The historic Graves Shale Brick Company was organized by William H. Graves in the early twentieth century in Birmingham Alabama.

William H. Graves, a Knoxville, Tennessee native, attended the William and Mary College in Virginia where he received a law degree.

After graduating, Graves moved back to Tennessee and opened a law firm. Later, after the Civil War, he moved to Montgomery Alabama and in 1890 he moved to Birmingham, Alabama.

Graves continued his law practice in Birmingham while investing in real estate. He started constructing his own buildings after a while. And in 1901, he started his own brick manufacturing company called the Graves Shale Brick Company that supplied bricks for his construction projects.

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