Life in Utah Fifty Years Ago (Compiled from the files of The Deseret News of 1868)
Our Gallery of Pioneers
Bishop Alexander McRae
This redoubtable pillar of the Church and State was a native of North Carolina, where he was born in 1807. As a young man he served five years in the United States army, after which he made his home in kentucky and later in Indiana, where he became a convert to "Mormonism" in 1837. Removing to Missouri with a body of his fellow religionists, he became captain of a company of militia, in which capacity he performed a valiant and active part in defending the settlers from mobs and persecutions, into whose hands he was betrayed by apostates, and after a mock trial was imprisoned with Joseph Smith and others in Liberty Jail. Going later to Nauvoo, he engaged actively in the upbuilding of that city, and in the troublous days following the martyrdom at Carthage, he was prominent and courageous in defense of the town during and subsequent to the exodus. He then went the Winter Quarters, and having located temporarily at Kanesville (Council Bluffes), he was elected sheriff of Pottawatamie county. He came to Utah in 1852 and in January 1857, he was made bishop of the Eleventh Ward. Salt Lake City, which position he held until his death in 1891. He performed tow missions in the Southern States ad here at home he was ever reckoned one of the stalwarts of the community. He possessed the highest qualities of courage, both moral and physical; and he was a dependable, honorable citizen in every sense of the word.