ALEXANDER C. DUNCAN

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 87-88

ALEXANDER CAMERON DUNCAN, who is living a retired life in Wilmette, was born at Dundee, Scotland, January 11, 1848.  As his name indicates, his lineage may be traced through countless generations of the most renowned Highland clans.  He is a son of Alexander Duncan and Eliza Cameron.  The former was for thirty years a leading physician and surgeon at Dundee, where his death occurred in 1879, at the age of sixty-five years.  James Duncan, father of Alexander Duncan, was for many years a Captain in the British army, and after his retirement from that service became extensively engaged in stock-raising at Cargill, in Perthshire, where he was the owner of large estates.  He bred some of the finest horses and cattle in the kingdom, and a large silver cup which he received as a prize for superior stock is still preserved by the subject of this notice.

Mrs. Eliza Duncan died in 1893, at the age of sixty-seven years.  She was a daughter of Alexander Cameron, a remote descendant of the Cameron of Lochiel Castle, who long flourished as the head of his clan in feudal times.  Dr. Alexander Duncan had three sons: James, Alexander C. and David J. R.  The first-mentioned, who is now deceased, was engaged in banking at Liverpool, and the youngest is a prominent civil-engineer of London, England, who, among other enterprises, was connected with the construction of the famous Tay Bridge, in Scotland.

The subject of this biography received a liberal education at Taunton College, Somersetshire, England, where he made a special study of civil-engineering, and graduated at the age of eighteen years.  In 1872 he came to America, and for the next five years was engaged in the survey of the Canadian Pacific Railroad, between Winnipeg and British Columbia.  In 1878 he returned to Scotland, but two years later came to the United States and located in Chicago.   For the next ten years he occupied a position as bookkeeper in the great dry-goods house of Mandel Brothers.  At the expiration of that period, having inherited considerable property, he retired from active business.  Since 1885 he has resided at Wilmette, where, in the summer of 1895, he met with a serious accident.  He fell from one of the upper windows of his residence, receiving injuries which disabled him for some time and came near causing his death.

Mr. Duncan was married, in 1884, to Miss Jessie Gairns, of Chicago.  They are the parents of two bright children, named, respectively, Cameron and Norman.  Mrs. Duncan is a member of the Congregational Church of Wilmette.  The home of the family is one of the most pleasant, both externally and internally, in that attractive rural village.  Though he has formed no connection with organized social fraternities, Mr. Duncan has attracted many friends, who reciprocate his enjoyment in the dispensation of a hearty and refined hospitality.

                                -- Submitted on 11/25/99 by Sherri Hessick ( slhessick@crosswinds.net )