Agnes Alexander, teacher of music and drawing in the public schools of Pekin, at the head of the music department of the institute, a singer in church and public for the past twenty years, prominent as a society and club woman, and identified with general educational work in that city for fifteen years, was born in Pekin, March 10, 1866, and is a representative of a fine old Southern family known in North Carolina long before the Revolutionary War. Records go back to the paternal great-great-grandfather, Aaron, probably the immigrant whose son, John Brown Alexander, was born in Charlotte, N.C. in 1765. John married Jane Brown Ross, a native of Charlotte and removed to Early County, Ga., where Josiah, the next in line, and grandfather of Agnes, was born April 27, 1787. The latter married Elizabeth King, a southerner, and while living in Russellville, Franklin County, Ala., Agnes’ father, Dr. H.K. Alexander, was born in 1821. On maternal side, Miss Alexander claims worthy New England ancestry, her mother Philinda Young, having been born in Athol, Worchester County, Mass., in 1827. Her grandparents were David and Philinda (Woodward) Young, and her maternal grandfather, Robert Young.
At the age of nineteen Miss Alexander had completed her education in the public schools, and from June, 1885, until 1900, she taught in different grade schools of Tazewell County. Gifted with a sweet and sympathetic voice, she entered the National Summer School of Music in Chicago, in 1901, and completed the course in two years. The following year she studied method under the direction of Prof. Chapman of the Cambridge School, when returning to Pekin, she resumed her occupation as a teacher. Six weeks later she accepted the position of teacher of music and drawing in the public schools of Pekin, finding the change from general educational to special work a grateful one.
Although her work in the schools and at the Institute is arduous and confining, she finds time for social relaxation, and is a popular and helpful member of the Litta Society, a club for women, in which she once served as President. Miss Alexander’s keen appreciation of mental culture, her voice, which has contributed to the success as a member of the choir of the Reformed Church for ten years, causes her to be justly regarded as an important factor in the educational, esthetic and ethical development of Pekin.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County-Page 970
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