1909 Ensley tombstone

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The 1909 Ensley tombstone was a politically-motivated memorial obelisk erected in downtown Ensley as part of a protest against the town's annexation into Birmingham as part of the "Greater Birmingham" legislation that took effect on January 1, 1910.

Some residents of Ensley held a mock funeral for their "dead" city. Overnight the mock tombstone appeared outside the real estate office of J. R. Perkins at Avenue E and 19th Street. An inscription on the face of the obelisk read "Here lies the remains of Ensley, once a fair and prosperous city. Betrayed by the Tribe of Judas, and fatally stabbed in the back by Gov. B. B. Comer on August 20, 1909, died at midnight, December 31, 1909. May the memory of this fair city endure as a warning to all mankind that man's inhumanity to man still makes countless thousands mourn."

According to P. A. Eubanks, the monument remained in place for nearly two years before it was removed.


  • Isaacson, Louis (September 27, 1956) "Mock grave, tombstone erected-- Many Ensley folks recall that day back in 1909 when the town was buried." The Birmingham News