Samuel Alexander

Samuel Alexander was born January 2 or 6, 1841, in Logan County, Ohio, the son of Samuel and Sarah (Miller).

There was one Samuel Alexander residing in Harrison, Logan County, Ohio in 1840. In any case, by 1850 there was a 24-year-old, Pennsylvania-born Samuel Alexander living with his wife, 21-year-old Ohio native Sarah, and both were living with the Thomas Morgan family in Harrison, Ohio, and by 1860 they were living in Zane, Logan County. (This Samuel Alexander was probably related to one William Alexander, b. 1796, and who was also living nearby in Zane in 1860.)

At some point before the war broke out Samuel (younger) moved to Michigan and by 1861 he was probably living in the Lansing area when he became a member of the Lansing company called the “Williams’ Rifles”, whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G.

He was 20 years old, stood 5’10” with a dark complexion, black eyes and black hair and living in Detroit, Wayne County, when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company G on May 10, 1861. (Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles”, was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.) By the first of May 1862, Samuel was reported by Frank Siverd of Company G to have “been detailed as provost guard, and is, I believe, about to be promoted to a position in the Engineer corps.”

In July of 1862 Samuel was still a provost guard, but, according to Homer Thayer of Company G, he had been appointed as an assistant engineer of the Division. In September he was listed as assistant engineer, then in October as engineer for the Division and in November he was still attached to the engineer corps, but by December he was a nurse in the Division hospital through January of 1863.

Indeed, Samuel was sick with influenza from at least February 24, 1863 until March 9. He was reported absent on detached service at Division headquarters from the end of April 1863 through late September. In fact in May of 1863 he returned to the engineer corps, was on detached service at Division headquarters from March of 1864 through May, and, according to one source worked as a topographer during the war. He was mustered out on June 20, 1864 at Detroit.

After his discharge from the army Samuel returned to Michigan. He was living in St. Johns, Clinton County when he married New Jersey native Kezia E. “Elsey” Dyer, formerly Mrs. Newell (1830-1937), also residing in St. Johns, on October 22, 1864, at Corunna, Shiawassee County. They had at least one child, a daughter Benita (b. 1865), although Kezia had at least two children by her previous marriage: Ada C., (b. 1851), and Philip D. (b. 1857).

He was probably living in Birmingham, Oakland County in 1866, and by 1870 Samuel was working as a farmer (he owned some $9000 worth of real estate and another $4000 in personal property) and living with his wife and children in Bloomfield, Oakland County. In 1880 Samuel was working as a farmer and living with his wife, daughter and one William Alexander (b. 1860), in Bloomfield, Oakland County. Samuel may have been living in Birmingham, Oakland County in 1888, and possibly in Bloomfield in 1894, and for many years worked as a farmer. By 1904 he was living in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, and in 1907 was residing at 822 Oakland Street in Ann Arbor, and in Detroit in 1908. In 1912 and 1915 he was living at 706 17th Street in Detroit.

In 1890 he applied for and received pension no. 637,370, drawing $30.00 in 1917.

In 1907 he was described by one medical professional as “well-nourished” with a “large amount of abdominal fat present, muscles firm and hard, no structural evidence of rheumatism, tenderness of lumbar muscles and of muscles of right upper arm. Palms are soft and moist, no evidence of hard labor.”

Samuel died of diabetes milletus on May 15, 1917, at his home, 984 Hudson Avenue, Detroit, and was buried in Woodmere cemetery, Detroit.

In 1917 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 845487). She was residing at 3380 Hudson Avenue in Detroit by 1937.