Falconer, Alexander 1805-1892
FALCONER, MACGEE, CLIFT, MURDOCK
Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb Volunteer (email)
Date: 10/16/2014 at 00:53:04
Alexander Falconer, the old veteran soldier of the Florida and Mexican wars, died at his home at Communia, Tuesday evening, Feb. 9th, 1892.
He was born in Scotland, Sept. 14, 1805, and came to this country in 1833. After a service of eleven years in the regular army, he came to this county settling in Clayton. Some years ago he moved to Communia where his wife died last year.
The old soldier has answered his last all and joins the grand army above. Peace to his ashes.
~Elkader Register, February 11, 1892
Death of Alexander Falconer
Once more it becomes our painful and melancholy duty to notice in this public manner some of the incidents connected with the life and times of this old and respected pioneer of Clayton county.
He was born in Scotland, September 14, 1805, reared and educated in his native land by kind parents until 1833 when he bid a long and an affectionate farewell to the scenes of his childhood and came over to American to seek his fortune alone and in a land of strangers, and landing the same year in the city of Baltimore, he assisted in building the railroad from Washington to that city, and on the completion of the road he enlisted into Company E, First Regiment of United States Infantry and served with it during eleven years and in the course of this service he was three times promoted to the position of orderly sergeant and drill master.
This regiment and company followed General Zack Taylor through all of his campaigns in Florida, and distinguished themselves at the battle of Okiehobee, where the subject of this sketch was wounded. On Feb. 9, 1846, he received an honorable discharge and soon after made his way to Clayton county where [he] has ever since resided.
It was while he was in the army that he was married to Mary Macgee and by their joint labor and savings they were enabled to purchase a large tract of land and commenced to improve and cultivate it, but to both of them who had long been used [to] the music, the dress, the parade, and the daily rotation of military life, a residence on the wild prairies became lonely, and they sold the farm, purchased the hotel at Garnavillo, and here for many years kept a first-class hotel that was known and distinguished throughout northern Iowa for its neatness, its cleanliness and its rich and luscious table.
Tired at last by the labors of hotel life, they sold out, and retired again to a rough little farm about a mile north of town, and here again for a few years they tried to make a living by farming, but here again the loneliness of their situation became unbearable, and we again find this couple in active hotel life at Clayton, where for many years the Clayton House was known throughout the country as one of the very best in the state, and it was in this hotel that Mr. Falconer became known and acquainted throughout northern Iowa as a generous, noble-hearted man, and men who are still living, and whose eyes will glance over these pages, will say that to their knowledge this is but a just tribute to the memory of one who for only a reasonable sum, fed and cared for all their wants whenever they became his guests.
In 1861 Messrs. Thompson, Crosby and Dickinson commenced the enterprise of the Motor mill, and knowing the necessity of a hotel and boarding house, Mr. Falconer left Clayton and established a hotel at Motor, and upon the failure of the mill to pay, he left the hotel, and with his wife retired to a little cottage on the banks of the Turkey, and it was here that this old couple, worn out by years of toil, spent the last years of their lives in reduced circumstances.
When the Mexican war broke out, Clayton county raised a company of volunteers, commanded by Capt. Parker, of Dubuque, and Mr. Falconer eagerly joined it and was given his old position of orderly sergeant, and as soon as organized the company was ordered to Ft. Atkinson to protect the frontier against the Indians. Taking his old wife with him they were again at home amid the excitement of military life and here they remained guarding the fort and its property long after the Indians were removed and the company disbanded. With this company was another raised in Burlington commanded by Capt. Morgan and Lieut. M. Kinney, the ....
[here the type face is faded and illegible for several paragraphs]
....entered the regular army he became acquainted with all of the distinguished officers of [illegible] many of whom had distinguished themselves in Indian wars and in the war of 1812, and while the author of this was trying to obtain a pension for him for his injury in Florida wars, he received a voluntary letter from the late and much lamented Gen. Meiggs, that big-hearted and sturdy old veteran, urging him to make every possible effort to obtain it and promising all the aid in his power.
It was while trying to obtain this pension, that I was informed by the war office that two of Mr. Falconer's old companions of Company E were still alive, and that one was in Philadelphia, and the other in East Tennessee, and I immediately sought to find them, but was too late, for both of them had only a few days before received their last furloughs on earth; but I persevered and found only one a few miles east of Prairie du Chien and with his testimony alone, together with the ancient muster rolls of the company, placed the whole in the hands of the Hon. William Fuller, at that time the indefatigable and untiring member of congress from this district, who by his influence and devoted attention had a bill passed by which the old veteran and tried soldier of two wars was granted an ample pension. When I communicated to him my success he cried with joy over it, but in a few days after, I had to tell him that President Cleveland had vetoed his bill, when he again wept like a little child over his disappointment.
About a year ago, his kind and tender wife left him and passed away to that further shore. Since then he has lived entirely alone in his little cottage, patiently waiting for the dispatch that would call him too to meet her again beyond the celestial Jordon, where parting is unknown, and it came to him on the 8th inst., and the tried soldier, the worn veteran, and this son of Scotland, passed away forever in the 82nd year of his age.
No relative or kindred marched in the solemn procession that conveyed him to his last resting place, but there was in that procession a kind-hearted and noble woman, who in her youth and childhood had been an inmate in his family, and to her he had ever been kind and gentle, and she in her womanhood had never forgotten these acts of kindness, and taking with her the Rev. J.D. Perry, one of nature's noblemen, she saw that the old and kind-hearted friend of her youth had a Christian burial, and at least one mourner who could drop a tear of sympathy over his bier, and this kind and noble-hearted lady was Mrs. Nettie Clift, who adorns by her gentleness and kindness every social circle of our fair city. It is thus that our old and first settlers are one by one passing away.
~Elkader Argus, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1892
Note: Anyone knowing his burial place, please reply to this posting or contact the contributor. I would also be interested to know if Mr. Falconer has a stone marking his grave.
Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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