Alexander Lewis

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Alexander Lewis
AlexanderLewisDetroitMayor.jpg
Mayor of Detroit
In office
1876–1877
Preceded by Hugh Moffat
Succeeded by George C. Langdon
Personal details
Born October 4, 1822
Windsor, Ontario
Died April 18, 1908
Detroit, Michigan
Spouse(s) Elizabeth J. Ingersoll

Alexander Lewis (October 4, 1822 – April 18, 1908) was a wholesale goods, insurance, and real estate businessman and mayor of Detroit, Michigan.

Early life[edit]

Alexander Lewis was born on October 4, 1822 in Windsor, Ontario (then called "Sandwich"), the son of Thomas and Jeanette Velaire Lewis.[1] Alexander Lewis came to Detroit on May 1, 1837, to work as a clerk at E. W. Cole & Co.[1] He ramained at E. W. Cole & Co. for two years, then spent two years at the druggists G. & J. G. Hill, and then moved to Pontiac, Michigan. Lewis returned to Detroit in 1843 to start a forwarding and commission service with his brother Samuel and Horace Gray.[1] In 1845, Lewis started another forwarding and commission service with H. P. Bridge under the name of Bridge & Lewis.[1]

Business and politics[edit]

Lewis remained with Bridge & Lewis until 1862, when he established a flour and grain business.[1] This he built into one of the largest and most prosperous enterprises in the city.[2] Lewis retired in 1884 to look after his various property interests and real estate.[1][2] Lewis was also a director of the Detroit Fire & Marine Insurance Company, a director of the Detroit National Bank, president of Detroit Gas Light Company, and in 1862 president of the Detroit Board of Trade.[1]

Lewis served as Police Commissioner from 1865 to 1875 and was elected mayor of Detroit in 1876 as a Democrat.[1] He was also a member of the Detroit Library Board of Commissioners from 1881 - 1888,[2] and, with Thomas W. Palmer, established the Michigan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.[3]

Family and later life[edit]

Lewis married Elizabeth J. Ingersoll in 1850; the couple had 13 children, of which 8 lived into the 1890s: Ida Frances (Lewis) Healy, Edward L. Lewis, Josephine (Lewis) Carpenter, Hattie I. (Lewis) Currie, Harry B. Lewis, Julia Velaire (Lewis) Penrose, Marion Marie (Lewis) Muir, and Alexander Ingersoll Lewis.[1]

Around 1900, Lewis built a home in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, which is now the parish house for the Saint Paul Catholic Church.[4] The complex was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1992[4] Alexander Lewis died on April 18, 1908.[2]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hugh Moffat
Mayor of Detroit
1876 - 1877
Succeeded by
George C. Langdon

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Silas Farmer (1889), THE HISTORY OF DETROIT AND MICHIGAN, pp. 1040–1047 – 1048 
  2. ^ a b c d Compendium of History and Biography of the City of Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan, Henry Taylor & Co, 1908, pp. 249–251 
  3. ^ Michigan Humane Society (2002), Michigan Humane Society: animal welfare in Detroit, 1877-2002, Arcadia Publishing, p. 16, ISBN 0738520284 
  4. ^ a b "Saint Paul Catholic Church Complex". Michigan State Housing Development Authority: Historic Sites Online. Retrieved March 13, 2010.