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Alexander Lewis

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Alexander Lewis October 4, 1822 – April 18, 1908 was a wholesale goods, insurance, and real estate businessman and mayor of Detroit, Michigan


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Business and politics
  • 3 Family and later life
  • 4 References

Early lifeedit

Alexander Lewis was born on October 4, 1822 in Windsor, Ontario then called "Sandwich", the son of Thomas and Jeanette Velaire Lewis1 Alexander Lewis came to Detroit on May 1, 1837, to work as a clerk at E W Cole & Co1 He remained at E W Cole & Co for two years, then spent two years at the druggists G & J G Hill, and then moved to Pontiac, Michigan Lewis returned to Detroit in 1843 to start a forwarding and commission service with his brother Samuel and Horace Gray1 In 1845, Lewis started another forwarding and commission service with H P Bridge under the name of Bridge & Lewis1

Business and politicsedit

Lewis remained with Bridge & Lewis until 1862, when he established a flour and grain business1 This he built into one of the largest and most prosperous enterprises in the city2 Lewis retired in 1884 to look after his various property interests and real estate12 Lewis was also a director of the Detroit Fire & Marine Insurance Company, a director of the Detroit National Bank, president of Detroit Gas Light Company, and in 1862 president of the Detroit Board of Trade1

Lewis served as Police Commissioner from 1865 to 1875 and was elected mayor of Detroit in 1876 as a Democrat1 He was also a member of the Detroit Library Board of Commissioners from 1881 - 1888,2 and, with Thomas W Palmer, established the Michigan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals3

Family and later lifeedit

Lewis married Elizabeth J Ingersoll in 1850; the couple had 13 children, of which 8 lived into the 1890s: Ida Frances Lewis Healy, Edward L Lewis, Josephine Lewis Carpenter, Hattie I Lewis Currie, Harry B Lewis, Julia Velaire Lewis Penrose, Marion Marie Lewis Muir, and Alexander Ingersoll Lewis1

Around 1900, Lewis built a home in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, which is now the parish house for the Saint Paul Catholic Church4 The complex was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 19924 Alexander Lewis died on April 18, 19082

Political offices
Preceded by
Hugh Moffat
Mayor of Detroit
Succeeded by
George C Langdon


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Silas Farmer 1889, THE HISTORY OF DETROIT AND MICHIGAN, pp 1040–1047, 1048 
  2. ^ a b c d Compendium of History and Biography of the City of Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan, Henry Taylor & Co, 1908, pp 249–251 
  3. ^ Michigan Humane Society 2002, Michigan Humane Society: animal welfare in Detroit, 1877-2002, Arcadia Publishing, p 16, ISBN 0738520284 
  4. ^ a b "Saint Paul Catholic Church Complex" Michigan State Housing Development Authority: Historic Sites Online Archived from the original on June 6, 2011 Retrieved March 13, 2010 

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