Biography - Joseph Alexander

JOSEPH T. ALEXANDER. The undertaking business is of the utmost importance to society, and every consideration suggests that its representatives shall be reliable, sympathetic and experienced. This vocation is essentially a very delicate one, and it involves for its successful prosecution peculiarly important qualifications, which but comparatively few individuals possess. It is only by long experience and natural aptitude that a man is able to discharge his duty in this relation to the entire and unqualified satisfaction of those most directly interested. Among the prominent business men of Fillmore, Montgomery County, Ill., stands Joseph T. Alexander, who, in connection with his undertaking business, is quite extensively engaged in dealing in furniture.
Our subject was born in Fillmore Township, Montgomery County, this State, September 17, 1834, and is a son of Richard Alexander, and the grandson of Joseph Alexander, who is supposed to have been born in America, but whose father was born in Ireland. Richard Alexander was born in 1810, in Tennessee, and there passed his boyhood and youth. He came to Montgomery County, Ill., when a young man, and here married Miss Sarah Whitten, a native of Kentucky, who came to Montgomery County after reaching womanhood. Her father, Eastern Whitten, was a native of the Palmetto State, and an early settler of Montgomery County, Ill.
After marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander located in what is now Fillmore Township, and took up land during Martin Van Buren's administration. They made many improvements on this place, and resided on the same the remainder of their days. The father died May 12, 1874, and the mother, who was born in 1813, died December 19, 1853. They were the parents of six children, four sons and two daughters, three sons and one daughter living, as follows: Joseph T., our subject; Samuel, of Fillmore Township; Henry, of Minneapolis, Minn.; and Elizabeth, wife of John Hill, of Fillmore Township. Our subject, the eldest child, was reared in his native place, and attended school in a little log schoolhouse with all the rude contrivances of pioneer days, having stick and mud chimney, puncheon floor, puncheon seats, and slabs for desks. All his clothing was home-made, and his parents tanned the leather for his boots and shoes. His early life was one of privation and hardship, and he was early initiated into the duties of the farm.
Our subject worked out one month during his life, and afterward was in a general store for one year. Until twenty-five years of age he remained with his father, with the exception of the time, he taught school during the winter months, the summer season -being devoted to farm work. On May 3, 1859, he married Miss Irene Wright, a native of Fayette County, Ill., and the daughter of Joseph Wright, and after this union he and his young wife settled on section 2, Fillmore Township, on a piece of raw land, and in a log house, 18x24 feet. On this farm he remained until. 1875, when he bought the old homestead on section 1, and there continued to make his home until the spring of 1889, when he came to Fillmore and embarked in his present business. To his marriage were born two daughters and two sons: Evelyn C., wife of H. L. Prater, of Sumner County, Kan., who is engaged in the grocery business; Easton W.; Sarah R., wife of T. H. Lane, a merchant of Fillmore; and Homer L., at home. Mr. Alexander is a Democrat in politics, and was Assessor of the township in 1877. He was also Highway Commissioner for six years, Township Treasurer for twenty-three years, and has held other township offices. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Fillmore Lodge No. 670. Mr. Alexander is one of the county's most prominent and popular business men, and has met with substantial results in all his enterprises.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 268-269.

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