Thursday, March 31, 2016

Foss Oscar Eldred (1884-1956)

From the Daily Times, October 1931.

   A prominent office holder in Michigan during the first half of the 20th century, Foss Oscar Eldred served in a number of political capacities during his life, including stints as a state senator, Ionia County Prosecuting Attorney and Mayor of the city of Ionia. In addition to those offices Eldred was a Republican candidate for Congress in 1931 and in 1946 was appointed as Attorney General of Michigan. 
   Born in Lacota, Van Buren County, Michigan on March 15, 1884, Foss O. Eldred was the son of Albert and Celinda Eldred. He would attend the Albion College and the Michigan State Normal College at Ypsilanti. Eldred earned a teaching degree from the latter institution and for several years afterward taught in the Ionia area. He held the superintendency of the Lyons, Michigans school district and for four years served as principal for the State Normal College's training school. Foss Eldred married on August 7, 1907 to Ernanie Mary Olmstead (1889-1951). One son would be born to their union, Albert Ney Eldred (1920-2011), who would later follow in his father's footsteps, serving as Ionia County Prosecuting Attorney in the early 1950s.
   In the late 1900s, Foss Eldred began focusing on the study of law and was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1910. Following his admittance Eldred joined in a law partnership with Royal Hawley and Harry Gemuend, operating under the name Hawley, Eldred and Gemuend. In 1912 Eldred entered Ionia County politics for the first time, beginning a short stint as county Circuit Court Commissioner
  Eldred returned to his law practice after leaving the above-mentioned post and in November 1920 announced his candidacy for a seat in the Michigan state senate. Running to represent the 18th senatorial district, Eldred coasted to an easy victory that November, defeating Democratic nominee Edward Higbee by a vote of 14, 625 to 5, 361.
  Taking his seat at the start of the January 1921 session, Eldred was named to the following committees during this term: Education, Judiciary, State Affairs, State Hospitals and Supplies and Expenses. He won re-election to the senate in November 1922, besting Democratic nominee Amos Welch by over 2,000 votes on election day. Eldred's second senate term saw him continue service on the committee on education and also saw him sit on one new committee, that being the committee on Insurance.

A Eldred campaign notice from the Owosso Argus Times, October 5, 1931.

    Foss Eldred wasn't a candidate for a third term in 1924 and one year after leaving the senate was elected as Prosecuting Attorney for Ionia County. He would serve in that capacity from 1925-1928 and in 1931 launched a candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives. Hoping to represent Michigan's 8th congressional district, Eldred's opponent that year was Democrat Michael J. Hart (1877-1951), a former public school teacher and farmer. In a contest that pitted a "dry" prohibition candidate (Eldred) against a "wet" anti-prohibition candidate (Hart), it was the latter who triumphed in the vote count, beating the heavily favored Eldred by a vote of 25,803 to 20,641
   Eldred's political fortunes changed in 1935 when he won election as mayor of Ionia. He held that office for four years and in 1940 served as part of the Michigan delegation to the Republican National Convention being held in Philadelphia. Three years later Eldred was appointed as Deputy Attorney General of Michigan, serving under Herbert Rushton. He continued in that office until 1946, and in that year reached his highest degree of political prominence when he was appointed as Attorney General of Michigan. Eldred's appointment to that post came about due to the Republican State Convention rejecting the renomination of then Attorney General John R. Dethmers, who would later be appointed to the Michigan State Supreme Court. Eldred would serve out the remainder of Dethmer's term.
   Widowed in January 1951, Foss O. Eldred survived his wife Ernanie by five years, dying on February 17, 1956, one month short of 72nd birthday. Both Eldred and his wife were interred at the North Plains Cemetery in Ionia following their deaths.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Nelius Moonat Nelson (1870-1930), Nelius Gunnarsen Eggen (1853 - ?)

From the South Dakota Legislative Manual, 1915.

   A one-term member of the South Dakota State House of Representatives from McCook County, Nelius Moonat Nelson's birth occurred in Bellsville Township, Iowa on May 4, 1870. One of five children born to Swedish immigrants Swan (born 1843) and Celia Nelson, Nelius's birth in Pocahontas County is notable as he was the "first male child born in the county." He attended schools local to the Pocahontas County area and would go on to study at both the Fremont and Highland Park colleges
   Nelius M. Nelson left his Iowa home in 1892 and removed to South Dakota, eventually settling in McCook County. He would reside here for the remainder of his life and following his removal became "engaged in the abstracting business." He married on January 8, 1908 in Salem, South Dakota to Swedish native Alma Sundstrom (1881-1972). The couple would have at least three children, Howard (died in infancy in 1911), Virginia Isabel and Cecilia M.
   Nelson became active in local politics in Salem during the early 1900s, serving for eight years as clerk of the Salem school board and for six years was Salem city auditor. In November 1914 he was elected as McCook County's representative to the South Dakota legislature and took his seat at the start of the January 1915 session. Interestingly enough Nelson served in the same legislative session as that of Olymphious Sigurinius Thompson (1875-1968), profiled here back in July 2011!
  Following his term in the state house little else could be found on the life on Nelius M. Nelson. He died on October 18, 1930, at age 60 and was survived by his wife Alma. Both were interred at the Wildwood Cemetery in Salem, South Dakota.

Portrait from the Minneapolis Journal, February 15, 1905.

   Another "Nelius" that made his name known politically was Nelius Gunnarsen Eggen of Fargo, North Dakota. A one-term member of the North Dakota State House of Representatives, Eggen was a native of Norway, being born in Levanger on either September 7 or September 19, 1853. His middle name is recorded as "Gunnarsen" (this via an listing) and is believed to have immigrated to the United States in 1882
   Settling in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Eggen resided here for several years and later was a resident of Minnesota. Nelius Eggen married in Winneshiek County, Iowa in 1887 to Ms. Antoinette "Nettie" Olson (birth-date unknown), with whom he would have two daughters, Mable and EthelHe would migrate to North Dakota sometime later and for many years afterward was a resident of Fargo. 
  In the late 19th century Nelius and his brother Marius would establish Eggen Bros., a business specializing in the sale of pianos and organs. Their company is recorded as "having received many good pianos and organs that are in many Norwegian homes and churches in the Northwest." The Eggen brother's firm would later add lines of clothing to their business, including fur coats, cloaks, jackets, and capes
  In November 1904 Nelius Eggen was elected as one of Cass County's representatives to the North Dakota state legislature, garnering 1,460 votes on election day. During his two year term, Eggen sat on the house committees on Apportionment, Engrossed Bills, Corporations Other Than Municipal and Women's Suffrage. 
  Eggen's term in the house concluded in 1907 and his post-government career saw him serve as treasurer of the Scandinavian-American Bank of Fargo. Several mentions denote Eggen's later removal to California, where it is presumed that he died; his death date and burial location being unknown at the time of this writing. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Chancellor William Hookway (1876-1945), Chancellor Hartson (1824-1889)

Portrait from the North Dakota Magazine, Vol, 4, 1914.

   North Dakota state senator Chancellor William Hookway is on a short list of American political figures who sport a title as a first name. Like General G.O. Pence and Colonel E. Rudesill before him, Hookway's unusual first name is somewhat misleading, as he never served as chancellor of any post during his life!
  A native of Canada, Chancellor W. Hookway's birth occurred (depending on the source) in either West Lorne or Aldborough Township, Ontario on March 21, 1876 (or 1877), being the son of Francis and Mary Hookway. The Hookway family resided in Canada until 1884, thereafter removing to Pembina County, North Dakota. Chancellor would attend the common schools of St. Thomas in that county and graduated from the local high school. He entered the University of Minnesota in the late 1890s and in 1900 graduated from that university's law department. Shortly thereafter he removed to McHenry County and established his first law practice in the city of Granville, continuing in his profession for a number of years afterward.
   Chancellor Hookway married in the early 1900s to Mary E. Lindquist (born 1877) and later had one daughter, Myrtice (born ca. 1905-1940). Sources relate that prior to his senate service Hookway served Granville as its city attorney (his dates of service being unknown) as well as a notary public
   In November 1910 Hookway was elected to the North Dakota State Senate, defeating his Democratic opponent Knute Steenerson by a vote of 952 to 342. Taking his seat in January 1911, Hookway served on the following committees during his four years in office: Cities and Municipal Corporations, Corporations Other Than Municipal (chairman), Counties, Educational Institutions, the Judiciary, Mines and Minerals, Warehousing, and Grain and Grain Grading. 

Chancellor W. Hookway, from the January 12, 1911 Grand Forks Evening Times.

   In July 1914 Hookway failed to gain renomination to the senate in a rather unique fashion. In that year's primary election he and Democratic opponent J.M. Vatevog both received 398 votes, their tie resulting in a drawing under the supervision of the board of county commissioners. Hookway, unfortunately, lost the draw! Following that loss, Hookway returned to practicing law and later removed to Beadle County, South Dakota, where in 1943 was elected as County Judge. He would serve two years on the bench, dying in office on December 8, 1945 at age 69. He was survived by his wife Mary and a burial location for both Hookway and his wife remains unknown at this time.

Chancellor Hartson, 1824-1889.

   From North Dakota we make our way to California to profile another political "Chancellor", Chancellor Hartson of Napa County. A native of New York, Hartson removed to California during the gold rush years and subsequently went on to gain prominence in state government, being elected as a district attorney, county judge, state assemblyman and state senator. Hartson would also make two unsuccessful bids for the U.S. House of Representatives, hoping to represent California's 3rd congressional district. In addition to being a distinguished name in Sunshine State politics, Hartson also has connections to my home county of Chautauqua, New York (more on that later!)
   Born in Otsego, New York in 1824,  Chancellor Hartson was the son of Horace and Asenath Liddell Hartson. He attended Madison University in his home state and earned his law degree from the Fowler Law School in Cherry Valley, New York. Like many other young men of the time, Hartson was bitten by the gold rush bug and in 1850 made his way to California. In the year following his sojourn west he moved to Napa, where he would establish a law practice.
   Hartson's first few years in Napa saw him quickly rise through the ranks of county public life. In 1853 he was elected as county District Attorney and at the conclusion of his term succeeded to the post of county judge, continuing in that post until 1858. In 1854 he married to Sinclairville, New York native Electa Burnell (died 1902), to whom he was wed until his death. Four children were born to the couple: Burnell, Ernest Harrison, Channing King (1872-1930) and Daisy Asenath.
  A prominent figure in the early years of the Republican Party in California, Hartson switched from a Whig to a Republican in the late 1850s. In 1862 he was elected to his first term in the California State Assembly, where he served as chairman of the Judiciary committee. In the following year, he became a member of the state senate, serving continuously until 1867. During his term, he introduced an important piece of legislation, one that would have a lasting effect on Napa County. In March 1864 he introduced a bill "to aid in the construction of a railroad in Napa County", with bonds in the sum of $225,000 to be issued by the county board of supervisors. The bill was passed in April of that year and in May was voted on "by the people", who approved it by a "large majority."

Portrait from the History of Solano and Napa Counties, 1912.

  Shortly after the aforementioned vote, the Napa Valley Railroad Company was organized, and Chancellor Hartson took office as its first president. The railroad would have its inaugural train launch in June of 1865 and by the dawn of the 1870s it had been connected to the transcontinental railroad.
   In 1867 Hartson made his first move into national politics when he became the Republican nominee for Congress from California's 3rd congressional district. In a close contest, Hartson lost out to Democratic nominee James Augustus Johnson (a future Lieutenant Governor of California), who defeated him by only 373 votes.  Hartson's second run for Congress in November 1868 brought him another loss to Johnson, this time by an even slimmer margin (just 264 votes!)
   Following these two losses, Chancellor Hartson refrained from political candidacy for several years, instead focusing attention on his law practice. In 1871 he made his first move into banking, being a founding organizer of the Bank of Napa, of which he would serve as president. He continued in that role until January 1879, and in the following year was returned to the state assembly, being elected to fill a vacancy caused by the death of William James Maclay. Hartson would win another term in November 1880 and during the 1881-83 session of the legislature served as one of two chairmen of the Joint Senate and Assembly Committee on Prisons.
   During his assembly term, Hartson was appointed by President James Garfield as Collector of Internal Revenue for the district of San Francisco, an office that he would fill for several years. In 1886 he was even talked of as a potential candidate for Governor of California. Active in a number of other non-political areas in Napa County, Hartson held the post of president of the Board of Directors of the Napa State Hospital and for a time served as President of the Board of Trustees of Napa College. 
   Chancellor Hartson died on September 25, 1889 at age 65, his death resulting from " a sudden attack of apoplexy" suffered at his home. Acknowledged by his contemporaries as "one of the most kingly of men", Hartson was later interred at the Tulocay Cemetery in Napa.

Portrait from the Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California.

   In an interesting tidbit to conclude Hartson's write-up here, I've found that he has quite a strong connection to my home county of Chautauqua, New York! Both his parents (Horace and Asenath Hartson) are interred at the Levant Cemetery in Poland, New York, just a few miles from my home! Further local connections can be found in Hartson's wife Electa Burnell (1832-1902), who was born in Sinclairville and was a sister of New York state assemblyman Madison Burnell (1812-1865), who represented Chautauqua County in the assembly from 1846-47! 

The gravesite of Horace and Asenath Hartson, Levant Cemetery.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dimmitt Heard Hoffman (1884-1965)

Portrait from the Official Manual of the State of Missouri, 1957.

   An attorney based in Sedalia, Missouri, Dimmitt Heard Hoffman was later elected as a judge for Missouri's 30th judicial circuit court, subsequently holding that post for a total of thirty-six years. One of three children born to Judge Louis Hoffman and the former Sarah Eleanor Dimmitt, Dimmitt H. Hoffman was born in Sedalia, Missouri on August 29, 1884. Hoffman was bestowed the unusual first name "Dimmitt" due to it being his mother's maiden name and would be a student in the public school system of Sedalia
   In the early 1900s Dimmitt Hoffman entered the University of Missouri and in 1907 graduated with his A.B. degree. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree two years later and for a time taught a commercial law class at a business school in his home city of Sedalia. Following his admission to the state bar, Hoffman joined his father Louis (a former county prosecuting attorney and circuit court judge) in the law firm of Hoffman and Hoffman, which would attain "high place amongst the legal firms of Pettis County and western Missouri".
  Dimmitt H. Hoffman married in September 1916 to Agnes Lucille Davis (1891-1930), with whom he had one daughter, Mary Alice (born ca. 1928). Following Agnes' death at age 39 in 1930 Hoffman remarried to Maurine Hieronymus (1899-1959) and had another daughter, Ruth Maurine (born ca. 1936)

Dimmitt H. Hoffman, from the 1905 Savitar yearbook.

    After a decade of practicing law in Sedalia Dimmitt Hoffman won election as judge for Missouri's 30th judicial circuit court in 1922, defeating his Democratic opponent by a vote of 7,570 to 5,504. He would win reelection on five further occasions (1928, 1934, 1940, 1946 and 1952)  and during his lengthy tenure on the bench was elected as a member of the executive council of the Missouri Judicial Conference's Kansas City Court of Appeals district. He was first elected to that council in 1944 and two years later won another three year term. 
    In 1958 Hoffman was not a candidate for reelection to the circuit court. In October of that year, he had been hospitalized in Wisconsin due to a blood clot in his leg, leading to speculation that he would "not be able to finish out his term". He retired from the bench at the end of his term in December 1958. Tragedy struck Hoffman in August 1959 when his second wife Maurine died at age 59. He would marry for a third time sometime later to Lois Driskell (died 1976), about whom little is known.
    Judge Dimmitt Hoffman died at age 81 on November 30, 1965. He was survived by his third wife Lois and was later interred at the Crown Hill Cemetery located in Sedalia, Missouri.

From the 1937-38 Official Manual of the State of Missouri.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dosite Samuel Perkins (1866-1939)

Portrait courtesy of

   Hailing from a state that has been severely underrepresented here on the Strangest Names in American Political History, Louisiana native Dosite Samuel Perkins was for many years a physician and surgeon in Calcasieu Parish. In 1914 he was appointed as the first mayor of Sulphur, Louisiana, which had been incorporated as a village a short while before. Prior to this appointment, Perkins had served two terms as Calcasieu Parish's representative in the Louisiana State Legislature.
   Blessed with a first name that sounds like it belongs on the periodic table of elements, Dosite S. Perkins was born on December 12, 1866 at Rose Bluff in Calcasieu Parish. A son of Confederate veteran and former state representative Eli A. Perkins,  Dosite Perkins' early life centered around his father's plantation. He attended schools local to the Calcasieu Parish area and would study both chemistry and physics at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. He continued study at the Tulane Medical School and graduated in 1889 with his medical degree.
  Following his graduation, Perkins returned to Sulphur and established a medical practice. The succeeding years would see him build up a "leading drug store in the town" in addition to being a physician and surgeon. In 1893 he married to Septima E. Postell (1871-1953) and later had four children: Paul Samuel (born 1894), Mable (1899-1900), Ruth (born 1901) and Logan Postell (born 1905). 
   Active in many areas of Calcasieu Parish public life, Dosite Perkins served as president of both the Parish School Board and the Calcasieu Board of Public Health. In addition to those posts, he held the vice presidency of the Lake Charles Savings and Trust Bank and also donated the building sites for several churches and schools in the Sulphur area. From 1892-1896 he served two terms in the Louisiana State House of Representatives and for a time served as acting chairman of the committee on Enrollment.
   In April 1914 the settlement of Sulphur was officially incorporated as a village and Dosite Perkins was appointed as its first mayor. His term extended until 1916 and was succeeded in that office by George Root, who had one the village's first mayoral election in September of that year. After his term as mayor Perkins was elected to the Sulphur City Council in the mid-1920s and died on December 13, 1939, one day after his 73rd birthday. His widow Septima survived him by fourteen years, and following her death in 1953 was interred alongside her husband at the Orange Grove Cemetery in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Zealy Moss Holmes (1866-1947)

Portrait from the Bradley Polytechnical Institute's Polyscope yearbook, 1939.

    The "Land of Lincoln" has yielded another oddly named man in one Zealy Moss Holmes, for over five decades one of Peoria County, Illinois' leading agriculturalists. A lifelong resident of that county, Holmes served as president of the Peoria County Farm Bureau and was also a member of the Illinois Agricultural Association's executive committee. He earns a place here on the site due to his 1926 candidacy for a seat in the Illinois State House of Representatives from that state's 18th legislative district.
   Born in Medina Township, Illinois on February 8, 1866, Zealy Moss Holmes was one of ten children born to John C. and Lydia A. (Chambers) Holmes. He received his unusual name courtesy of his maternal grandfather Zealy Moss (1755-1839), a Revolutionary War veteran and Baptist minister. Holmes is recorded as having attended the "country schools" and would also take a "commercial course" at the Dunlap Academy in Dunlap, Illinois. He married on February 15, 1888 to Nellie Maude Fry (1866-1960). The couple was wed for nearly sixty years and their lengthy union produced three sons: Maurice Frye (1888-1988), Charles Wilbur (1892-1963) and John Smith (1894-1957).
  Around the same time as his marriage, Zealy M. Holmes became the owner of a 300-acre farm near Mossville, Illinois. Acknowledged as a "progressive farmer and man of good judgment", Holmes became a leading figure in Illinois agricultural circles, dealing in both grain and livestock. A founder and three-time president of Peoria County Farm Bureau, Holmes also was an original trustee of the Bradley Polytechnic Institute in Peoria. Joining that college upon its charter in 1896, Holmes would serve the school as its "farm manager" for many years afterward and continued service as a trustee for fifty years! Bradley Polytechnic would later acknowledge his service by naming Holmes Hall (an engineering building on campus) in honor of him.

Zealy M. Holmes, from the 1901 Polyscope yearbook.

Moss' campaign platform from the Brimfield News, October 28, 1926

   Active in the political life of Medina Township, Zealy Holmes served that town as it's supervisor for six years and also held the posts of school treasurer (serving for a decade) as well as township clerk and collector. In 1926 Holmes made his first move into state politics when he became a candidate for a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives from the 18th legislative district. As one of four candidates that year, Holmes polled last on election day, garnering a total of 13, 585 votes, trailing behind winning candidates Robert Scholes, David McClugage and Sherman Eckley. 
   Holmes continued to be prominent in Peoria County following his candidacy for the state house. Having retired from farming in 1918, Holmes maintained memberships in a number of local fraternal groups, including the Modern Woodmen of the World, the Mohammed Temple Shriners and the Alta Masonic Lodge No 748. Zealy Moss Holmes died on March 5, 1947 at the St. Francis Hospital in Peoria. He had celebrated his 81st birthday the previous month and was widely mourned. He was survived by his three sons and wife Nellie, who died in 1960 at age 93. Both were interred at the Mt. Hawley Cemetery in Peoria.

Portrait from the Illinois Agricultural Association Record, 1937.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Elof Waldemere Mureen (1893-1952)

 Portrait form the Illinois State Blue Book, 1931-32.

    A former Mayor of Galesburg, Illinois and two-term member of the Illinois General Assembly, Elof Waldemere Mureen was for many years prominent in the civic and political life of Knox County, Illinois. A lifelong resident of the "Land of Lincoln", Elof W. Mureen was born in Peoria County on March 22, 1893, being the son of Fred and Minnie Albertina Mureen. His family resettled in Spring Valley, Illinois when he was a child and in 1906 removed to Galesburg, where Elof completed his schooling. Mureen married on June 28, 1916 to Ruth Adams, with whom he would have four children: Robert Wayne (1917-2015), Virginia Ruth (died 1989), Howard Frederick (born ca. 1924) and Lilian Joan (born ca. 1930). 
   Shortly after his marriage Elof Mureen began work as a salesman and for many years afterward was employed as a "local improvement representative" for a "leading Illinois clay products manufacturer." In 1919 Mureen entered into local political life when he won election to the Galesburg city council and two years later was returned to that body. In 1923 he was elected as Galesburg's mayor as the candidate of the People's Party, defeating Socialist candidate E.P. Nelson. 
    The youngest mayor elected in Galesburg up to that time, Mureen was reelected as mayor in 1925 and during his second term helped to open a municipal golf course at the Soantegetaha Country Club in Galesburg. After leaving the mayor's office Mureen was appointed to the vacant directorship of the Galesburg Board of Education, succeeding his father Fred, who had died a few days previously. In May 1930 he reached his highest degree of political prominence when he was elected as one of two representatives to the Illinois General Assembly from that state's 43rd legislative district.
   Taking his seat at the start of the 1931-33 session, Mureen served on the committees on Conservation, Fish and Game, Education and Industrial Affairs. In November 1932 he won a second term in the house, garnering 29, 542 votes on election day. During the 1933-34 session, Mureen sat on the committees on Banks, Banking and Building and Loan Associations, Education, Municipalities, Public Utilities and Transportation and Uniform Laws. Mureen's two terms in the house were also notable for his having introduced legislation to:
"Authorize school boards to equip playgrounds from moneys in the building fund and to provide supervision for these playgrounds from the educational fund." 
   Mureen's bill would be passed by both houses of the legislature and in June 1931 was approved by then-Governor Louis Emmerson. Following his time in state government, Elof W. Mureen continued service on the Galesburg Board of Education and also authored a book, entitled "History of the Fulton County Narrow Gauge Railway--Spoon River Peavine". In the mid 1940s, he joined with his brother Ernest in forming the Mureen Hardware Co., a business that would later be managed by Elof's son Howard. Elof W. Mureen died in April of 1952, shortly after his 59th birthday. A burial location for him remains unknown at the time of this writing.

                            Portrait from the "History of Public Grounds and Playgrounds in Galesburg", 1932.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Greenville Osborn McAlexander (1871-1940)

Portrait from the History of Roanoke County, Virginia, 1912.

   Anyone sporting a "place name" like Greenville will obviously bring to mind the like named city in South Carolina, but, despite what you may be thinking, the above-pictured man has no connection to that South Carolina city whatsoever! A native of Virginia, Greenville Osborn McAlexander rose to prominence in Republican Party circles in Roanoke County, being a Special Revenue Agent, candidate for the state house of delegates and member of the state senate. 
   The son of Charles McAlexander and the former Lucinda Wood, Greenville O. McAlexander was born in Patrick County, Virginia on January 13, 1871. He removed with his family to Franklin County at the age of five and here would attend the public schools. On Christmas Day 1890 Greenville McAlexander married to Metamora Ingram (1872-1942). The couple were married for nearly five decades and would continue the predilection for odd names by bestowing curious names on their several of their children. Amongst the McAlexander offspring were sons Ophir (1891-1975) and Archa (birth-date unknown) and daughters Mintoria (1893-1982), Leora (born 1895), Debora (1897-1997, died aged 100), Una (born 1905) and Odessa (birth-date unknown).
   McAlexander's career in public life began at the age of 22 in 1893 when he won election as Constable for the Franklin County's Long Branch district. Four years later he began a stint as Franklin County's Deputy Sheriff and would later serve ten years as the Postmaster of Endicott, Virginia. In 1905 he was nominated by the Republicans as their candidate for the Virginia State House of Delegates and despite a strong showing lost that election to Democratic candidate John R. Guerrant by only 115 votes.
   Two years following his defeat for the house of delegates McAlexander's political fortunes changed when he successfully campaigned for a seat in the Virginia state senate. Taking his seat early in 1908, McAlexander sat on the senate committees on Privileges and Elections and Enrolled Bills. Elected to serve a term of four years, McAlexander resigned from the senate midway through his term and after removing to South Salem, Virginia ventured into farming and orchard cultivation. In addition to farming McAlexander worked as a special revenue agent under President Taft for Virginia, North Carolina and Texas.

G.O. McAlexander and family, from volume 84 of the "Country Gentleman".

   The remainder of Greenville McAlexander's life saw him continue farming, and in the late 1910s served as the president of the Augusta County Loan Association. McAlexander's stewardship of that organization was highlighted in Volume 84 of the Country Gentleman in 1919, and in an interview in that magazine he touted the Association's benefits in aiding local farmers, noting that:
"One good feature of the farm-loan association is the friendly advice given by the officers to backward members to improve their agricultural methods. The backward ones are told they must fix up their fences or do this or that so as to reflect credit on the Government Bank as well as to help themselves and their neighbors."
  Greenville O. McAlexander died in Virginia on January 4, 1940 at age 68. His widow Metamora survived her husband by just two years, dying in March 1942. Both were interred at the Graham Cemetery in Orange, Virginia.

                            Greenville O. McAlexander, from a Virginia State Senate composite photograph.