|Birth: ||Jun. 6, 1861|
|Death: ||May 18, 1940|
"For twenty odd years a state official of Idaho, probably no other citizen in private or official capacity has performed a more important service in behalf of the intrinsic and basic welfare of the state than Alexander McPherson. His best work has consisted in the educational line. It is a truism that it is better to show people how to do a thing than to do it for them. That has been Mr. McPherson's function in Idaho, where he has demonstrated and led the way in many lines of improvements and methods of handling the agricultural and other resources of the state. Now retired and living in California, Mr. McPherson is still honored as one of Idaho's most distinctive men and has a warm affection for the state where he spent his most productive years.
"Alexander McPherson is a native of New York City, where he was born June 6, 1861, a son of William and Mary (Stairs) McPherson. The parents both came from Scotland, and the father was a professional musician. When Alexander was a child the family moved to Illinois, where he attended school until ten years old. The home was then moved to Iowa, and Mr. McPherson made his real beginning of life by running away from home at the age of fifteen. A great many successful men have started out in life in the same way. The city of Chicago first attracted young McPherson, and while he was at work there he equipped himself for better things by attending night school. He subsequently finished his education in the Lounsbury Academy in Rockford, Illinois, an old and influential academic institution which no longer exists. After leaving school he took up the work of draughtsman and was also a building superintendent at Rockford and in Kansas City, Missouri. He continued along those lines until 1886, and then came out to Boise, where he at once bought a farm and has owned and been identified with farming interests ever since.
"It was his practical skill as a farmer and in business which brought him into connection with public affairs in the state. He superintended the sinking of the hot wells at Boise and the erection of the natatorium in that city. In 1888, when the San Jose scale made its appearance among the fruit orchards of Idaho, the growers organized to fight the pest and selected Mr. McPherson as inspector in Ada county. Ada county was the first in the state to fight the scale on an effective plan and organization. Mr. McPherson was so successful in directing this undertaking that he was appointed to the office of state horticultural inspector, an office which he filled with great benefit to all the fruitgrowing sections of the state until 1904. During this period he was also appointed dairy and pure food commissioner and sealer of weights and measures, and was the first to hold these positions which are so closely identified with the welfare of the citizens. During his terms of office in these positions he experimented extensively in the methods of the most effective handling of water for irrigation purposes, and he demonstrated such ability in this line that the Twin Falls Company sent for him to take charge and to plan and put in operation a system from which the company could get the best results for the benefit of the farmers who were using the irrigation canals of this vicinity. He spent considerable time in instructing the irrigation farmers, and has the distinction of haying been the first man in the west to fill such a position. Mr. McPherson was also chosen to establish the government experimental farm in Idaho, and remained at the head of that farm for two years. He is a recognized authority on all agricultural matters, both in Idaho and with the federal government. His reputation in this line caused him to be selected in 1909 to take the place of manager at Roswell, New Mexico, of the Berrendo Irrigation Farm Company, where their holdings amounted to fifteen thousand acres of land. Mr. McPherson remained at Roswell until January 1, 1913, and since then has had his residence at Long Beach, California, where he lives, retired from active pursuits. In politics Mr. McPherson is a Republican.
"In 1882 in the city of Rockford, Illinois, Mr. McPherson married Miss Lucinda Carolina Uzzell, a native of Missouri. They are the parents of three children: Albert M. is a civil and mining engineer in Boise; John U. is state horticulturist of Idaho; and Donald A. is agricultural engineer in Los Angeles, California. These sons have followed in the footsteps of their father, and each has made for himself a reputation in his line, and the two sons in Idaho keep up the relation of the McPherson family with this state". [History of Idaho: a narrative account of its historical progress..., Volume 3 by Hiram Taylor French (1914)]
- info supplied by William Yates.
Los Angeles County
Created by: Glenn and Tracy Morrow
Record added: Nov 19, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9922733