1864 Map of Alexandria Township New York

Civil Government of Alexandria New York

This town was erected from Brownville and Le Ray, April 3, 1821, by the same act that formed Philadelphia and Orleans, the first town-meeting being held at the house of William Merrill. By the first act its limits included Theresa. An act of Feb. 6, 1840, restored to the town of Orleans a small part that had been annexed to the latter.

The town derives its name from Alexander, a son of J. D. Le Ray, who obtained a colonel’s commission in the Texan revolution, and fell in a duel in 1836. It is the most northern town in the county, and lies opposite the Thousand Islands, which here present the most delightful Scenery. 1)See History of Alexandria Bay.

The early records of the town are lost, hence it is impossible to get an accurate list of the first town officers. The first Supervisor was James Shurtliff; Clerk, Nathaniel Goodell; Assessor, Ashley Tanner: Inspectors of Election, Allen Cole and Joel Porter.

The Supervisors from 1829 to 1877 have been as follows, namely: 1829-32, John D. Davidson; 1833-35, Jason Clark; 1836, J. D. Davidson; 1837, Jason Clark; 1838, John W. Fuller; 1839-40, Michael Lewis; 1841, Alexander Salisbury (at a special meeting in May, Jason Clark); 1842, Jason Clark; 1843-49, Harvey D. Parker; 1850, George W. Clark; 1851, Moses C. Jewett; 1852, H. D. Parker; 1853-54, Andrew Cornwall; 1855-57, Jason Clark; 1858, William W. Butterfield; 1859, Jason Clark; 1860, Andrew Cornwall; 1861, William W. Butterfield; 1862 -65, Andrew Cornwall; 1866. William W. Butterfield; 1867, Ebenezer Campbell; 1868, Joseph E. McAllister; 1869, Ebenezer Campbell; 1870-72, William M. Thomson; 1873 -74, Newton Rand; 1875-77, Alfred A. Holmes, the present incumbent.

The officers elected at the annual town-meeting in 1877 were: Supervisor, Alfred A. Holmes; Clerk, John I. Everson; Justices of the Peace, Ralph Gurnee, William M. Thomson, Silas G. Norton, Peter Tassey; Assessor, John B. George; Auditors, Benjamin Fox, James E. Overocker, Erastus Bailey; Inspectors of Election, District No. 1, La Fayette Steele, Almon H. Houghton, Henry Bailey; Inspectors of Election, District No. 2, Presoott D. Patch, D. Snell, John H. Cline; Inspectors of Election, District No. 3, Henry Halford, H. K. White, Ellis G. White; Constables, Abram Weller, Liberty S. Simpson, John H. Crabbe, Hiram Hart, Orvis Spalsbury; Game Constable, Alfred Swan; Commissioner of Excise, John Schultz.

Source:  Durant, Samuel W. and Henry B. Peirce. History of Jefferson County, New York, With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co., 1878. p 268.


1See History of Alexandria Bay.

2 thoughts on “Civil Government of Alexandria New York”

  1. Error: The 1st town meeting held at the home of William MERRILL (not Blerrill). Merrill bought land from developer LeRay in 1816. He also owned land in Plessis, near Alexandria, where he built a log cabin ‘inn’ for visitors. He is described as one of earliest settlers of Plessis, along with William Shurtleff, whose relative James Shurtleff, was 1st Town Supervisor of Alexandria. William Merrill’s descendant, Melvin Merrill, was Mayor of Alexandria Bay in 1939.

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