MOSES ALEXANDER was born in Obrigheim, Bavaria, on November 13, 1853. As a fourteen-year-old, Alexander immigrated to the United States, settling in Chillicothe, Missouri, and finding work in a mercantile firm. He entered politics in 1886, serving as a member of Chillicothe’s city council. He also served as mayor of Chillicothe from 1887 to 1890. In 1891, Alexander moved to Boise, Idaho, where he became a successful merchant, owning and operating profitable stores in three different states. He reentered public service as mayor of Boise, serving from 1897 to 1899, and again from 1901 to 1903. He was an unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate in 1908; however, six years later he was victorious, and became Idaho’s eleventh governor. He was reelected to a second term in 1916. During his tenure, a state highway system was initiated, the bureau of farm markets was planned, a workmen’s compensation bill was introduced, eight new counties were established, statewide prohibition was enacted, labor disputes in the state’s logging and mining camps were dealt with, and the tax rate was cut. Alexander also endorsed the women’s suffrage movement, advocated advancing irrigation and farming developments, abolished and combined state agencies, and supported and prepared the state for the looming war. Alexander left office on January 6, 1919 and returned to his mercantile business. He served as a delegate to the 1920, 1924, and 1928 Democratic National Conventions, and he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1922. Governor Alexander Alexander died on January 4, 1932, and was buried at the Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise.
Idaho State Historical Society Gubernatorial Manuscript and Archive Collections:
- Archive Collection of Governor Moses Alexander, AR0002.0011.
- Moses Alexander papers, 1899-1932. Manuscript Collection. MS2/0477.
- Moses Alexander collection, 1918-1919. Manuscript Collection. MS2/0005.
- Moses Alexander papers, 1890-1918. Manuscript Collection. MS0335.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.