A Tribute to an Old Railroader
North Vernon Plain Dealer - August 11, 1870
Died, at Tannersville, Ind., Tue. June 28, 1870, Mr. Alexander Williamson, in his 70th year.
The deceased was born in Washington D.C. August 4, 1800. His father died when he was but four years old. He lived
with his mother five years after the death of his father; when she married a Mr. Robert Sutton, and they moved to Indiana Co., Pennsylvania,
where his mother died. After her death he left the family homestead and entered upon life's billowy sea, alone, and among strangers.
He became stage agent on the line running between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, where he remained for some time. Leaving
the stage line, he became a contractor on the Portage railroad in Pennsylvania. After the completion of the road he came to Ohio and took a
contract on the Miami canal. In 1834 he left the canal and came to Indiana, where he formed a partnership with John Cooper and they took a
contract building a slack water dam across the Wabash at Peru.
On Nov. 15, 1836 he was married to Miss Phebe Ann Wright, a young lady of 26 summers, who loving and true then, has
continued on through life, and buoyed up with the hope that ere long, she, too would be transplanted to that Heaven above, where pain and
sorrow ne're can abide, she humbly awaits the Lord's command.
Immediately after his marriage he took leave of his young wife and came to Madison, Indiana, where he superintended the
cutting through, and building of the Railroad up the hill at Madison. The greatest plane known in modern Railroad history, until the recent
construction of the Pacific Railway.
After cutting through the hill he was engaged in laying track, till he took the contract of the Rock Creek section.
He continued on the Railroad all the remainder of his life, superintending the laying of track on several different roads that lead to Indianapolis,
at one time he was the track master of the Madison & Indianapolis R.R., and after the building of the Union Depot at Indianapolis the ingenuity
of railroad men failed to turn the curve, until Williamson was called upon.
Mr. Williamson united with the Presbyterian Church at Scipio in 1840, which was under the pastorship of Rev. Daniel
Lattimore, and no sooner had he taken up his cross, than he instituted family worship and kept it up night and morning on the day on till his
death. He was indeed an ardent and zealous christian and an elder in the church, and among friend or strangers, he would always warn non-professors
of their danger. Day after day for many long years, he raised his warning voice, to those around him, at home and abroad, upon the highway or
quiet abode, at sabbath school or prayer meeting, he never omitted to warn his fellow travelers of the death that would surely come, and
exorted them to prepare for another and better world than this. He was a great lover of spiritual quotations, and was one who knew most of
the Bible by heart. He had the longer and shorter Catachism, and also the Confession of Faith committed to memory and it really seemed as
though his mission was to warn his fellow men.
But oh, it seemed like casting seeds on stony ground, yet never weary or faltering he continued in his daily life to
walk a true christian and a warning light. And since his death many of those who listened to him with a deaf ear, are now exclaiming "I wish
I was as good a christian as he was." His funeral was attended by a large and sympathizing congregation. In faith we laid his body in the
tomb to await the sound of the trumpet of God "when we shall be all caught together to meet him in the air and so shall we ever be with the
Lord." Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his. The church, the family, and the community mourn the loss of
one whom God has called home. "Be ye also ready for in an hour that ye think not the son of man cometh." MLA
You may use this material for your own personal research, however it may not be used for commercial publications without express written consent of the contributor, INGenWeb, and