Woodruff - Biography
Moroni Woodruff Alexander and Martha Rees—Biographical
Moroni Woodruff Alexander was born in Memphis, Tennessee,
4 March 1837. He was the second son of Randolph and Myrza Alexander who became converts of the Mormon
Church through the labors of Wilford Woodruff,
a close friend of the family. They named their son after him. When Woodruff was
eight years of age he was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church. As he
grew to young manhood he stood ever ready to answer any calls his country or
his Church made upon him. He was a member of the cavalry called by Brigham
Young to serve in guarding the mail route under Captain Lot Smith. On 27
December 1863 he married Martha Rees, and soon afterwards they purchased
a tract of grazing land at Moccasin Springs near the Arizona strip
from the Indians. Here they built their home, but after several years of
attempting to make a livelihood the Indians burned their home and outbuildings,
and they thought it best to abandon the ranch. He and his wife reared six
children. In later years he received a small pension from the government who
also paid him for some of the losses caused by the Indians. He died in his 64th
year at the home of one of his daughters in Cedar City and is
buried in the cemetery at that place.
Moroni was also a member of the Calvary under Captain Lot
Smith and was assigned to Guard the Mail Route in Utah.
Moroni Woodruff Alexander married Martha Rees on 27 Dec 1863
in Washington, Utah. They met while traveling with a wagon
train. (Treasures of Pioneer History, Vol.5, p.423)
Andrew Karl Larsen’s The Red
Hills of November (published 1957) contains pictures of Woodruff and
Martha Rees Alexander as well as a story about them. It also has information on
Woodruff’s brother Murphy and his wife. Another source of information about
Woodruff and Martha is the Journal of Martha Rees Alexander.
The Pioneer Museum in Washington, Utah,
has photos and histories of Woodruff and Martha. Jerry Anderson of Leeds, Utah,
has made a bronze portrait of Martha in honor of the great contribution she
made. This portrait is in the Pioneer Memorial on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum.
Martha’s sister is Johanna Rees Palmer, wife of Richard Palmer.
Martha and her husband are buried in Cedar
City, Utah. Woodruff died there while they were visiting their
daughter Berilla Wilkerson. The headstone
stands upright and is about three feet long has a sheriff’s star with the
letters GAR. Martha was later buried along side her