GEORGE M. ALDEN, commission merchant in Cairo, is a native of South Carolina, born in Newberry District November 4, 1828, son of Royal and Malinda A. (Frazer) Alden. The father was a native of Stafford, State of Connecticut, and the mother of South Carolina. They had a family of nine children, of whom George M. is the oldest. His mother died in Illinois in 1840, on her thirty-fourth birthday. They came from South Carolina in 1837, and settled in Hamilton County. The father was subsequently married to Mrs. Eliza C Lasater, by whom he had a family of nine children. They both died in Hamilton County, he in 1869 and she in 1870. The father was a teacher by profession for many years, teaching thirty years in Hamilton County. George M. was educated under his instruction. He is a lineal descendant of John Alden of the ship Mayflower, who was private secretary to Miles Standish. As a first employment for himself, he followed the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers for ten years, and became a pilot. He enlisted in 1862, in the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, and in the organization of the regiment was commissioned Captain of Company G, in which capacity he served until April, 1865, when he was promoted to the position of Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment; promoted to full Colonelcy in August of the same year, with which commission he was discharged at Springfield, in October, 1865. Col. Alden participated in much of the service of the Seventh Army Corps, and was principally confined to the States of Missouri and Arkansas. Andrew J. Alden, a younger brother of the Colonel, was first enlisted as a Captain, in a company of the Sixty-second Infantry, and was discharged on account of disability at the end of one year. Recovering his health, he recruited a company for the Thirteenth Cavalry, and was commissioned Captain of the company; he was made a prisoner at the battle of Cross Roads, Ark., and held over one year at Tyler, Tex. He was promoted to the position of Major, and mustered out as Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment. He is now in the Government Printing Office in Washington, though his home is in Cairo, Ill. George M., was married at McLeansboro, Ill., in April, 1860, to Miss Elizabeth Wilmott, a native of Illinois. She was born in 1840 and died in 1863. He was married to his present wife December 9, 1865. Her name was Ann T. Knight, widow of Elisha R. Knight, and daughter of Thomas C. and Nancy Graves. This union has been blessed with two children — Leon L. (born November 13, 1866) and Wilber L. Alden (born on September 22, 1869). Besides these there are two children as result of Mrs. Alden's first marriage — R. G. Knight and M. G. Knight. Subject came to Cairo in 1867, since which time he has been in the flour and grain business. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and the family of the Christian Church, in which he holds the position of Elder. R. G. Knight was born in Illinois, and chose the medical profession, but instead of practicing he became a druggist for some years, and is now on the staff of the Chicago Herald. M. G. Knight is a resident of Fort Worth, Tex.
Extracted 29 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, page 4.
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