THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   HON. ALEXANDER M. HOLMES, a resident of Morrisville, is an eminent example of lofty citizenship, exhibited in long fidelity to public interests. His public services have been marked throughout by rare intelligence, sterling honesty, strong common sense, and indefatigable labors for the public good. That the efforts he has made to serve the people have always been appreciated is shown by the fact that his period of service as Supervisor-- twenty-seven years--has been longer, perhaps, than that of any other man in his State. The field of his labors, however, has not been confined to the circumscribed arena of town and county politics. The people of his district, recognizing his capacity as a man of affairs, testified their appreciation of his abilities by sending him as their representative to the Upper House of the State Legislature, his Senatorial district being composed of Madison, Herkimer, and Otsego Counties. The perfection of his well-rounded character is manifested also in the more tender relations of private life and of the family no less than in the performance of public duty.
   Dr. Holmes was born in the town of Westford, Otsego County, N .Y. His father, John P. Holmes, was a native of Connecticut; and his father, John Holmes, so far as is known, was a life-long resident of that State. John P. Holmes was reared and educated in his native State, and in young manhood commenced teaching school, being for a time a member of the faculty of the famous Oxford Academy in Chenango County, New York. Returning to Connecticut, he was there married, and not long afterward located in the town of Westford, Otsego County, bought a farm, and resided thereon until 1830. Selling his farm, he removed to Plymouth, Chenango County, resided there two years, and then went to Cortland County, and bought a farm within two miles of the village of Cortland, on the Norwich road. Upon this farm he lived until 1847, when he sold it, and removed to McGrawville, where he lived retired until his death. His remains were interred in Rural Cemetery, Cortland. His wife, whose maiden name was Lydia Peck, was born in Connecticut, and died at her home in McGrawville. She reared eleven children. Alexander M. Holmes received his education in the public schools, studied medicine with Dr. Wiggins of McGrawville and dentistry with Drs. Thompson of Cortland, Allen of Syracuse, and Dwinelle of Cazenovia, N. Y., receiving the degree of D.D.S. from Baltimore Dental College in 1851. In 1849 he removed to Morrisville, where he opened an office. Having made a thorough study of his profession, it was not long before he acquired a profitable practice and a reputation as a skilled dentist which extends far beyond the limits of the county. Of recent years he has spent the winters in New York City, engaged in the practice of his profession, of which he is a master, having kept pace with its progress by constant study, and having an intimate knowledge of all its recourses and modern improvements.
   In 1857 Dr. Holmes was united in marriage to Mary E. Cross, who was born in Morrisville, and is a daughter of Jefferson Cross, the latter being born in Upper Lisle, Broome County, N. Y. His father, Reuben Cross, was a native of Mansfield, Conn., but came to the State of New York, and spent his last years in Upper Lisle. The maiden name of his wife was Marilla Hanks. She also was born in Mansfield, Conn., and survived her husband some years, dying in the town of Manlius, Onondaga County. Jefferson Cross, the father of Mrs. Holmes, removed to Manlius, N.Y., in 1825. He located in Morrisville in 1829, and here established a foundry, and engaged in the hardware business. He invented and patented numerous improvements upon stoves, in the manufacture of which he was engaged. He remained in business in Morrisville until his death, which occurred on the 28th of March, 1850. The name of the mother of Mrs. Holmes before her marriage was Elizabeth Leffingwell Cook. She was born in Hartford, Conn., and was a daughter of John and Mary (Steele) Cook. She died December 20, 1876, at her home in Morrisville.
   Dr. Holmes was one of the twenty-one prominent dentists of the State of New York who met at Utica, December 17, 1867, to draft laws for the organization of the State Dental Society, which association was divided into districts, there being one society or branch in each of the eight judicial districts of the State, the delegates from these districts forming the State Society. Dr. Holmes served two years as President of the Sixth District Dental Society, two years as Vice- President of the State Society, one year as President of the State Society, and in 1879 was chosen State Censor for the. Sixth District, and has served in that capacity up to the present time. The Doctor has always taken an active interest in public affairs, and has filled many offices of honor and trust. Politically, he first affiliated with the Whig party, was always opposed to the extension of slavery, and was one of the organizers of the Republican party in Madison County. A man of strong character and great intellectual ability, he has been sent as a delegate to numerous county, district, and State conventions, and was a member of the Republican National Convention which met at Philadelphia in 1872, and renominated President Grant. He was elected County Treasurer in the fall of 1860, and re-elected to the same office in 1864; was elected a member of the County Board of Supervisors in 1867, and has served on that board continuously to the present time, having been its Chairman for the last sixteen years. In 1881 he was elected State Senator to represent the district composed of Madison, Herkimer, and Otsego Counties, and while in the Senate served on the following committees, namely: Commerce and Navigation, Canals, Public Health, and Villages. He also was prominently connected with many general and local bills, at all times working earnestly and conscientiously for the good of his constituents. In 1864 he was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Morrisville, and was elected one of the Board of Directors, and since 1874 has served continuously as President of that institution. He was also one of the promoters of the Home for Destitute Children located in Peterboro, 
N. Y., and established some years ago by special act of State Legislature, the building and ten acres of land being presented by the late Gerrit Smith. This noble institution has proved of great benefit to the county; and, since the death of Mr. Smith, Dr. Holmes has been President of the Board of Trustees, and has done much for the good of this local enterprise.
   From the brief narrative of Dr. Holmes's life here presented it will be apparent that he has achieved a high degree of success in more than one field, his eminence in his profession and his long-continued public services, both in the spheres of political and business activity, bearing witness to his own high mental and physical qualities and to the confidence of his fellow-citizens in his ability, judgment, integrity, and fidelity to their interests. The fine steel portrait of Dr. Holmes here presented will be viewed with interest and pleasure by his many friends throughout the county and elsewhere.

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