Columbia-Luzerne County PA Archives Biographies.....ALEXANDER, Edwin W. 1841 -
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Author: Biographical Publishing Co.
EDWIN W. ALEXANDER. This worthy and esteemed citizen of Benton, Pa., after a
life of industry in the peaceful and honorable occupation of a farmer, is now
living in retirement in the above named borough. He is a son of Silas and
Elizabeth (Smith) Alexander, and was born in Nanticoke, Luzerne County, Pa.,
April 8, 1841.
Silas Alexander was a native of New Jersey, and was born in 1799, and died in
Wilkes-barre, Pa., aged eighty-nine years, in 1887. He was an orphan, raised by
an unde. He was an apt scholar and acquired a good education in the common
schools of his native town, and at the age of eighteen years he moved to
Nanticoke, Pa., and there engaged in teaching school a short time. He then moved
to New York city where he opened and conducted an eating house until the cholera
epidemic broke out in 1832. He then returned to Nanticoke and carried on general
merchandising the remainder of his life. He was a very successful merchant and
succeeded in accumulating a small fortune. Politically he was formerly an old
line Whig, but later a stanch Republican; he served as postmaster of Nanticoke
for fifty years, his service only being broken during the administration of
President Buchanan. Religiously he was a member and active supporter of the
Presbyterian Church. He was united in marriage to Elizabeth Smith, a native of
Luzerne County, Pa., and this union was blessed by the birth of thirteen
children, namely: Cyrus, a retired business man of Nanticoke; Mary A., James;
Maria, and John, deceased; Charles, of Ithaca, N. Y.; Eugene, a merchant of
Nanticoke; Adrian, a retired citizen of Nanticoke; Phoebe A., wife of Mr.
Lesering; Edwin W., our subject; and three who died in infancy.
Edwin W. Alexander was educated in the schools of Nanticoke, and then began
clerking in his father's store, where he remained until 1878 when he bought a
farm in Benton township, Columbia County, Pa. He there pursued the vocation of
an agriculturist until 1890 when he sold his property and moved to the borough
of Benton where he has since lived in retirement, enjoying a well earned
competency. Our subject owns the Alexander homestead in Nanticoke, and since his
father's death he has replaced the old stone buildings with new brick ones; he
also owns a tract of coal land in Nanticoke, Pa.
Mr. Alexander is an ardent Republican and cast his first vote for Abraham
Lincoln; religiously he is a member of the Presbyterian Church. In 1866 Mr.
Alexander was united in the bonds of matrimony with Anna A. Tompkins. Six
children have been born to them, namely: James D., a wholesale confectioner;
Mary Elizabeth, the wife of B. C. Lambach, a wholesale confectioner and baker of
Freeland, Pa.; a son and daughter who died in infancy; Charles A., who died in
his boyhood; and Mabel, aged ten years, who resides with her parents. Gideon
Tompkins, our subject's father-in-law, was a successful farmer and stonemason of
Slocum township, Luzerne County, Pa. He died at the age of eighty-three years;
he was a member of the Methodist Church. His wife was Elizabeth Carson, a native
of Philadelphia, where our subject's wife was also born. Mr. and Mrs. Tompkins
later moved to Montgomery County, where they resided until 1854, when they
became residents of Slocum township, Luzerne County, Pa.
Book of Biographies of the Seventeenth Congressional District
Biographical Publishing Company of Chicago, Ill. and Buffalo, NY (1899)
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