Saturday, January 7, 2012

Randolph Alexander II (1802-1879)

Randolph Alexander II was the son of Angus Alexander and Unity Murphy Alexander.   He was born on the 22 day of March 1802, in Union District, Union, South Carolina.  His family migrated from the Carolina's, into Tennessee along with several other close relatives, Jackson's Murphy's. It is believed that he was Scotch-Irish.
  Their families had come from South Carolina into Tennessee.  Where Randolph and Myrza were married June 1930.  They heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ first preached by Wilford Woodruff. 

     Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal; while on a missionary tour in Tennessee. He held a meeting in Devon Creek. "On my arrival, I met a large congregation; but on commencing meeting, Parson Browning ordered the meeting closed. I told the people I had come ten miles to preach to them and was willing to stand in a cart, on a pile of wood, or on a fence , or any other place they would appoint, to have to privilege. One man said, "I own the fence and the land in front of the meeting house, and we might use both." For he did not believe that Mormonism would hurt either. So the congregation crossed the road, took down the fence and made seats of it, and I preached to them one hour and a half.  At the close of the meeting a young man who gave his name as Randolph Alexander said he was convinced of the truthfulness of the message that had been given. He invited us, (Wilford Woodruff and David W. Patten) to his home for dinner with he and his wife. He bought a book of Mormon and I organized a branch in that place".

  The following is from a history written by George Alexander;   "Randolph Alexander, Benjamin L. Clapp were ordained elders, and Lindsay F. Lane was ordained to the lesser priesthood. Randolph Alexander was blessed on the 27th day of May 1837(36) by Isaac Morley. He was baptized August 7, 1837(36) by D. W. Patten. and Confirmed the same day by D. W. Patten. And ordained an elder the same day (unknown)  Myrza Nix Alexander was baptized and confirmed 27 May 1837,(mothers records say Aug 7, 1837) by Isaac Morley and David W. Patten.  In 1837, he moved with his family to Far West, Missouri, where he shared the trials of the saints until they were driven out of the state by the extermination order of Governor Boggs. They then emigrated to Nauvoo, Illinois. They went through all the trails and persecutions during their building up of that beautiful city and temple. He received his endowments in the Nauvoo Temple, on December 24, 1845. and Myrza also received her endowments on that date. They were sealed on 24 January 1846, in Nauvoo.  In October 1844, Randolph was made the first senior president of the 7th Quorum of seventies. and On July 12, 1847, the Prophet Joseph Smith, called him to preach the gospel He drove all the way across the plains with a team comprised of a mule and a cow. and arrived in Salt Lake Valley, Sept. 18, 1947. He was in the 2nd company that came to Utah. He settled up in parleys Canyon, near Mountain Dell. He took 100 acres there and erected a saw mill. He must have shortly moved to Cottonwood, where Myrza was born in 1848.

     The Alexander's, being from the southern states and being acquainted with the growing of cotton, were then called to Utah's Dixie. They settled in the town of Washington in 1862. Here he lived and spent his life's energy in building up the community. He was a partner with a man named Rhodes, and bought the Moccasin Spring and the adjoining land which was owned by the native Indians. But had to leave in 1866 because of trouble with the Indians.  Note: in 1871, Levi Stewart bought the Alexander property and a company under Lewis Allen, consisting of people who were compelled to leave their homes on the Muddy Valley, Nevada, made their homes temporarily on the Pipe Springs and Moccasin Springs land.   In his later years Randolph's eyes failed and he finally lost his sight. On the morning of March 12, 1879, after an illness of six months, he passed from this mortal life. He lived a faithful L.D.S. life. He left his wives and 17 children and a host of friends, who will miss his many kindnesses and fatherly council and encouragement.. He was always ready to give all he could for the happiness of others."(From History written by George Alexander.)

     Randolph and several members of his family were buried on his property in Washington City, Washington, Utah and at this time their is a single monument to honor those who died and were buried on this plot of ground now owned by a family by the last name of Larsen.    

Myrza Alexander was the daughter of Jonathan Alexander and Tabitha Nix.  She was born in Union District, South Carolina on the 15th day of September 1815. They had the following Children:  Thomas Murphy Alexander, b. 21,Feb 1831, d. 9 Oct. 1905; Susan Arabella Alexander Bowman, b. 8 Feb. 1833, d.  ;Adaline Alexander Andrus Sproul, b. 1 Jan. 1835 , d. 26 Sept. 1911; Moroni Woodruff Alexander, b. 4 Mar. 1837, d.July 8. 1901 ;John Quincy Adams Alexander, b. 13 Feb. 1839 , d. Feb 26, 1899; Benjamin Lamoni Alexander b. 22 Jan. 1841, d.  Feb 13 1913; Margarett Alexander b. 1843, d. 1845;  Sarah Elizabeth Alexander Murphy Rynearson, b. 14 Jun. 1845, d. 2 June 1922; Myrza Jane Alexander Whitehead Bond, b. 29 Nov. 1848, d. 15 Feb 1883; Eliza Snow Alexander Butler, b. 13 Dec. 1850, d. 3 Aug. 1931; Matilda Alexander Alger, b. 10 Jan. 1853, d. 12 October 1930; Lydia Ann Alexander Crow, b. 29 Dec. 1855, d. 10 August 1934; Bertha Alexander Bond Bosen, b. 13 March 1860, d. 26 May 1911;

     While in Nauvoo, Randolph took a second wife; a widow by the name of Lucy Courser Taft Harwood.  She was born on March 26 1812 to Amasa Taft and Delphia Flagg Taft in Massachusetts.  Her first husband, Forrester Harwood, also of Massachusetts had traveled to Nauvoo where he passed away on August 25, 1845.  She had two children that we know about with him; Amasa Harwood, b. 1837 , d. 1838.and Jonas, b. Sep 15 1839, d. January 29, 1898.
Randolph and Lucy were married between 1847 and 1848 as by 1848 they traveled with the Willard Richards wagon train on their trek west to Utah. (See the Mormon Overland Trail.)
  When Randolph was called to the Cotton Mission. Lucy did not go she stayed in She stayed in SLC and died in Ogden, Utah.  The Children he had with Lucy were:  Twin Girls; Eveline Adelia Alexander Griffith, b. 26 Nov 1849, d. 22 May 1915; Emeline Amelia Alexander, b. 26 Nov 1849, d. 15 Feb 1883.  Angeline R. Alexander, b. 16 November 1850, d.  (1856)  and Caroline Amania Alexander Williams, b. 3 August 1855, d. 10 March 1924.

 Jane Pugh, a third wife of Randolph was born 6, Nov. 1814 in Tennessee. to Daniel Pugh and Martha Harris Pugh, her parents were from North Carolina.  They had three daughters; Elizabeth Alexander Adair Bernhardt  Kennedy, b, 2o June 1852,  death unknown ;Unity Alexander Mangum, b. 24 Feb 1855, d. 2 March 1912,  and Rebecca Ann Alexander Lee, b. 4 Oct 1858, d. 5 Oct 1936.  We know she was an  accomplished seamstress. She came out with the family and was a part of the Cotton Mission.    We believe she died sometime after 1876 and possibly is also one of those buried on the Alexander plot in Washington, Washington, Utah.  Her mother died in Idaho.

Sources;  Personal knowledge, family genealogies, my own research, a history written by a George Alexander and shared with me by Geneel Scott, and information obtained from researching USGenweb Tennessee site on the Alexander Families; Utah death index,, new,familysearch., Utah digital Newspapers, Research in southern Utah.) 

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