Biography of Peter F. Alexander
Kalamazoo County, MI Biographies



Kalamazoo County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Peter F. Alexander was born in Lyons, Wayne Co., N. Y., July 6, 1816. He was the sixth child in the family of George and Margaret (Shaver) Alexander, who had a family of nine children. The progenitor of the Alexander family in this country was our subject’s grandfather. He was born in Scotland in 1744. When a boy he went to Dublin, Ireland, where he was apprenticed to the trade of a weaver. At the age of seventeen he decided to come to America, and being without money, stole aboard a vessel bound for the United States, and hid himself among the freight. He was not discovered until the ship was several days out; and on his arrival in Philadelphia was sold to a weaver for his passage-money for a term of three years. Upon the completion of Ms term of service he entered the Continental army, and served during the war. Shortly after its close he married Mary Rumage, and settled in Pennsylvania, where he became a farmer, and acquired a competency. He was a man of decided ability, and took an active part in political matters. He died in 1826, at the advanced age of eighty-two years. When his father was a boy the family removed to Tompkins Co., N. Y., where he married. About 1810 he removed to Lyons, Wayne Co., N. Y., where he resided until his death, which occurred in 1830, at the age of forty-eight years. Peter was at this time fourteen years of age. At the age of seventeen he was thrown upon his own resources. He earned twelve dollars, and with this pittance started for Michigan, a distance of seven hundred miles. Through the kindness of friends he was enabled to accomplish his undertaking. He arrived in Detroit penniless, and walked the entire distance to his uncle’s, Abram I. Shaver, in Prairie Ronde, where he arrived on the 26th of October, 1832. He entered the employ of his uncle, with whom he remained about four years. For several years he worked at his trade, that of carpenter and joiner.

In 1840, Mr. Alexander married Miss Sabra Anton, of Mendon, St. Joseph Co., who was born in Oneida Co., N. Y., near the city of Utica, Feb. 25, 1820. Her parents were natives of Oneida County, and came to Michigan in 1837. After their marriage they settled on the place where they now reside, which was purchased some time previously. His first purchase of land, however, was in 1834. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander have had six children born to them, only one of whom is living, Lucas T., who was born on the old place March 17, 1856. Mr. Alexander is emphatically a self-made man. Early in life he learned that there was no royal road to success, but that wealth and position were the result of individual effort. Among his fellow-townsmen he occupies an enviable position, and has filled many offices of trust to their satisfaction. He believes in the principles of the Republican party, and that his success in life is due to honesty and integrity, coupled with industry and perseverance.

History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of its Men and Pioneers.
Everts & Abbott., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia.