Robert A. Alexander

Holding eminent prestige among the successful business men of his community, the subject of this review has had much to do in advancing the material interests of Franklin, Johnson county, Indiana, and making it one of the important commercial centers of this section of the state. The study of such a life cannot fail of interest and incentive, for he has been not only distinctively representative in his spheres of endeavor, but has established a reputation for integrity and honor. Though not now actively identified with business pursuits, he is still numbered among the substantial and worthy citizens of his community and none more than he deserves representation in a work of the character of the one in hand.

Robert A. Alexander is a son of George and –––––[Margaret] (Farnsworth) Alexander, and was born in 1833, on the paternal farmstead in Franklin township, two miles south of the city of Franklin. George Alexander was a native of Tennessee and came to Johnson county, Indiana, about 1831, entering a tract of land near the Tennessee church, south of Franklin. There he carried on agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in 1873. He was an active member of the Shiloh church and stood high in the community. To him and his wife were born nine children.

Robert A. Alexander has spent practically his entire life in Franklin township, where he was successfully engaged in a number of important enterprises up to the time of his retirement from active business life, a few years ago. He received his education in the common schools of his native township and remained on the home farm until twenty-five years old, when he came to Franklin and entered the employ of an uncle, who was engaged in the hardware business, in which Mr. Alexander eventually bought an interest. He was thus engaged for a period of twenty-five years, and through his sound business methods, strict integrity and undeviating attention to his affairs, met with a very gratifying success. Mr. Alexander became identified with the financial interests of Franklin, having been for a number of years vice president of the Franklin National Bank, while for three years, 1906 to 1908, he was president of the Citizens National Bank, being succeeded in the latter position by his son, Arthur A. He also assisted in the organization and ever since, or a period of twenty years, he has been a director of the Mutual Building and Loan Association. He is now retired from active participation in business affairs and is enjoying that rest which former years of successful activity so richly entitled him to. For half a century Mr. Alexander has been a member of and a liberal contributor to the Presbyterian church, and for a number of years he was a member of the board of trustees of Franklin College, in the welfare of which he has always taken a deep interest. To him and his wife were born two children, Arthur A., and Clara, who died in 1892, the wife of Rev. N. Todd, a Presbyterian minister.

Arthur A. Alexander was born on July 1, 1870, in Franklin, and his early education was secured in the public schools, which he supplemented by attendance at Franklin College, where he graduated with class of 1890. Thereafter for years he was secretary the Franklin Canning Company, which he helped to organize and with which he was connected in an official capacity for eight years. In 1903 Mr. Alexander became vice-president of the Citizens National Bank of Franklin, and in 1909, on the retirement of his father, he became president of the institution, which is one of most substantial and influential financial concerns in this section of the state. Mr. Alexander is also vice-president of the Franklin Building and Loan Association and in many ways is an important factor in the business life of the community. He has met with financial success commensurate with the energy and judgment displayed in his business transactions and occupies a commanding position among his fellow citizens. Having faith in the city of his residence, and believing that the past is but an earnest of still greater growth and more extensive business development, he has contributed his influence and material assistance to all laudable enterprises, at the same time endeavoring to realize within himself his highest ideal of earnest manhood and progressive citizenship.

An unswerving Republican, and deeply and actively interested in his party’s success, Mr. Alexander has rendered efficient and appreciated service as a member of the county executive committee. Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic order, in which he has attained to the rank of Knight Templar. He is an earnest member of the Presbyterian church, and in every way possible exhibits an interest in all things which tend to enhance the welfare of his fellows in any way.

Branigin, Elba L. History of Johnson County. Indianapolis, IN: B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc., 1913. pp 559-560

Transcribed by Lois Johnson