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James Powell

James Robert Powell (1814-1883), a founding father and promoter of the city of Birmingham during its early years, was known popularly as "The Duke of Birmingham." Powell worked in mail delivery and law enforcement before entering politics in the 1850s as a state senator. After leading the Elyton Land Company's founding of Birmingham during the early 1870s, Powell held office as the city's first elected mayor from 1873-1875.
Courtesy of the Birminghan Public Library Archives