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The McAlexanders of Platte Co., MO
Posted by: B. H. Harris (ID *****9076) Date: July 19, 2005 at 08:43:54
  of 200

I have collected together here the information that I have on the McAlexander's of Platte Co., MO. This post corrects some errors to my most recent posts on the topic, "A Missouri McAlexander Mystery," and pretty well solves the mystery.       

There were at least two McAlexander brothers who had descendants who came to Missouri from Patrick Co., VA. These two brothers were William McAlexander I (1743/44-1822) and John McAlexander I (1750-1834). William was born in Northern Ireland, and John in VA. Both died in Patrick Co., VA. The other brothers who had only a few descendants to come to the Midwest were: James McAlexander I, Samuel McAlexander I, and Alexander McAlexander I.

The child of William McAlexander I by his first wife who came up the Missouri River to the greater Kansas City area from VA via KY or TN was Alexander McAlexander II (1794-1877). He and his family settled in Jackson Co., MO. A second child of William was Margaret McAlexander (1776-1830), whose husband was Reuben Harris, and he brought most of the twelve children of his and Margaret’s to Jackson Co., MO in 1830. (Reuben and Margaret [McAlexander] Harris were my ggg grandparents.) Margaret died either on the way to Missouri from Patrick Co., or right before the journey began. All except one of their surviving children from Patrick Co., VA either stayed in Jackson Co. for a time or moved to the adjacent Cass County. However, one of their children, Nancy Ann Harris (1798-1857), married back into the McAlexander family, by marrying William McAlexander II (1794-1857), son of John McAlexander I in Patrick Co., VA. (Therefore, one of Margaret’s sons-in-law was her first cousin.) Upon arrival to Jackson Co. in 1830 with the rest of the Reuben Harris family, this William and Nancy Ann (Harris) McAlexander moved almost immediately to the neighboring Platte Co., MO. The original land records for Platte Co., MO, show that William McAlexander II received a deed on Dec 4, 1842 to a quarter section of land located in the NW Quarter of Section 4, Township 51 North, Range 34 West of Platte Co., MO. On April 8, 1851, circuit court probate records show that William and Nancy (Harris) McAlexander deeded this same property over to their four surviving children, Mahala McAlexander, Nancy McAlexander, William L. J. McAlexander (1833-1888), and Sarah Ann (McAlexander) Anderson Campbell. The last two children were apparently born in Missouri. The son, William L. J. McAlexander, never married, served in the Civil War, returned to Platte Co., and died at Wadsworth Soldiers’ Home. He listed his sister, Sarah Ann, as his only heir. The sister, Sarah Ann (McAlexander) Anderson, married Samuel Andrew Campbell on July 15, 1849 in Platte Co., MO. At the time of the death of her brother, they were living at Malvern, Mills Co., IA. Samuel A. and Sarah Ann (McAlexander) Anderson-Campbell had at least one child, and probably more. The recent discovery of a small cemetery, which I will denote by the McAlexander-Harris Cemetery on the William Malott property, in the SW quadrant of the adjoining Section 3 to Section 4 of the William and Nancy Ann (Harris) McAlexander property off Hampton Road, south of the KCI Airport, shows the following inscription on a tombstone, “Nancy A. M., dau’tr. of A. & S. A. Campbell, Died May 22, 1854, aged 2 yrs. . . . .” Also, another very tiny segment of a stone was found and the only visible writing was “ . . . Campbell, died . . . 26, 1858.” It is assumed that this second little stone was for another child who died early in life, too.

William Malott probably died before 1850, since his wife and some of their children were living with his son and daughter-in-law, John South and Sarah B. (McAlexander) Malott in the SE quarter of Section 4, across the Hampton Road from this newly found cemetery. Sometime before 1907, Mrs. William Malott acquired part of the original William McAlexander II property in the NW quarter of Section 4, according to the 1907 Platte County Atlas.


Unfortunately, the graves of William and Nancy (Harris) McAlexander have never been rediscovered. Their both dying the same year suggests deaths by some plague. I suspect that they were buried somewhere on their quarter section of land, perhaps in unmarked graves. This site needs to be searched.

The descendants of John McAlexander I who came to or passed through Platte Co., MO were more numerous, and more difficult to follow. John’s child, Samuel McAlexander II (1781-1842), first came to Saline Co., MO from Nelson Co., VA, and finally to Cass Co., MO where he died and was buried. It is suspected that he visited or lived in Cass Co., MO in the 1830’s, too.

Here is some information about those children of Samuel McAlexander II who came to the three counties: Platte, Jackson, and Cass. Only one child remained in Saline Co., MO. Andrew Ware, married Verlinda Dickey in Jackson Co., MO in 1838. Louvina (Vina) married Joel R. Agnew in Cass Co. in 1842. Samuel T. McAlexander, Jr. married for his first wife, Violet Simmons in Cass Co. in 1841. James Hardin McAlexander I married Diana Hubbard in Platte Co. in 1846, and died in Jackson Co., KS. (James Hardin and Diana McAlexander had a daughter, Nancy Jane who married Burrell W. Mize in Platte Co., MO. Another daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, married Andrew Jackson Malott, son of William Malott.) William Lester McAlexander married Mary Jane Malott, daughter of John South Malott, and granddaughter of William Malott, in Platte Co. in 1850, and died in Jackson Co., KS, too. Martha Elizabeth married John Lafayette Branum in Cass Co. in 1849, and they are buried in the Rush (Brush) Creek Cemetery, Platte Co., MO. Sarah (Sally) B. married John South Malott in Platte Co. in 1848, and they are buried in the Hampton Cemetery, Platte Co., MO. Robert (1811-1874) was born in VA, lived in Saline Co., MO, moved to Cass County where he administered his father’s will, then moved to Platte Co., where he died after being kicked by a mule, never married, buried in the Rush Creek Cemetery, Platte Co., MO. John South Malott administered Robert’s will after he died. Virginia (1814-aft. 1880) never married, lived with Robert until his death and later with her sister Martha Branum, probably buried in the Rush Creek Cemetery.

The middle name “Lester” of William Lester McAlexander is a family surname. Rachel McAlexander (1817-1881), daughter of William McAlexander I and his second wife, Tamar Boothe, married Chandler Camden (Champ) Lester in Patrick Co., VA. They had 19 children. Their daughter Mildred (Milly) Lester (1837-1914) married William Edward Gray of Floyd Co., VA in Raleigh Co., WV in 1857 and they eventually came to Bois D’Arc, Greene Co., MO in SW Missouri. (The second wife of Reuben Harris, my ggg grandfather, was Elizabeth Gray from this same line of Gray’s of Floyd Co., VA.) Also, William and Tamar (Boothe) McAlexander had a son named Samuel McAlexander who married Nancy Bryer Lester, sister of Champ Lester, and they stayed in Virginia.

Now, here is some information on the children of Samuel T. McAlexander. James Hardin McAlexander II (1843-1912), born in Cass Co., MO, married Rachel Lucinda Walkingstick, a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, in Platte Co., MO in 1866. A daughter, Luvica Vilette (Lettie), born at Tracy, Platte Co., MO, married David Marshall Morris in Cass Co, MO in 1887. A son, John Wesley, born Platte City, Platte Co., MO, married Ruby Clara Wampler at Hampton, Platte Co., MO in 1901.

There were other descendants of John McAlexander I, besides William McAlexander II, mentioned above who came to the three counties: Platte, Jackson, and Cass. Mildred (Millie) McAlexander (1786-1842) married William Lyon 1802 in Amherst Co. (Nelson Co.), VA in 1802, and they came to Cass Co., MO where they lived and died. One of their daughters was Nancy Walker Lyon, who married Fleming Harris I in Patrick Co., VA in 1824, and who was one of the founders of Harrisonville, Cass Co., MO. (This Fleming Harris was the son of my ggg grandparents, Reuben and Margaret [McAlexander] Harris, mentioned above.) Agnes (Nancy) McAlexander married James J. Tuggle in Patrick Co., VA in 1814, and they came to Cass Co., MO where they raised their family and died. The youngest child, Edmund, was a bachelor who was born in Amherst Co., VA in 1804 and died in Cass Co., MO in 1842.

Finally, there was still another son of John McAlexander I, who came to Platte Co., MO, bringing a large family with him. His name was Alexander McAlexander III (1796-1864) (the third-mentioned Alexander McAlexander mentioned in this report). He was born in Amherst Co., VA, married Sabrina L. Harbour (1802-1883) in Patrick Co., VA, about 1820. First, they lived in Patrick Co., VA, then moved to Floyd Co., VA, followed by moving to Bolivar, Polk Co., MO in 1838 (where I currently live), and finally moved to Pettis Township, Platte Co., MO in 1850-51 where Alexander administered the estate of his brother, William McAlexander II, in 1857. (Alexander probably followed the Trail of Tears, established in 1838, to the Pomme de Terre River area of Polk County, MO from VA via TN where two other brothers lived.) Both Alexander and Sabrina were buried in the Rush Creek Cemetery, Platte Co., MO. They had at least eight children, and possibly nine. The first five of their children were born in VA: Claiborne, Edmond M., James F. M., David T., and Charles Marion L. McAlexander. The next three were born at Bolivar, Polk Co., MO: William Benton, Matilda Sabrina, and Eliza Amanda McAlexander. There was a possible daughter, Dorcus, who was born after the 1850 census and died before the 1860, listed in the census of Rush Creek Cemetery, Platte Co., MO. Or, she could have been a daughter of Claiborne McAlexander. The only children listed when Alexander McAlexander’s will was probated in 1864 were Claiborne T., Edward (Edmond) M., James F., Charles M., Matilda S. and Eliza A. At the time of his death, Alexander McAlexander III was also living in Section 4, Township 51, Range 34, so he and his family may have been living alongside John South Malott, his brother William McAlexander II, or in the quarter section where his son, James F. M. was living in 1877. It is interesting that in the 1860 census, Alex. had a Joseph Malott, age 56, a brother of John South Malott from VA, in his household in Pettis Township, Platte Co., MO.

Claiborne McAlexander (1824-1864) married Elizabeth Slaughter about 1843 in Bolivar, Polk Co., MO. Both were buried in the Rush Creek Cemetery, Platte Co., MO. His brother, James F. M. McAlexander, administered his will. A daughter, Margaret C., married George Drennon in Platte Co., MO in 1864. A son, Edward M., married Amanda (Maud) Willis in Platte Co., MO in 1868. A daughter, Sabrina L., married John William Drennon in Platte Co., MO. Another daughter, Martha Emeline, was born in Platte Co., MO in 1853. Their first three children were born at Bolivar, Polk Co., MO.

Edmond M. McAlexander (1825-1905) married Martha J. Criswell in Polk Co., MO in 1852, appeared briefly in 1860 in Platte Co., MO with his parents, before moving his family to Wyandotte Co., KS and then to Crawford Co., KS.

James F. M. McAlexander (1831-1907) remained a bachelor, served in the Civil War, owned property in the NE quarter of the same section as William McAlexander II, was active in the Rush Creek Christian Church next-door to his land, provided a home for many of his kin at various times, administered the estate of his father at his death, buried in the Rush Creek Cemetery, Platte Co., MO.

David T. McAlexander (1833-1853), buried in the recently found “McAlexander-Harris” cemetery, mentioned above. Here is the inscription on his tombstone, “David T. McAlexander, son of A. & S. McAlexander, died November 13, 1853, lived 20 yrs, 1 month, 17 days.”

Charles Marion L. McAlexander (1837-1928) married Ruth Mariah Broadhurst in Clay Co., MO in 1867, appeared in the 1880 census of Carroll Township, Platte Co., MO, in the 1900 census of Barton Co., MO. They had eight children, six of whom married in Barton Co., MO, and a seventh in Jasper Co., MO.

William Benton McAlexander (1840-bef 1864) listed in the 1860 census of Platte Co., MO, but not listed in the heirs of his father’s estate in 1864, burial site not known.
Some believe that he left a widow, when he died.

Matilda Sabrina Caroline McAlexander (1842-1925) married first William Scott in 1860 in Platte Co., MO by whom she had two children: Mary in 1862, and William in 1864, and then he died. Secondly, she married James Marshall Rogers, the widower of her younger sister, Eliza Amanda, in Platte Co., MO in 1879, and helped James raise her sister’s children. She was buried in West Plains, Howell Co., MO, where she and James were living at the time of her death.

Eliza Amanda McAlexander (1845-1876), married James Marshall Rogers in 1864 in Platte Co., MO, buried in the Rogers Cemetery, Platte Co., MO beside her husband, whose body was brought back from West Plains, Howell Co., MO. They had eight children before she died. James had no additional children by their “Aunt ‘Til.”

I have more details that I would be glad to share, if anyone would like to know more.

(Mr.) Bev Harris


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