WILLIAM L. ALEXANDER, of section 30, Huntsville township, settled in the county in 1861. He was born in the county in 1861. He was born in Russell county, Virginia, December 19, 1836. His parents were William and Mary (McReynolds) Alexander. The grandfather of our subject was John Alexander, born in the north of Ireland. He came to the United States, where he settled and pursued farming. His son William was born in 1802 and was a farmer, marrying in Virginia. In 1840 he came to Illinois and settled in Adams county, North East township, where he became the owner of 400 acres of land on which he made good improvements. He died in 1887, his wife having died a few years previously. They were members of the Presbyterian Church and the father was a Democrat in politics. He was poor when he settled in Illinois, owning only a horse and wagon. They had thirteen children, all of whom attained their majority: Nancy, John, Mary, Rachel, Margaret, William L., Davis, Daniel, Mitchell, Martha, Samuel, Robert Wilson and Rebecca.
William L. was reared on the farm. In 1862 he enlisted in Company I, Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry, and served until the close of the war. He was in the battles of Perryville, Kentucky, Stone river and Chickamauga, Tennessee, and the Atlanta Campaign. He returned with General Thomas and participated in the fight at Franklin and Nashville. He was mustered out at Camp Harker, Tennessee. He was a non-commissioned officer. At the battle of Kenesaw Mountain he received a gunshot wound in the head, for which he now receives a pension.
After the war he returned to Schuyler county, where he owned sixty acres of land, purchased in 1864. He has since pursued farming and now owns 541 acres of land and has two good sets of farm buildings. In addition to his farming he has raised stock and dealt in the same. Since 1889 he has rented all his land.
He was married in 1861 to Rachel J. Derry, daughter of Basil and Sarah Derry. She was born in Adams county, near Quincy. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander have four children: Martha A., wife of William H. Naylor, resides in Baxter Springs, Kansas; Edward died, aged nineteen; Emma, wife of Edward Straub of Galesburg, Illinois; Keely L. is at home. In politics Mr. Alexander is a Democrat and has been a member of the School Board. His wife is an earnest Christian lady, but not a member of any sect. Mr. Alexander has made his property and is a well-to-do man, richly deserving the respect in which he is held by all who know him.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 288-289.
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