Rose Garden PhotographsCatharine (Scott) Alexander, born on December 28, 1828, in Illinois, married Thomas Matthew Alexander on September 23, 1849, in Brown County, Illinois. They traveled from Kansas to Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, in 1864, with Joseph and Margaret Ehle, who headed the wagon train.  Arriving in July 1864, they were some of the earliest settlers in the area.

They had five children when they moved to Prescott: "Minnie" (1850); Mary J. (Mrs. Alfred S. Clough, 1852); Elizabeth (Mrs. John R. Rees, 1854); Serena Ellen (Mrs. Edmund Peck, 1855); James Ralph (1857); and John Herbert (1866). Henry was born in Prescott, and they adopted another child, Bessie Murphy (1877).

The Alexanders established a ranch on the east side of Yavapai County in Sycamore Canyon. They had driven a herd of cattle with them from Kansas and worked very hard to maintain the herd as they suffered from problems with the Indians.  Catharine was a busy ranch wife and mother. Thomas, or T.M., as he was known, ranched and performed work for other settlers.

The marriage of their daughter, Serena, to Edmund Peck led to changes for the Alexander family.  Edmund was a prospector, who with others discovered a rich vein of ore.  It appears that Catharine provided part of the grubstake to develop the mine because she received 24,900 shares of Peck Mine stock.  This mine became one of the richest silver lodes ever discovered in the area.

Later, a California company acquired the mine, and apparently they ignored Catharine’s shares of stock; she took them to court in 1879 to recover the money from the shares.  A jury awarded her $60,000, but the California company refused to pay it.  Catharine continued to push for just settlement and the case went to Judge French in Prescott for arbitration.  The parties settled out of court for an undisclosed sum in 1882.

T.M. Alexander was a Prescott postmaster at some point, and they resided on S. Montezuma Street for some years.  Catharine lived to be nearly seventy years old and died on April 29, 1898. She was buried in the Masonic Cemetery. Her husband died on November 28, 1910. Her daughter, Mary J. Alexander Clough, and granddaughter, Norah Clough Hartzell, are also represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden.

Donor: Norah Hartzell
Photo Located: PO-2308P - Oversize
Updated: 7/31/15; Mary Melcher