A Narrative History of The People of Iowa Volume IV 1931
EDWARD T. ALFORD, M. D., has been established in the successful practice of
his profession in his native City of Waterloo during a period of nearly a
quarter of a century and is one of the representative physicians and surgeons of
Blackhawk County. His ancestral record closely and prominently touches the
early Colonial history of New England. He has the distinction of being a
lineal descendant of the historic Puritans, John and Priscilla (Mullens) Alden,
whose youthful romance is effectively told in Longfellow's poem entitled The
Courtship of Miles Standish.
Doctor Alford was born in Waterloo on the 29th of July, 1875, and is a son
of Hon. Lore Alford and Lilla (St. John) Alford. His paternal grandparents were Col. Nathaniel and Deborah (Cushman) Alford, the latter of whom was a daughter of Nathaniel and Lucia (Howlands) Cushman. Nathaniel Cushman was a son of Joseph and Deborah (Ring) Cushman and his mother was a daughter of Andres and Judith (Standish)Ring. Andrew Ring was a son of Ebenezer and Judith (Standish) Ring. Ebenezer Standish was a son of Alexander and Sarah (Alden)
Standish, the latter of whom was a daughter of John and Priscilla Alden, while
Alexander Standish was a son of Miles Standish, the other principal in the
previously mentioned poem by Longfellow.
Hon. Lore Alford was born in the town of Hope, Knox County, Maine, March 8,
1838, and his death occurred at his home in Waterloo, Iowa, March 30, 1900.
His early education was acquired in his native state and he was a student in
Union College, Schenectady, New York, when the Civil war broke out. He
promptly subordinated all personal interests to the call of patriotism, and in May,
1861, enlisted for service in defense of the Union. He was assigned to Company A, Sixteenth New York Volunteer Infantry, which became a part of the Army of the Potomac. With his command Mr. Alford participated in the first
battle of Bull Run and in various skirmishes in the summer and fall of 1861. In January, 1862, he was detailed for service in the Signal Corps and entered the camp of instruction at Georgetown, D. C., where he passed the winter. In April, 1862, he was sent with a detachment of the Signal Corps to join Gen. Benjamin F. Butler at Ship Island, and later he accompanied his unit to New Orleans. In June, 1862, the governor of his native state of Maine commissioned him first lieutenant of Company H, Eighth Maine Volunteer Infantry, and he joined this regiment at Beaufort, South Carolina. He then took part in the expedition that resulted in the capture of Jacksonville, Florida, and in the fall of 1863 and the ensuing winter he served as judge advocate at Beaufort and Hilton Head, South Carolina. In March, 1864, he was appointed a member of the
staff of the general who was in command of a division of the Tenth Army Corps, and he was soon afterward assigned to the Army of the James, with which he took part in the various engagements leading up to the battle of Drewry's
Bluff, where he fell from his horse, which kicked him and caused injuries that necessitated his spending two months in a hospital. He then rejoined his Maine regiment, which had been attached to the Eighteenth Army Corps, and with it
he participated in the seige of Petersburg and other engagements, the latter of minor order. His term expired and he received his honorable discharge October 14, 1864, his service having thus covered nearly the entire period of
After the close of his military career Captain Alford resumed the study of
law, and in 1866 he came to Iowa, was admitted to the bar of the state and
engaged in the practice of his profession as one of the pioneer members of the
Waterloo bar. He soon gained prominence in his profession and in public
affairs and in 1878 he was elected representative of Blackhawk County in the State Legislature. In 1880 he was again elected and at the ensuing session he was chosen speaker of the House of Representatives. He was stalwart as a supporter of the principles of the Republican party and was influential in its Iowa councils many years. He long continued in the active practice of his profession in Waterloo and was one of the prominent and honored members of the Iowa bar at the time of his death, March 30, 1900. He was long and prominently affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic and held membership in the Blackhawk County Bar Association and the Iowa State Bar Association.
In the City of Chicago, on the 29th of March, 1871, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Alford to Miss Lilla St. John, daughter of Elon and Julia (Burton)St. John, who were born in the State of New York and who established their
residence in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1869. Mrs. Alford received the advantages of Cornell College, at Mount Vernon, Iowa, and she was long a gracious figure in the social and cultural life of her home City of Waterloo. She died
September, 1928, at Waterloo.
After his graduation in the East High School of Waterloo Dr. Edward T.
Alford took a course in the Northwestern School of Pharmacy, in which he was duly graduated. In 1896 he received from Rush Medical College his degree of Doctor of Medicine, and thereafter remained two years in Chicago as an interne in the Baptist Hospital. He then passed a year in post-graduate study in the medical department of the great University of Vienna, Austria, and after his return to Chicago he was there associated with Dr. Bayard Holmes in the practice of his profession during a period of three years. In 1908 he returned to Waterloo, Iowa, and here he has continued his representative professional activities during the intervening years. He has specialized in surgery and established a wide reputation for his skill in this field. He is an influential member of the Blackhawk County Medical Society, and has membership also in the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association, and is a Fellow of the American College of surgeons, Doctor Alford is consulting surgeon for the Illinois Central Railroad; division surgeon for the Chicago and Great
Western RAilroad, chief surgeon for the Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern Railroad, and local surgeon for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. His political support is given to the Republican party but he has no desire for pubic office. Doctor Alford through his own personal efforts, succeeding in securing the contributions necessary to the establishment of Allen Memorial Hospital at Waterloo, the principal donation being obtained from H. B. Allen, an old resident of Waterloo.
January 17, 1906, recorded the marriage of Doctor Alford to Miss Elizabeth
Williston, who was born October 27, 1881, at Manchester, Iowa, a daughter of
Melville and Mary louise (Merritt) Williston, a granddaughter of Timothy
Williston, and a great-granddaughter of Rev. Seth Williston, who was born in
Massachusetts, and was graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and there ordained a clergyman of the Presbyterian Church. He served thirty-two years as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Durham, New York. His son Timothy graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts and likewise became a Presbyterian clergyman, and held various pastoral charges in the State of New York, he having been a resident of Ashland, that state, at the time of his death and the maiden name of his wife having been Isabella Tyler. Melville Williston was seventeen years of age when, in 1864, he left the preparatory school in which he had been a student, in Ohio, and enlisted for service in a regiment of Wisconsin volunteer infantry. He accompanied his command to the front and with it continued in active service until the close of the Civil war. He later came to Iowa and established his home at Manchester. During the long period of thirty-two years he was retained as one of the leading traveling salesmen for the Dubuque wholesale house of H. B. Glover & Company, and after his retirement he continued to reside at Manchester until his death, at the age of seventy-four years. His wife was born at Angelica, Allegany County, New York, a daughter of Sidney and Nancy (Hickok) Merritt and a granddaughter of Peter and Abigail (Whipple) Merritt, the latter having been a daughter of Ethan Whipple, whose father, Capt. Benjamin Whipple, commanded a company of patriot soldiers in the War of the Revolution. Ethan Whipple married Abigail Hawkins, daughter of Charles and Sarah (Olney) Hawkins, the latter a
daughter of James and Hannah (Winser) Olney. Hannah Winser was a daughter of Samuel Winser, Jr., and Mary (Harding) Winser, and her father was a son of Samuel and Mary (Williams) Winser, the latter of whom was a daughter of Roger and Mary (Warnard) Williams, her father having been a distinguished Revolutionary patriot, as history records. Mrs. Alford graduated in 1904 from Oberlin College Oberlin, Ohio, with the A. B. degree. She is director of the Third
District of the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs.
Doctor and Mrs. Alford have two children, Lore Williston Alford, born October 15, 1906, graduated from Shattuck Military School at Raribault, Minnesota, in 1924, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1928, with the B. S. degree, and is now with the Guarantee Company of New York in Chicago. Mary Eleanor, born February 18, 1914, is attending the Emma Willard School at Troy, New York, in the class of 1931.