Of this family it is interesting to note that Arthur T. Alexander
(Mathews brother) married Rebecca M. Borden, sister of Anne Borden.
So two Alexander brothers married two Borden sisters.
Mary Polly Alexander (Mathews sister married Thomas M. Maxwell and
were the parents of William C. Maxwell who married Fannie Alexander
If this sounds confusing, it is fairly common that families in small
communities often married their neighbors and friends in the community. The
Treadaways, Bordens, Wheelers, and Alexanders were
all prominent landowners in Cleburne County. Thomas Treadaway had a large
plantation and donated the land for Cherry Grove Church and cemetery where
many Treadaways are buried.
However, the Civil War changed everything in that area of the country.
There was so much devastation and lawlessness, the dream of a new frontier
was powerful and no doubt the motivation for our families move to
Mathew Alexander was 45 years of age when the Civil War broke out in 1861.
In September 1861, he organized the Alabama 25th Regiment and served as Captain
for a year before his health made it impossible for him to continue in active
service. His youngest child, Fannie would have been about four years of age.
In the History of the Alabama 25th Regiment, Captain W. P. Howell who followed
Captain Mathew Alexander as leader of the unit through the entire war period,
praised him for his service. In a tribute at his death, this same Captain
Howell called him Major Alexander and listed his titles as captain, major
and colonel, during his long military career beginning in 1837 during Indian
skirmishes in Alabama. He was also commended for his courage in restoring
law and order to his community after the war, even as his life was in danger
from lawless criminals plundering the country. Though injured, he stood his
ground and lived to see his country restored to peace. He was a successful
farmer, owning a great deal of land. Active in his county, he was a member
of the Board of County Commissioners when he died. He was also Justice of
Mathew was 60 years of age when he died in 1876 at his home in Cleburne
Our Josephine Helen Alexander, daughter of Mathew and Anne Borden Alexander,
and Joel D. Treadaway were married May 30, 1869 and apparently wasted little
time getting on the trail to Texas. By August 10, 1871 their first child,
James Mathew was born in Lamar County, Texas.
In the 1880 Federal Census, the J. D. Treadaway family, the John Marion
Harper family, along with the six Arrington children including Johnnie O.
Arrington and husband, Nathaniel Gregory were living in Lamar County. The
three Alexander sisters: Sarah, Rebecca Jane and Josephine Helen and their
husbands and children must have started out together. The Arrington family
(Sarah Alexander) was listed in Cleburne County in the 1870 census and by
1880 only the children were in Lamar County with the Treadaway and Harper
families. There was a John Arrington on the death list in Lamar County with
no grave site listed. No clue about what happened to Sarah Alexander Arrington.
Only Johnnie O. and Nathaniel Gregory are known to have settled in Rice,
These Alexander sisters and their families stayed in Lamar County for
about 15 years. Both the Harpers and Treadaways bought land there
and built homes. Their children would have been in school. They were located
near Honey Grove in Fannin County and Petty or Brockton, which is in Lamar
On January 1, 1886, the Treadaway family moved to Ellis County and the
Harper family had bought land and built a large home in Chatfield, Navarro
County, Texas. The 1900 Ellis County Census also showed William C. and Fannie
Alexander Maxwell and their children, Jo and Pat residing in Palmer.
Those three Alexander sisters in the picture (LtoR: Fannie, Rebecca Jane,
Josephine Helen , and unidentified) were now all located within a few miles
of each other in Texas. (That is why I believe the unidentified person in
the picture is their mother, Anne Borden Alexander who lived eleven years
after her husband, Mathew Alexander died.)
Joel D. Treadaway, as a successful farmer, continued to accumulate land
and cattle in Alma, Ellis County, Texas. He also owned the Alma gin at a
time when cotton was king in Ellis County.
Annie Caroline, Nancy Fannie, George Thomas, Joel Birch, Henry Borden,
and Mattie Hudson had all been born while the Treadaways were in Lamar
County, along with two babies who died at birth. And on May 23, 1880, little
George Thomas Treadaway, at 2 ½ years of age, died of Typhoid Fever
and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, between Honey Grove and Paris in Lamar
Mattie was a baby when the family moved to Ellis County on January 1,
1886. She was two years old when brother Jack Alexander was born in Alma.
Three years later Grady Woodfins birth completed the Treadaway
In the 1890s, the older family members were beginning
to marry: Nancy Fannie to Will DeLoach on December 6, 1892; Annie Caroline
to James Everett (Ev) Foster on December 17, 1893; and James Mathew to Amanda
Besse on November 18, 1894.
On March 10, 1900, tragedy struck the family in the death of young Joel
Birch. He was only 20 years of age when he died of a ruptured appendix. He
is buried in the family plot in the Rice Cemetery.