El Paso Pioneer: Dr. Edward Alexander

The Pioneer Association of El Paso was formed in 1904 by men who had come to the city before 1900. Among its ranks were builders, merchants, traders, lawyers, farmers, miners and others who came west to make a new life or find their fortune.

Some of the records of the Pioneer Association are housed at the El Paso County Historical Society. One of the items in the collection is a large, leather bound book containing first hand accounts of the lives of those pioneers.

This is the story of Dr. Edward Alexander.Dr. Edward Alexander

Dr. Edward Alexander

Born in Germany, on the 2nd day of May 1832.
Came to El Paso County, Texas 1874
Pioneer Association Biographical Book, p4.

Dr.Edward Alexander, pioneer military surgeon in charge of the Marine Hospital department at El Paso, was born in Germany near the Switzerland line, May2, 1832, his parents being Major and Ida (Picard) Alexander.  The father was a wine merchant and gave to his son excellent educational privileges. Dr. Alexander pursued his studies in Constance College and in the University of Munich and Vienna, and on the completion of a thorough course in medicine and surgery was graduated in 1854.

He came to the United States about the time  of the commencement of the war between North and South. He did not know the language of the people at that time, but soon afterward he enlisted in the Federal Army and was advanced rapidly to the position of Medical Officer.

During the period of hostilities he served in Washington, New York, Key West, at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and also at Baton Rouge and Ship Island. He has remained continuously in the government service and in 1870 was transferred to Texas, being post surgeon successively at Fort Griffin, Fort Stockton, and Fort Quitman. In 1874 he was located at Fort Bliss at El Paso, and has remained here in the federal service, with the exception of the period from 1876 to 1888, he having resigned because of his wife’s failing health.

In the latter year, when El Paso was made a quarantine station, he again entered the service. His official capacity at the port of El Paso under the Surgeon General of the Marine Hospital at Washington. Dr. Alexander is a member of the City and County Medical Association of El Paso. the American Medical Association, the Public Health Association of the United States, Canada and Mexico, and the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, who were in the service during the Civil War.

He has for the greater portion of forty-five years been continuously in federal service in connection with its health department and has continuously broadened his knowledge through research and investigation so that he is today a man of marked efficiency and comprehensive learning in the line of his chosen profession. He is moreover one of the greatly revered pioneers of El Paso and his mind is stored with an interesting fund of information about Western Texas, especially in connection with its military life.

Since 1954 the El Paso County Historical Society has been a driving force in the historic scene of El Paso. EPCHS strives to foster research into the history of the El Paso area; acquire and make available to the public historic materials; publish and encourage historical writing pertaining to the area; and to develop public consciousness of our rich heritage.