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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent


The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II.
pg. 188

ANDREW STERRETT ALEXANDER, judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Kanawha County, is a Charleston lawyer and banker, and is one of a number of prominent representatives of this name and family running back into the earliest pioneer times of what is now West Virginia.

He is descended from Archibald Alexander, who came from Scotland in 1737. His son Mathew lived at Waynesboro, Virginia, and by his marriage to Margaret Black was the father of Samuel Alexander, grandfather of Judge Alexander. Samuel Alexander was born at Waynesboro May 17, 1784, and subsequently removed to Mason County, West Virginia, where for many years he was a justice of the peace and was also made sheriff, though on account of age his son William performed the active duties of the office.

The wife of Samuel Alexander was Elizabeth Arbuckle, who was born July 15, 1790, at Fort Randolph, and died July 26, 1860. She was married in 1812. Her father, William Arbuckle, was born in Betetourt County, March 3, 1752, and in 1778 moved to Fort Randolph, now Point Pleasant, West Virginia. He lived there fifteen years and then went to Greenbrier County, but in the winter of 1796-97 returned to the Kanawha Valley and settled on his extensive estate some fifteen miles above Fort Randolph, where he spend the rest of his life. William Arbuckle married Catherine Madison, a daughter of Humphrey Madison, niece of Bishop John Madison and Governor George Madison, and cousin to President James Madison. Her mother, Mary Dickinson, was a daughter of John Dickinson, one of the signers of the Constitution of the United States. The first husband of Catherine, William McClanahan, was killed at the battle of Point Pleasant October 10, 1774.

William Arbuckle Alexander, father of Judge Alexander, was born in Mason County November 3, 1816. He was the son who performed the active duties of sheriff under his father, and subsequently became sheriff of Putnam County when it was created from portions of Mason and Kanawha. He received from his father an extensive tract of land in Frazier Bottom, where in 1860 he built a large brick residence and where he lived until his death on April 1, 1885. He was elected to the State Senate in 1871. On December 15, 1860, William A. Alexander married Leonora C. Ruffner, daughter of Augustus and Mary E. (Rogers) Ruffner and granddaughter of Dr. Henry Rogers of Kanawha County.

Andrew Sterrett Alexander, a son of these parents, was born in Putnam County August 7, 1867. As a youth he attended public schools, worked on the farm, taught school, and in 1890 graduated from the law department of the University of West Virginia and in the same year was admitted to the bar at Charleston. Two years later he was elected prosecuting attorney of Putnam County and re-elected for a second four year term in 1896. Judge Alexander was democratic nominee for the Senate in 1900 and 1904, and in 1905 he removed to Charleston, where a large and profitable clientage sought he professional energies. He was appointed city solicitor in 1907 and for a second term in 1911. He was also one of the incorporators and the secretary and treasurer of the Southern States Mutual Life Insurance Company, now the George Washington Life Insurance Company, when it was first organized.

He was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Kanawha County in November, 1916, and began his eight year term January 1, 1917. Judge Alexander is also vice president and director of the Kanawha National Bank of Charleston, was organizer and first president of the bank of Winfield in Putnam County, and is director of the Putnam County Bank at Hurricane.

In October, 1921, the rare honor, that of thirty-third degree in Scottish Rite Masonry, was conferred upon Judge Alexander by the Supreme Council of Scottish Rite masonry for the Southern Jurisdiction at Washington. He is a Knight Templar Mason, a past commander of Kanawha Commandery No. 4, and is a past potentate of Beni-Kedem Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Charleston. Judge Alexander is an elder in the First Presbyterian Church at Charleston, and his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were Presbyterian elders in their time.

Judge Alexander married in Greenbriar County Elizabeth S. Mann, granddaughter of William Mann, a pioneer of that county and daughter of Mathew Mann, who was a farmer and banker. Judge and Mrs. Alexander have three children: Andrew Sterling, Leonora Ruffner and Mathew Mann Alexander.

The article entitled "Andrew Sterrett Alexander" published in 1923 is incorrect in the third paragraph. The sentence reads: "The first husband of Catherine, [Madison] William McClenachan..." is incorrect. She was married to Robert McClenachan Jr. May 15, 1770 in Augusta Co. Virginia, he died as is written in the article on Oct. 10, 1774. Dr. William McClenachan, Robert's younger brother by 2 years, died in the first half of 1776 in Augusta Co., Virginia.
Thank you,
Robert McClenachan Jr.'s g-x6 granddaughter,
Meg (McClenahan) Theisen


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