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Andrew Jackson "A.J." Alden
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Birth: Mar. 14, 1837
Roane County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Jan. 22, 1906
Adams County
Illinois, USA

My gg-grandfather was born to Royal & Melinda (Frasier) Alden in Kingston, Roane County, Tennessee in 1837. He was the 6th of 9 children. His family was in the process of moving from South Carolina to Southern Illinois when they had stopped for several months in Kingston, Tennessee and that is where he was born. He served as Lt. Colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War where he was captured and held prisoner at Camp Ford in Tyler Texas for nearly 9 months. After being released from the P.O.W. camp he returned to battle and mustered out as a Major in the Illinois 13th Calvary Reg. that his brother, Colonel George Marcus Alden had commanded. He was a newspaper editor and journalist. He founded 5 newspapers in the Southern Illinois area such as the DuQuoin Tribune, The Pulaski Patriot, and the Hamilton Sucker, the latter of which eventually became the McLeansboro Times. As a journalist, he covered the Dredd-Scott trial and the Lincoln-Douglas debates. He had been a fierce Democrat but after hearing Lincoln speak he changed parties and remained a die-hard Republican until his death. He also served as Postmaster and Clerk for Hamilton County, Illinois.

He married Beady Elizabeth Penny, daughter of James T. & Martha (Patton) Penny, originally of Tennessee on June 6, 1858. Andrew & Beady Alden had five children:

Martha Rebecca "Mattie" Alden born in 1860;
Royal "Roy" Penny Alden born in 1863;
Elizabeth "Bessie" Alden born in 1867;
Andrew Jackson "Jack" Alden Jr. born in 1869; and
Myrtle Alden born in 1872

Andrew Jackson Alden was a lineal descendant of Mayflower pilgrims, John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.

* * * * * * * *

In October 1955 there was a special "centennial issue" of the McLeansboro Times newspaper (published in McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois) looking back at Andrew and his brothers, George Marcus & Warren Franklin Alden who were the founders of the original newspaper.

The following is a portion of that news article describing Andrew Jackson Alden:

"In 1873 Alden became Superintendent of the Government Printing Offices in Washington D.C. by appointment from President U.S. Grant. He had been recommended for this position by his lifelong friend and fellow soldier, General John A. Logan of Benton, Illinois.

During his public life in Washington, Alden became acquainted with many famous persons, including Thomas A. Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Chief Sitting Bull and John Greenleaf Whittier. It is said that Whittier was so impressed by one of Alden's remarks at a gathering of former Civil War soldiers that he was inspired to write a hymn that was sung at the United States Centennial Celebration on July 4, 1876 in Philadelphia.

Alden retired from active life in 1898 and entered the Old Soldier's Home in Quincy where he died on January 22, 1906. He is buried at the Masons and Odd Fellows Cemetery at Benton among the graves of his former comrades of the Civil War.

Alden was described by acquaintances around DuQuoin and Pinckneyville as a tall, distinguished, extremely handsome man with black hair and mustache and blue-grey eyes. He walked with an exaggerated military bearing, his body erect and was easily recognized in any large gathering. He had a warm, pleasant smile and possessed a wonderful memory for names, places, dates and events."

Courtesy of The McLeansboro Times

Bio note: The hymn written by John Greenleaf Whittier was was called "The Centennial Hymn"

Family links: 
  Royal Alden (1802 - 1870)
  Melinda Almira Frasier Alden (1806 - 1843)
  Beady Elizabeth Penny Alden (1839 - 1927)
  Martha Rebecca Alden (1860 - 1936)*
  Royal Penny Alden (1863 - 1937)*
  Elizabeth Alden Reynolds (1867 - 1952)*
  Jack Alden (1869 - 1885)*
  Myrtle Alden Harrison (1871 - 1913)*
  George Marcus Alden (1828 - 1905)*
  Samuel Alvin Alden (1830 - 1851)*
  William Levi Alden (1831 - 1903)*
  Andrew Jackson Alden (1837 - 1906)
  Warren Franklin Alden (1839 - 1901)*
  Sarah Priscilla Alden Adams (1841 - 1863)*
  Charles Timothy Alden (1843 - 1843)*
  Martha Edna Alden Banks (1855 - 1927)**
*Calculated relationship
Lt Col Co F 13 ILL Cav Capt Co G 60 Ill Inf
Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery
Franklin County
Illinois, USA
Maintained by: Rebecca Wright
Originally Created by: Joyce Escue Culver
Record added: Sep 18, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29903534
Andrew Jackson A.J. Alden
Added by: Rebecca Wright
Andrew Jackson A.J. Alden
Added by: Rebecca Wright
Andrew Jackson A.J. Alden
Added by: Joyce Escue Culver
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