Page 830-831, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Alex Hewitt, a prosperous farmer and stockman of Fairmount township, is a Civil war veteran and a Kansas pioneer, who first came to this State with his parents sixty-three years ago. Mr. Hewitt was born in Erie county, Pa., near the Ohio State line December 18, 1840, and is a son of Chauncey Commodor and Melissa (Herring) Hewitt, natives of Pennsylvania. Chauncey Commodor Hewitt was a son of Walter Hewitt, a native of New York, and of English and Scotch descent. In 1849, Chauncey Commodor Hewitt, with his family, migrated from Pennsylvania to St. Joseph, Mo. The father was a carpenter and millwright, and worked at his trade in that locality until 1853, when he removed to Jefferson county, Kansas, and filed on a claim of Government land. They were among the very first settlers of that section of the State. The father died in 1855, and the mother and children remained on the claim until they proved up and received the deed. In 1859 they removed to Doniphan county, Kansas, where the mother died in 1864.

Shortly after the family left Jefferson county, Alex went to Iowa, where he was engaged as a farm hand until August 12, 1862, when he enlisted in Company I, Fortieth regiment, Iowa infantry, at Springfield, Iowa. He joined his regiment at Davenport and immediately proceeded to Columbus, Ky. After remaining there four months, they went to Paducah, and on January 15, 1863, were ordered south under Grant, in the vicinity of Vicksburg, serving in General Steele's brigade. They were then sent to oppose Johnson and to the relief of General Pemberton, and after that, returned to Vicksburg. After the campaign against Johnson, Mr. Hewitt was one of a detail sent to take a number of his company, who had suffered sunstroke, to a Northern hospital. After that he rejoined his regiment at Little Rock, Ark., and participated in the Red River campaign under General Steele, where he took


part in the battle of Jenkins Ferry, which was a hard fought engagement, lasting from daylight until 3 p. m., when the Union army was victorious, and his regiment returned to Little Rock, Ark., which was the base of operations.

During his military service Mr. Hewitt had many narrow escapes incident to the life of a soldier. On one occasion while he was one of a detail of twenty men who were acting as guard on a transport, loaded with provisions on the Arkansas river, en route from Little Rock to Fort Gibson, the boat was attacked by a battery of Confederate artillery. They succeeded in landing their boat on the opposite shore of the river and then took to the tall timber and escaped. During this affair Mr. Hewitt's head was grazed by a bullet which singed the hair on the right side. After the close of the war he was mustered out of service at Ft. Gibson, August 2, 1865.

After receiving his discharge from the army, Mr. Hewitt returned to Doniphan county, Kansas, where he remained until 1866, when he went to Iowa and taught school during the winter of 1866 and 1867. He then engaged in railroad contracting and was meeting with financial success until he was injured in an accident, after which he was unable to superintend his work, which he was compelled to entrust to others. He met with considerable financial loss, losing about $3,000, which was quite an amount to him at that time. He then followed farming in Iowa until 1869, and in 1871, came to Butler county, Kansas, filing on a claim in section 32, Fairmount township, which he still owns. When he came here, his capital was limited. He had a team and wagon and about $75 in cash. He was very much impressed with the rich soil of Fairmount township as evinced by the luxurious growth of the tall bluestem, and he was not mistaken in his judgment. He built a small cabin, 10x12 feet, which was his first home in Butler county, and proceeded to improve his land. He prospered and bought more land, and now owns 240 acres of some of the best land in Butler county, and is a prosperous farmer and stock raiser, and one of the substantial business men of Butler county. He has three residence properties in Whitewater besides several city lots, having platted an addition to Whitewater in 1914. He is also a stockholder in the People's State Bank of Whitewater.

Mr. Hewitt was married June 1, 1871, to Miss Martha Merryfield, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Joseph Merryfield of that State. Mr. Hewitt is a Democrat and a member of the Masonic lodge, and the Grand Army of the Republic.

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