Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday :: William and Rachel Alexander

The east end of the Morris Chapel Cemetery in Washington township, Kosciusko County, Indiana. The small stone on the right is that of my 2nd great-grandfather William Alexander. To the left of his stone, hidden by vegetation, is the stone for his wife and my 2nd great-grandmother Rachel Van Curen Hover Alexander. The cemetery is on private land and the brush has been removed several times but it is really something that needs to be done every spring. All photographs taken by me on July 11, 2007.

Wm. ALEXANDER / 1805 - 1899
William was the son of William Washington Alexander and (probably) Lucy Sprague. I'm not certain that Lucy is William's mother as that information was given to me by another researcher, with only a newspaper article as evidence. I haven't taken the time to either prove or disprove it. It's on my (never-ending) list of things to do.

His obituary was published in the Northern Indianian on April 20, 1899

William Alexander was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, Nov. 20, 1805 and died April 7, 1899, aged 93 years, 4 months, 11 days.

In his early life he was of a roving turn of mind and made many trips down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers on a flatboat to New Orleans, that being their way of marketing their surplus products in those days. During the year 1838, he was married to Nancy Tway and moved to Kosciusko county settling at Chapman's sawmill at the outlet of Little Eagle Lake, where he engaged in the saw-mill business for a short time sawing lumber for the early pioneers that were settling up the country, and while he lived there the first election was held, the polls were opened at Leesburg for the entire county where he cast his first ballot. He was a tailor by trade and did quite a business in that line with the early settlers, making the wedding suit for the late Daniel Groves, father of George Groves, who resides east of Warsaw.

After a residence of four or five years in this county he removed to Bartholomew county, this state, when he lost his wife and married his second wife, Elizabeth Mackadew. After a few years residence there his second wife died. He then moved to Union county, Ohio, remaining there only a short time, moving back to Kosciusko county, and in the year 1859, was married to Rachael Hover. There were born by his first wife four children, the second five, and by the third four; four of whom have preceded him to the spirit land. Father Alexander united with the M.E. church when a mere boy, and was a devoted member of that organization throughout his long life. The last two years of his life was one of great suffering, and he bore his affliction with great patience, always ready to go when the summons came, which was April 7. After an interesting discourse by Rev. Stoneburner he was laid to rest in Morris Chapel cemetery, followed by a large concourse of neighbors and friends.


Rachel Van Curen, daughter of Henricus and Rebecca (maiden name may be Ostrander) Van Curen, was born September 5, 1824 in New York state. Prior to her marriage to George Hover in 1843, she had moved to Kosciusko County, Indiana with her parents. Four of her siblings would also marry into the Hover family. When George Hover passed away on June 14, 1855, Rachel was the mother of six children, ranging in age from 11 years to a daughter about 1 month old.

On June 28, 1859 Rachel was married to William Alexander in Kosciusko County. She was his third wife. William and Rachel would have four children together. Their first child, Amanda Minerva (1860-1950) would marry Samuel Bray Wiseman and they would become my great-grandparents.

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