Note: When John was nine months old, In June 1846, his mother, Mary, was struck by lightning as she lay in bed across a window, with baby John by her side. She was killed, but the baby was unharmed. His father, Joseph died from injuries when kicked by a horse when John was 10 years old. In 1855, John was raised by two aunts, Priscilla and Polly Alden, his uncle, John Alden, lived with them, but later moved to Missouri, where he lived to be over 100 years old. John Alexander left home when he was 16 (in 1861 or 1862), and worked his way to the Mississippi River, where he worked on a river boat up and down the river to New Orleans. When he was 18, in 1864, he had not been called up for service in the Civil War, but a wealthy young man who had been called up paid him $400 to go in his place. John was in camp about four weeks when the war ended, so he did not see any service. he recalled that he received no military training, but spent the time playing ball, and in throwing a ball over the flag pole he injured a muscle in his arm, and at times it gave him some trouble for the remainder of his life. Sometime after 1865 he went to California on the railroad, in the mail car with a friend who was a mail clerk, so he got a free ride. he worked for a time in a lumber camp in Truckee, California, then went east again, and moved to Johnson County, Indiana (south of Indianapolis), where he met Sarah Matilda Saunders (born in 1856). They were married on September 13, 1877. They rented a farm four miles south of Franklin, Indiana, in Johnson County from a man named John Featheringgill. A few years later they bought a farm across the road, from a Mr. Mullikin, and built a new four-room house, barn, and other farm buildings. The Union Christian Church was at the corner of the property, where they attended church. Although Sarah was a devout church member, John never consented to be baptized, which was a source of worry to his wife for the remainder of their married life. It was here that five children were born: Nellie Gertrude, Anna, Clara, Charles Cecil and Hazel. In 1892, Nellie became ill with rheumatic fever, and the doctor advised that she should be in a drier climate, so the farm was sold, and in 1893 they moved west to Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory. (Oklahoma became a state in 1908). The town was four years old at that time, and was the capital of the Territory. Another child, Harry, was born in 1894, but only lived until 1897. A last child, Suzie, was born in the 1890's but died in infancy. Hazel also died in 1904, but the other four children lived long lives, some into their 90's. John worked as a carpenter in Guthrie. In 1893 he made the Run at the opening of the Cherokee Strip (in September of that year), but failed to get a claim where he wanted it, near Blackwell, Oklahoma, as too many others got there ahead of him. His brother-in-law, Dan Saunders, who made the run with him returned to Franklin, Indiana. John also bought a business lot and some other properties in and around Guthrie upon which he built some buildings which he later sold. For the last five years of his life he worked with a building group for the Santa Fe railroad. He died in June, 1921, in Guthrie, six months short of his 76th birthday. His wife, Sarah, was an invalid for much of their married life, and Nellie had to leave school after the 8th grade, to help with the other children. Sarah lived to the age of 90, and died in 1945, in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she was living with her unmarried daughter, Anna. (1) Guardianship Papers for James Thomas and John Elijah State of Maryland Know all men by these presents that Mr. Amos Alexander, Thomas Ganett, and George A. Fulton all of Cecil County are held and firmly bound unto the State of Maryland in the just and full sum of Twenty six hundred dollars current money; for which payment will and truly to be made and done we bind ourselves and every one of us, our and every of our heirs, executors and administrators in the whole and for the whole jointly and severally firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals and dated the twenty ninth day of April in the year of our Lord one Thousand and fifty-seven. The condition of the above obligations is such that if the above bounden Amos Alexander as Guardian of James Thomas and Elijah Alexander Orphans of Cecil County, shall faithfully account with Orphans Court of Cecil County, as directed by law, for the management of the property and estate of the said orphans agreeably to the order of the said Court or the directions of law, and shall in all respects perform the duty of Guardian to the said James Thomas and Elijah Alexander according to law. Then the above obligation to be void: it is otherwise to be full force and virtue in law. Signed, sealed and delivered Amos Alexander (Seal) in the presence of Thomas Ganett (Seal) George A. Fulton (Seal) James W. Maxwell By the Orphans Court The foregoing Bond after due May 13th 1857 examination is approved Text Reuben D. Lamar Register Recorded April 29th 1857
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