HISTORY of ALEXANDER, NY
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A DESCRIPTIVE AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
GENESEE COUNTY
NEW YORK
EDITED BY SAFFORF E. NORTH
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 1899


TOWN OF ALEXANDER.

Alexander is one of the four towns in the southern tier. It is bounded on the north by Batavia, on the east by Bethany, on the south by Wyoming county, and on the west by Darien. The town is perfectly square in form. The surface of the town is hilly in the centre and south, and rolling or level-in the north. The Tonawanda creek, which rises in Wyoming county, enters the town at the western part of the southern boundary, flows in a northeasterly direction through the town, leaving it near its northeast corner. Its course through Alexander is exceedingly tortuous. Bowen creek, a branch of the Tonawanda, rises west of the centre and flows in a northeasterly direction. Little Tonawanda creek flows northerly through the extreme eastern part. The Attica branch of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad and a branch of the Erie Railroad run parallel through the town along the course of the Tonawanda creek, and the main line of the Erie from Buffalo eastward traverses the southwestern and southeastern parts of the town.

Settlements were made in Alexander at a very early day in the history of Genesee county. The productive lands along the Tonawanda attracted numerous settlers, and early in the century the outlook was that it would become one of the most populous towns in the county. Over one hundred families are believed to have taken up lands in that town between 1802 and 1815, most of whom came before the War of 1812.

Alexander Rea, who had been a surveyor for the Holland Land Company, under direction of Joseph Elliot, made the first purchase of land in the town in 1802. He founded the village of Alexander, which was named in his honor, and there erected a sawmill in 1804, the first in the town. William Blackman located in the town at a very early date, and may have become an actual settler before Mr. Rea built a home there. Mr. Rea was a brigadier-general in the militia, and served as State senator for several years. Elijah Root, John Olney, George Darrow and William Johnson came from 1803 to 1805. Lillie Fisher, Caleb Blodgett, Lewis Disbrow, Joseph Fellows, Elias Lee, John Lee, Samuel Russell, Elijah Rowe, Solomon Blodgett, Eliiha Carver and Benham Preston also located in town, or purchased land there, daring or prior to 1804. Among the other pioneers were Captain Marcellus Fellows, William Adams, Wolcott Marsh, Lyman Riddle, John Riddle, E. C. Moulton, Luther Chaddock, Dennis Chaddock, Colonel Seba Brainard, Timothy Haskins, Captain Royal Moulton and Benjamin Moulton.

The first grist mill in town was erected in 1808 by William Adams. John and Samuel Latham erected the first frame dwelling. Harvey Hawkins conducted the first tavern, and Hon. Abel Ensign the first store. The first physician was Dr. Charles Chaffee Alden Richards conducted the first tannery in town. In 1811 the Alexandrian Library was formed with Alexander Rea, Henry Hawkins, Colonel Seba Brainard, Samuel Latham, Jr., Harvey Hawkins, Noah North and Ezra W. Osborn as trustees. In 1828 a literary society was formed, and in 1837 the Genesee and Wyoming Seminary was organized as its out growth. The building is still standing, and is used by the Alexander High School. The Alexander Cemetery was surveyed in 1813 by Nathan Holmes, whose body was the first to be interred therein.

The first religious meeting was held in 1805, Elder Burton presiding A Presbyterian church organized in 1807 by Harvey Hawkins and Cyrenus Wilbor was the first established in town. There are now in town also a Methodist, a Universalist and a free Methodist church.

The town of Alexander was organized June 8, 1812, and the first town meeting was held four days later. The town clerk’s office was burned in 1868, and it is therefore impossible to secure a complete civil list of the town. The following is a list of the principal officers of the town as shown by the existing records.

Supervisors— 1831, Ziba S. Beardsley; 1832, Jonathan Hall; 1833—1835, Samuel Benedict, Jr.; 1836, Royal Moulton; 1837, Samuel Benedict, jr.; 1838—1839, Jesse Hawkins; 1840, Elbridge G. Moulton; 1841, Jesse Hawkins; 1842, George W. King; 1843, Jesse Hawkins; 1844, Benajah Benedict; 1845 Ammi R. R. Butler; 1846, Earl Kidder; 1847—1848 Elbridge G. Moulton; 1849—1850, Heman Blodgett; 1851—1853, Earl Kidder; 1854, David Halsted; 1855—1856, Anson Lewis; 1857—1859, Byram Moulton; 1860—1865, Van Rensselaer Hawkins; 1866—1867, William I, Parish; 1868—1869, Henry Chapple; 1870—1871. Drayton Sprague; 1872—1873, Cortland Crosman; 1874—1878, Frank G. Moulton; 1879—1880, Van Rensselaer Hawkins; 1881—1883, Jasper B. Lewis; 1884, Frank G. Moulton; 1885, Suel Chaddock; 1886—1887, Oel S. Kidder; 1888—1889. Charles F. Lewis; 1890—1891, Jesse A. Hawkins; 1892—1893, Joseph 0. Greene; 1894— 1895, Clark Shaw; 1896—1898, R. Tracy Miller.

Town Clerks— Levi M. Button, 1869—1870; William L. Dickinson, 1870—1871; Jacob Zwetsch, 1871—1876; Scott Rowe. 1876—1877: Alouzo T. Mooers, 1877—1878; Scott Rowe, 1878—1879; J. W. Jerome, 1879—1881; I. T. Mullen, 1881-1884; W. H. Mooers, 1884—1887; G. E. Smith, 1887—1889; F. M. Richards, 1889—1890; John F. Whiteside, 1890—1891; Charles Zwetsch, 1891—1894; Norman Bentley, 1894—1898; George W. Zwetsch, 1898.

Justices of the Peace— C. W. Van de Bogart. 1869—1880; Phillip Zwetsch, 1869—1879; Drayton Sprague, 1869—1878; Cortland Crosman, 1869—1873; Joseph E. Van de Bogart, 1871—1875; Delos L. Dodson, 1875—1883: Elbridge G. Moulton, 1878—1894; R. C. Curtiss, 1878—1886; Charles F. Lewis, 1880—1888; J. 0. Greene, 1883—1898; William G. Pollard, 1866—1890; Charles R. Eglestone, 1888 (resigned); R. C. Curtiss, 1889—1892; Charles F. Lewis, 1890—1897; Phillip Zwetsch, 1892—1896; David W. Burt, 1893—1897; M. F. Lincoln, 1896—1897; Phillip Zwetsch, 1897—1898; Albert H. Moulton, 1898; Edwin Shadbolt, 1897—1898.

The village of Alexander, located south of the centre of the town, was incorporated in 1834. It is situated principally west of the tracks of the Erie and New York Central and Hudson River railroads. It contains a roller mill, a creamery, blacksmith shop, three stores, one hotel, three churches, and an excellent union school. The Tonawanda creek furnishes excellent water power for the flour mill. The village was founded by Alexander Rea, who took up the first land sold in that township by the Holland Land Company. Brookville is a small hamlet northeast of Alexander. West Bethany lies at the eastern bounds of the town, partly in Bethany.

In former years a bank known as the Exchange Bank of Genesee flourished at the village of Alexander. This institution was founded in 1842. Later, Daniel W. Tomlinson became interested in it, and in 1850, after buying up all the stock, removed it to Batavia, where it ultimately discontinued business.

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