to The Birmingham District:
a 20 acre site, located between the railroads on the city's western edge
and donated by the Elyton Land Company, Hillman and DeBardeleben built
Alice Furnace No. 1. Charged with coal from the Pratt field and
iron ore from Graces Gap, the Birmingham District's first furnace went
into blast on November 23, 1880. Named for DeBardeleben's eldest
daughter, "Little Alice" produced a high yield of good grade
iron at a cost competitive with northern and eastern producers."
together with W. B. Caldwell, Jr., and and Thomas C. Ward of Louisville,
established the Birmingham Rolling Mills during 1879, adjacent to the
Alice Furnace. These mills which processed pig iron and later
steel into finished products such as bars, rods and sheets, quickly
became the City's largest employer with an estimated 900 persons on the
payroll by 1888."