Alexander County

Biography - Alexander S. Fraser

Conspicuous among the younger generation of men who have been active in aiding the upbuilding, growth and material improvement of Cairo is Alexander S. Fraser, now serving as sheriff of Alexander county. He was born in this city, June 3, 1869, coming from pure Scotch ancestry.

His father, Alexander Fraser, was born in 1832, in Michigan, where his parents settled on coming from Scotland to the United States. A natural mechanic, he belonged to that class of industrious citizens who make history with their hands only, and whose combined labors are a potent force in the development of every community. During the Civil war he fought valiantly in the Federal army, and was afterwards engaged in business as a coppersmith in Cairo, where he resided until his death, in 1884. His wife, whose name before marriage was Mary Elizabeth Morris, survived him many years, passing away in Cairo in 1907. Five children blessed their union, as follows: George, who was employed in the office of the Illinois Central Railway Company, died while yet in the prime of manhood; Llewellyn, who married Herman Schuh, died in Cairo; William P. who is serving as deputy sheriff under his brother; Charles lived but a few brief years; and Alexander S.

Completing his early studies in the city schools of Cairo, Alexander S. Eraser was graduated from the Glendale Institute, at Kirkwood, Missouri, in 1889. Possessing an unlimited amount of energy and ambition, he then embarked in the business of contracting, general construction, grading and paving, and in the course of a few years made the firm of A. S. Fraser one of vast importance in the affairs of the city. He was one of the bidders in the first paving contract let in Cairo, and initiated the work of making a modern town by paving Levee and Twenty-eighth streets. The fruit of his labors as a builder and contractor may be seen in the Lohr Bottling "Works; the Booker Packing Company's buildings; the Cairo Brewery; the Marks block; and in many of the finest residences in the city.

Having inherited the political faith in which he was reared, Mr. Fraser is a steadfast Democrat, and in 1910 was selected as the party candidate for sheriff of Alexander county, at the election defeating his Republican opponent by fourteen hundred votes, which he secured in a county that has a normal Republican majority of eighteen hundred. He has now the distinction of being the first Democratic sheriff that the county ever elected. A prominent member of his party, Mr. Fraser has been regularly chosen as a member of the Alexander County Democratic Committee, and has served his party as a delegate to the state conventions.

On April 3, 1901, Mr. Fraser was united in marriage with Tillie Blattau, who was born in Cairo, of German parents, in 1874, and two children have been born of their union, namely: William L., who died in childhood; and Elizabeth Llewellyn. Fraternally Mr. Fraser is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, in which he has taken the Knights Templar degrees; of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and of the Order of Eagles.

Extracted from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, Volume 2, pages 643-644.


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