A librarian passed on the following information to me:
According to the book, Elyton-West End: Birmingham's First Neighborhood,
"As Jones Valley attracted more settlers, a trading center called Frog Level naturally developed . . . The village sat on land that a Connecticut school (the Connecticut Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb) owned through a gift from the U.S. Government. IN 1819, the school sent its agent, William Ely, to Jones Valley to sell the land. Ely liked the residents of Frog Level so well - and thought their land so worthless - that he gave them 160 acres in and around the village. In gratitute, the citizens of Frog Level promptly changed the name of their frontier community to Elyton." (pp. 1-2).
Additional information can be found in Leah Rawls Atkins's book The Valley and the Hills: An Illutrated History of Birmingham and Jefferson County. If this book is not available in your local library, they may be able to borrow it for you via inter-library loan. Most of the early settlers of Jefferson County were farmers. They came pre-dominantly from Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. Many of them were veterans from the Indian Wars of 1813 who had traveled through this part of Alabama with Andrew Jackson.