Williamson Hawkins plantation
Originally worked by himself and his wife, Betsy, the operation grew to the point that, by 1860 Hawkins owned 150 slaves, which he employed to produce 100 bales of cotton, as well as other crops such as corn and peaches. He built his own Hawkins Mill to grind the corn and traded at the nearby commercial center of Elyton.
In 1865 a division of Wilson's army camped at the Hawkins plantation. When Major Shipman of the 1st Wisconsin Regiment reached the Hawkins Plantation in March 1865 he found the intact plantation "extensive and prosperous", but described its owner as "cranky and insolent". During their encampment the Union soldiers availed themselves of the farm and its products, using the mill to grind corn and confiscating a keg of peach brandy. General Edward McCook used the house as his staff headquarters during the encampment. After the war, Hawkins reported direct losses of over $16,600, not including the loss of slaves and the devaluation of his land.
- Hamrick, Peggy and Jeff Norrell (1981) Elyton-West End: Birmingham's First Neighborhood. Birmingham: Birmingfind
- Nabors, Sarah Elizabeth Hawkins (July 31, 1903) "The Hawkins Family of Jefferson County." typed manuscript located in the Special Collections at the Samford University Library
- Nabors, Lula Hawkins (n. d.) "Williamson Hawkins," and "Hawkins Family Papers." typed manuscripts in the Hill Ferguson Collection (3: 6; 47: 3-4) in the Birmingham Public Library Archives