Robert Henley (Birmingham mayor)

Robert Harwell Henley was the first Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama from 1871 until 1872. [1]

Robert H. Henley
1st and 4th Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama
In office
December 19, 1871 – April 22, 1873
Preceded byEstablishment created
Succeeded byJames Robert Powell
Personal details
BornJanuary 20, 1843
Demopolis, Alabama, U.S.
DiedApril 22, 1873(1873-04-22) (aged 30)
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
Spouse(s)Amelia Peters
ChildrenTom Henley, Evelina Henley


Robert was born the son of attorney John Woodson Henley on January 20, 1843. He moved with his wife Amelia Peters to Elyton and founded the weekly newspaper Elyton Sun, which later became the Birmingham Sun, the city of Birmingham's first newspaper.[2]

He became the first mayor of Birmingham after the city's incorporation on 19 December, 1871, appointed by Robert B. Lindsay, the Alabama Governor at the time.[3]

In 1872, he considered a run for state Senate, but withdrew on account of ill health.[4] He contracted tuberculosis during his term of office and died on April 22, 1873 at the age of 30. He was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Birmingham.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Robert Henley". bhamwiki. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  3. ^ Demopolis Man Builder of City, The Demopolis Times (Demopolis, Alabama) 1 Dec 1910, page 1, accessed via
  4. ^ Mr. Henlye Declines, Alabama State Journal (Montgomery, Alabama) 24, May 1872, page 2, accessed via