicians speaking in opposition to the Federal policy of Reconstruction.

Nabers died in 1918 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.


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