My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

WILLIAM J. ALEXANDER, attorney-at-law and one of the oldest practitioners in the city of Xenia, was born June 10, 1827, and is the son of Washington and Rachel (Clark) Alexander, the former of whom was a native of South Carolina. Washington Alexander was born in 1801, and when a child was brought by his parents, John and Isabella Alexander, to this State as early as 1803. They settled first near Middletown, Butler County, where Grandfather Alexander occupied himself as a school teacher, but in the spring of 1803 came to Xenia and engaged in the practice of law. It is believed that he was the first attorney in the city, and he followed his profession for the long period of forty years, and during thirty years of this time was Prosecuting Attorney. He was a man of fine abilities, which the people of his district recognized by spending him to the National Congress two terms, he serving from 1812 to 1816. He retired from the active duties of his profession in 1842, and died in 1848.

Washington Alexander grew to mature years in Xenia, receiving his education in the public schools of that city, and studied law, although never practicing. Instead his inclinations led him into farming pursuits, which he followed successfully all his life, the most of which was spent in Spring Valley Township. He was married in 1824 to Miss Rachel Clark, of this county, and likewise a native of Spring Valley Township. Her father, Judge John Clark, settled here as early as 1800. Both identified themselves with the Baptist Church, and were prominent and popular in their community. Their children, six sons and one daughter, all grew to mature years. John C. is now deceased. The survivors are: William J., Jesse C., Augustus W., Franklin, Sarah Isabella, the widow of William S. Frazier; and Aurelius. Mr. Alexander died in 1867; his wife had passed away in 1849.

The subject of this notice was born and reared in Spring Valley Township, and completed his education in the city schools of Xenia. During his younger years, when starting out for himself, he engaged in teaching and farming alternately, and later taking up the study of law was, in 1865, duly admitted to the bar. He commenced the practice of his profession in his native town, was subsequently located in Wilmington for a time, and in 1882 changed his residence, to Xenia, and associated himself with a partner under the firm name of Alexander & Whitmer.

In Spring Valley Mr. Alexander served as Justice of the Peace for a period of twelve years, and was Township Trustee twenty-two years. He was for a time Superintendent of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphans Home, but resigned, not being able to give to it the attention he desired. He was on the School Board of his district for a number of years, but he has given his main attention to the practice of his profession, in which he occupies a leading position.

The marriage of William J. Alexander with Miss Elizabeth Weller, of Montgomery County, this State, was celebrated at the bride’s home February 28, 1850. Mrs. Alexander was born April 25, 1825, and is the daughter of John and Margaret Weller, who for many years lived on a farm in Montgomery County. Of this union there were born three children, two sons and a daughter, the latter of whom died when two and one-half years old — Perry A. and Charlie F, are numbered among the well-to-do farmers of Spring Valley Township. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander belong to the Baptist Church, and Mr. Alexander supports the principles of the Democratic party in a Republican district, where he has received many evidences of the people’s confidence and esteem.

* * * *

This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

View an historic 1901 map of Greene County, Ohio

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of family biographies.

Follow My Genealogy Hound: Follow me on Facebook