Among the pioneers of Adams county was Samuel Alexander, who engaged in homesteading for some time. He became the
first postmaster of Hastings and in the discharge of his duties was efficient and courteous, thus gaining the commendation
of his fellow citizens. He was born January 16, 1842, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was a son of William and Agnes
(Black) Alexander and was of Irish extraction. His education was received in the common schools of Clarinda, Iowa,
and in early manhood he joined the Union army, serving at the front until he was honorably discharged in 1864.
Later in that year he came to Adams county and took up a claim where Hastings now stands and he was also one of
the early settlers of Lincoln. He engaged in farming and proved very successful in that connection and after the
town of Hastings was established took a very active part in public affairs. He was the first postmaster of the
town, was a member of the city council and was elected mayor on the temperance ticket, serving in that office for
four years. He also held other minor positions of trust and at all times proved a capable and conscientious official.
He was not only interested in politics and municipal government but also in the moral and educational advancement
of his community and was one of the leaders in the establishment of Hastings College.
In 1870 Mr. Alexander was united in marriage to Miss Harriet R. Phillips, a daughter of Russell and Rachel (Bristol)
Phillips She is the only survivor of a family of eight children. Although born in Erie, Pennsylvania, she attended
school in Nebraska and Iowa, her family being pioneers of those states. By her marriage she became the mother of
five children: Agnes, who is the wife of William Duer, of Sutherlin, Oregon, and has three children; Rachel, who
is now Mrs. Joe Webster, of Lincoln, and has a daughter; Esther H., who gave her hand in marriage to Herbert Young,
of Cleveland, Ohio, and has two living children and one deceased; Frances, who married George Van Antwerp and has
a son; and Samuel R., a resident of Montana.
Mr. Alexander indorsed the principles of the republican party but felt at liberty to vote independently if he considered
the candidate of the opposing party better fitted for the office in question. He gave his religious allegiance
to the United Presbyterian church and was always one of the first to champion a movement along the line of moral
progress. He was an honored member of the Pioneers of Nebraska and for many years was a witness of the development
of this part of the state, residing here from 1864 until his death in April, 1908. He is buried at Hastings. Although
he has passed away, the influence of his life and his work is still felt and his many friends cherish his memory.
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Adams County, NE
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