Henry Samuel Alexander
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HENRY SAMUEL ALEXANDER
Henry S. Alexander came to Utah as a young man, when the country was in a wild and unsettled state and took an active part in subduing the savage red men and overcoming the obstacles that stood in the way of reclaiming and cultivating the arid lands of Utah.
He came of sturdy New England stock, and from his ancestors inherited the spirit that knows no defeat, never looking back when once he put his hand to the plow, but going straight ahead with a determination to overcome every difficulty and make a success of any undertaking. This undaunted spirit has undoubtedly been the secret of his success rising as he was from a poor boy to a leading place among the business men of his city and county.
Henry s. Alexander was born in Washington County, Vermont, July 12, 1823 and is the son of Alva and Phoebe Houston Alexander, native of Ackworth, New Hampshire. The grandfather of our subject came from Scotland, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Our subject grew up in his native place and there obtained his education. The parents and older children of the family of which were three girls and two boys, became converts to the Mormon Church and in 1841 sold out their property in Vermont and moved to Nauvoo, remaining there until the exodus in 1846.
Our subject held the rank of Corporal in the Nauvoo Legion. From Nauvoo the family moved to Council Bluffs and in 1849 Henry S. Alexander came to Utah with the freight trains of Livingston and Kinkaid and arrived in Salt Lake City in September. Cholera was raging at the time and while enroute to Utah Captain Gully, who was in charge of the train, succumbed to the disease. The other members of the family followed in 1862, and Alva, a brother, is now living in Midway.
Mr. Alexander settled in Salt Lake City upon first coming to Utah where he lived for a year, at the end of which he went to Mill Creek for President Brigham Young and build a saw mill and sawed the first shingles to be made in Utah.
He was called on a colonization mission to Carson Valley in Nevada in the early part of 1856 being recalled that Fall. During the trip across the desert the party suffered greatly from thirst, being three days without water. When they were about exhausted from thirst and fatigue Enoch Reese, who was in charge of the party, turned it over to Mr. Alexander and shortly after they met a band of Indians who were able to make them understand where they could get water. Some of the party suffered so greatly that their tongues became swollen and protruded from their mouths, however, they obtained relief before any fatalities occurred.
Mr. Alexander returned to Carson Valley district in 1857 and was again recalled on account of the Johnston Army troubles. He went to Lehi in 1858 and from there back to Mill creek, where he again took charge of the shingle mill for a time. He later built the Wanship mill on Silver Creek where he operated it until 1869 when he moved to Midway and has since made this valley his home, although he has been absent part of the time.
While in Silver Creek he had sawed timbers for the railroad tunnel in Echo Canyon and in 1871 went to American Fork canyon where he bought a steam mill and again sawed timber for the railroad company.
From Midway he moved to Heber, where he now resides and has since followed the saw mill business, operating a saw mill in Daniel’s canyon, and has furnished most of the timber used in this country. He has been one of the representative men of Wasatch County and has taken a lively interest in its different enterprises. He was one of the founders of the Wasatch Manufacturing Company, retaining an interest in that concern until about a year ago.
Mr. Alexander has been married three times. His first marriage occurred in 1845, when he was married in Nauvoo to Miss Mary Marstalla of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Two children of this union, Charles, now owner of the Wasatch Manufacturing Co. and Arthur, who died at his birth. The other of these children also died in 1847, at Council Bluffs. He was married in Council Bluffs to Jane Houston, who died when her first child was born. On July 23, 1850 Mr. Alexander was again married to Sarah Miles, daughter of Samuel and Prudence Miles, natives respectively of Connecticut and Vermont. The mother died in Salt Lake City in 1851, and the father had died on the way from Nauvoo to his old him in Connecticut. Mrs. Alexander was born in the State of New York. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Alexander, six of whom are now living: Henry M. dead; Sarah H..; Lelia died in her early womanhood; William died at the age of 7 years; Monroe died at the age of twenty-five; May died at three; Clara, Kate, Orpha, and George.
Mr. Alexander has been a member of the Mormon Church since he lived at Nauvoo, where he was baptized by Elder Miller.
From 1870 to 1901 he was Second Counselor to Bishop Abram Hatch, and with him traveled almost all over the Stake, which extended to the State of Colorado. During this long period there was never a word of disagreement between the Bishop and his counselors who worked in the most harmonious relations.
Mr. Alexander is at this time a Patriarch in the church. His wife is also a member of the church, having been baptized at the age of eight years, and is quite prominent in the work of the Relief Society. Her brother Samuel was a member of the Mormon Battalion, and her brother Orson assisted in colonizing the Big Muddy Country.
Mr. Alexander is personally a most pleasant and genial man, large hearted and liberal minded. He is honorable and upright in all his dealings and commands a high place in the esteem and confidence of the men with whom he has been associated, as well as the leaders of the church. His business has brought him into contact with people from all over the state and he enjoys a wide popularity.
-written sometime between 1890-1903
Copied from the records of Phyllis Dawn Jordan Christensen