Facts and Events
Info from Helen Kelley Price, given to me by Homer Smith, son of Robert walterSmith (1871-1965)
Possible parents & siblings of J. W. Alexander: M. J. ALEXANDER Self W Female W 41 KY Keeps House KY KY J. J. ALEXANDER Son S Male W 26 KY Farm Hand KY KY H. ALEXANDER Son S Male W 21 TX Farm Hand KY KY J. ALEXANDER Son S Male W 18 TX Farm Hand KY KY M. ALEXANDER Dau S Female W 16 TX KY KY B. ALEXANDER Dau S Female W 13 TX KY KY Source Information: Census Place Precinct 1, Eastland, Texas Family History Library Film 1255300 NA Film Number T9-1300 Page Number 285C 1880 USCensus
This family may or may not be related-- probably not
WILLIAM L. ALEXANDER. Not all of those who engaged in the rush of April, 1889, were seasoned men, mature in power and years, and capable of assuming the position in affairs which their industry and experience in other places fitted them for. While the organization of 89'ers is very proud of its distinguished member, Mr. William L. Alexander, who in the past ten years has become known all over Oklahoma, there are few who, twenty years ago, would have picked him out of the throng of boomers as a man of unusually ability and force of character. In fact, William L. Alexander was but twenty years of age when Oklahoma was opened, and was only beginning to develop the character that has since given him both position and influence in Oklahoma. Up to that time he had spent his active youth mainly as a Texas cowboy, with meager educational opportunities, so that his abilities lay unrecognized, waiting for the stress of circumstances and personal ambition to develop them. Though one of the best examples of self-made men in Oklahoma, Mr. Alexander at the same time is a member of one of the oldest and most substantial families of the south, and is himself most appreciative of the inheritance and training derived from his family. Born at Charlotte, Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, in 1869, he is a son of Abdon and Martha J. (Sloan) Alexander, both natives of the same county. An earlier generation of the Alexander family were very prominent in promulgating the Mecklenburg declaration of independence, which was the pioneer document in the struggle for liberty from England. Charles Alexander was president of the convention which issued this stirring appeal. In 1870, while William L. was an infant, the family moved to Texas, to a farm in Grayson county, where both lived until death, the father dying in 1878 from illness resulting from wounds he had received while a Confederate lieutenant in the Civil war. Reared in the country in northern Texas, Mr. Alexander passed his youth almost devoid of school advantages, though from his mother, who was splendidly educated, and from self-study he acquired much more enlightenment than those who grew up with him. It indicates the sterling, unpretentious and yet self-reliant character of the man that he is not ashamed or foolishly sensitive as to his early lack of education and the hardships he had to undergo in getting an education. As a cowboy in northern Texas he learned the cattle business, and was practical and had a reasonable degree of self-confidence when the test came for him to participate in the Oklahoma opening of 1889. He and his brother, J. S., entered Oklahoma county from the southeast, through the Pottawatomie Indian reservation, W. L. Alexander having made the trip from Texas on horseback. Arriving here without money and without training for other work than he had been accustomed to, he spent his first months in Oklahoma county performing odd jobs. Most of his early life in the territory was spent in school teaching, and it is the story of how he prepared himself for teaching that gives the keynote to his subsequent success. At the opening of the Pottawattomie country in 1890 he got a claim of 120 acres about twenty miles east of Oklahoma City. So poor was he, however, at that time, that he was granted permission, under a provision of the homestead law, known as a "leave of absence" in effect then, to leave his claim temporarily for the purpose of earning a living. An education must have been the highest goal of the young man's ambition at that time, and teaching both as an end and a means. At Denton, Texas, he took a brief course in the North Texas Normal College, taught two terms of school in Texas, and then returning to Oklahoma county was engaged in teaching -43- here three years. Six months after returning from Texas he rode in on horseback from his claim, took examination at close of Normal Institute, and out of 120 teachers in attendance at the institute he received the highest grade that was made. This honor brought him his first public recognition in Oklahoma—he was appointed a member of the Oklahoma examining board. Since then he has become one of the best known citizens of the state. He was engaged in teaching at Choctaw and vicinity until 1895, when he took up his home in Oklahoma City. In 1896, from a country school teacher, he had so advanced in the regard of the people, that he was nominated by the Democratic party for the office of county treasurer of Oklahoma county, and was elected in that year and re-elected in 1898. His official record for four years was efficient and able, and when he left the office he turned over its conduct to his brother, J. S. Alexander <1908ok_2_7.htm>, whom the people were pleased to take as his successor for two terms. When the Kiowa-Comanche country was opened to settlement, Mr. Alexander went into the real estate business at Hobart, Kiowa county, for a year and a half, and then returned to Oklahoma City and established the Alexander Real Estate and Insurance Business, which has since been incorporated as Alexander & Alexander. His brother, J. S., and Harry C. Upsher, are his associates, the latter having charge of the insurance department. Mr. Alexander has been active for many years in pushing the interests and best welfare of Oklahoma City. He was an original member of the Chamber of Commerce and one of its directors for three years, but is probably best known to the general public as a successful campaign manager in the Democratic party. He has served as a member of the territorial Democratic committee the past ten years, being an ex-secretary of the organization, and was one of the principal managers of the congressional campaign of William M. Cross in the election of 1902. He was delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Denver, Colorado, 1908. It is said of Mr. Alexander's political career that he has never yet failed in achieving his ends, and in the fickle game of politics this is saying a great deal. Mr. Alexander is a member of the organization known as "The 89'ers" and formerly was secretary. He has been an Odd Fellow fifteen years, is affiliated with the A. O. U. W., and in the Masonic order is a thirty-second degree Mason, and is also a Shriner. His first wife to whom he was married in Texas, was Miss Dora Johnston, a native of Alabama. Her death occurred in 1902. His present wife is Cleo (Greer) Alexander, to whom he was married in Sherman, Grayson county, Texas, her former home. Those who know Mr. Alexander best have sometimes given what they considered the real reasons of his success, why it was that a poor country school teacher should quickly advance to rank among the foremost men of the state in influence. In the first place, his frank, open manner, indicating elemental honesty, won him the confidence of the people in the early days and resulted in his election as county treasurer. He has the faculty of welding together discordant elements in his party, and, by tact and patience and apparently yielding to opposing counsel, brings them around to his own advantage. One of his chief characteristics and sources of his strength is his loyalty to friends. He is one of the best read men in the state on political and general economics, his library being replete with works from the best masters on these subjects. In his political management there is nothing of the boss or autocrat. He is simply a plain, sincere man, although when occasion requires he is an aggressive fighter, having strong convictions and the courage to back them up. The most satisfactory truth that can be stated concerning him, is that he is straightforward and absolutely lacking in pretense. Such victories as he has won, both in business life and politics, have been achieved against heavy odds, attended by hard work, energy and earnestness.