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Biography: William Jasper Alexander born in May 1842

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Calhoun County, Alabama

William Jasper Alexander was born in May 1842, in Calhoun County, the son of Arthur T. Alexander and Rebecca (Borden) Alexander, of Georgia. Arthur T. Alexander was born in North Carolina. When a child, he was taken by his parents to Habersham County, and thence to Carroll County, Ga. He came to Calhoun County, this State, in 1832, and settled eight miles east of Cross Plains (now in Cleburne County), where his father entered lands and improved them. He died of illness in 1851 and a few months later his wife followed him. They left two sons and four daughters, all of whom lived to maturity. The Alexanders and Bordens are of English ancestry.

William J. received a common school education, and in 1859, began to farm. In July 1861, he enlisted in Co. I, 25th Alabama infantry regiment, C. S. Army and saw service at the first battle of Farmersville and Shiloh. William J. took part in the Kentucky invasion. He was captured at Glasgow, Ky and exchanged two months later. He rejoined his regiment again at Shelbyville, Tennessee and was in the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and the Atlanta campaigns. At Atlanta, he joined Wheeler’s cavalry and served till the close of the war.

After the war, William J. resumed farming in Cleburne County, Alabama where he was appointed sheriff in 1871. He served as the representative, 1878-82 and a member of the State Senate, 1884-88.

William J. was a Democrat and a member of the Christian church. In August 1866, in Floyd County, Georgia, he married Sarah Cornelia Smith, daughter and youngest child of Henry Allen Smith and Keziah (Mattox) Smith of Georgia.

Sarah Cornelia was born into a large Georgia family, with six older sisters and brothers. Sarah was a poet and author; Ailenroc’s Book, containing her collective works, was published in 1899 by the Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, Tennessee. In its preface, she wrote, “A year ago my physician said, ‘You cannot live; your days are numbered;’ and when I had sobbed out my heart’s grief and become reconciled to God’s will, I thought if I had only saved my little pieces I might have left a book behind me. Kind friends helped me, and I had responses from a great many States. The Gospel Advocate Publishing Company kindly undertook the work, and my little book is assured. I do not think I shall live to see it out, but I want to bespeak for it a kind reception. Of faults it has many, but I am sure they are not of the heart, and it is a pleasure to me to think that I have written nothing that can do harm. SARAH CORNELIA ALEXANDER.”

They had the following known children:

  1. William Henry A.Alexander (1867-1932)
  2. Bessie Elizabeth Euphemia Alexander (b. 1870 -d. 1940) married Harbin had two children Aleph and Virginia Harbin
  3. Mildred E. Alexander (b. 1890) married Leyden

William Jasper Alexander died in Anniston, Calhoun County, Alabama Jun 3, 1913. Sarah died May 3, 1899. William Jasper and his Sarah C. are buried in unmarked graves in Carmel Cemetery in Spring Garden Cherokee County, Alabama.

William Henry Alexander was the eldest of William Jasper and Sarah C.’s children. He married  “Mittie” Alma Frances Ferguson, (1869-1959) also of Alabama, and they had the following children:

  1. Kathleen Elizabeth Alexander 1891-1992,
  2. Sherbrook Lamar Alexander 1893-1968,
  3. Sarah Eugenia (Alexander) Fowler (1896-1962)
  4. Rebecca Borden (Alexander)Vidal (1898-1989)
  5. Cornelia Claire (Alexander) Swinford (1902-1937)
  6. “Lon” Leonidas Ferguson Alexander (1904-1990)
  7. “Bill” William Jasper Alexander (1908-1998)
  8. Mary Sue (Alexander) Master (1910-1980)
  9. John Charles Alexander (1912-bef 1920)

In the early 1900s, W H moved his family to Bauxite, Arkansas, where he was a mine foreman and then owner of Mittie Mine, named for his wife. By 1911, Mittie Mine was one of the major bauxite-producing mines in the area. Around 1920, the family moved to McKinley County, New Mexico.”



  1. Northern Alabama: Historical and Biographical Birmingham, Ala.: Smith and De Land 1888
  2. History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Volume 3 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
  3. Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974
  4. #16645353, #16645360 and #16479908

This biography can be found in Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume VI 

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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