Biography - Wilson Alexander

WILSON ALEXANDER, who has resided on his little farm of sixty acres on section 25, Tunnel Hill Township, for the past twenty years, was born in Williamson County, Ill1., in September, 1830. His father, Gideon Alexander, a farmer, was born in North Carolina in 1771 and was a son of John Alexander, who was also a native of North Carolina and lived and died on his farm in that State. His wife was Patsy Sams, of North Carolina, and they reared one son and two daughters, the son Gideon, father of Wilson, being the eldest of the family. He married in Wilson County, Tenn., Elizabeth Borom, whose parents were Germans, though she was born in the United States. They were married in Tennessee in 1806, and after living on their farm sixteen years, in 1822 came to southern Illinois, locating in Williamson County in September of that year. They came through with ox-teams and covered wagons, camping by the way, and being people of means they entered eighty acres of land, upon which they settled, built a good hewed-log house with a shingle roof, the only one thus covered in that part of the country at that time. The first chimney to this house was made of brick and clay but was soon replaced by one of stone.
Mr. Alexander was one of the first in that part also to enter and deed land, and made his permanent home where he first located, improving about eighty acres and buying fifty more. He died there in September, 1865, aged ninety-four years. He was a widower forty-three years, having lost his wife in 1823. She bore him ten children, five sons and five daughters, of whom Wilson was the last born. Minerva and Anna were twins, both of whom married and reared large families. Minerva died at seventy years of age and Anna at sixty-nine. John H., a school teacher, died in Missouri when fifty years of age. Edmund S., a farmer of Williamson County, died when seventy-one years of age, leaving a widow. Angeline, wife of John Slack, died in Johnson County when forty-one years of age, leaving nine children. Hannah was the wife of William Welty, and died in Johnson County aged sixty-three years, leaving three children. William R., a carpenter of Williamson County, died at sixty-one years of age, leaving four children. Elijah died in Hamilton County at thirty-two, leaving a wife and eight children. Nancy M., died at her father's home at twenty-five years. Wilson is he of whom we write.
Our subject grew up on the farm, obtaining but little education, which was received in the subscription schools so often described in these pages. He left home at the age of twenty years and was married in 1851 to Miss Lucinda Phillips, she being in her sixteenth year. She is the daughter of Laban and Rebecca (Garrett) Phillips, who came to Illinois from Alabama in 1849, but were, however, originally from Tennessee, where Mrs. Alexander was born. They had one son and nine daughters, and Mrs. Alexander is the seventh child. Her parents died in Johnson County, the mother aged sixty-five years and the father when about ninety-three years old. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander began life on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of land near the present site of New Burnside. This he entered as Government land, and he also bought one hundred and twenty acres under the Bitt Act. They lived there sixteen years, when they sold out for $800 and removed to Jefferson County, where they lived for six months and then removed to Williamson County, where they lived seven years, at which time they located on their present farm.
They had eleven children, five sons and six daughters, one son and one daughter dying in infancy, and Moses dying in 1874, aged nineteen years. The latter was a very promising young man, having secured a good education and being a very ardent advocate of temperance. The children living are as follows: Esther, who is at home; Elizabeth, wife of Adam Harvec, a banker at Vienna; William M., a farmer of Johnson County, who has a wife and two children; Rebecca, a young lady at home; Georgianna, wife of William Gill, a carpenter and painter at Marion; L. D., a young man at home on the farm; Susan, wife of Wayde Nelson, living at Tunnel Hill, and who has three children; and Mitchell, a minor at home. Mr. Alexander has always been a Democrat and both he and his wife are members of the Christian Church. He is doing a general farming business, but the hardest part of the work is now being done by the children that are at home. The children are for the most part members of the Christian Church.

Extracted 23 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 203-204.

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