Alexander, Moroni Woodruff - Biography

Alexander, Moroni Woodruff - Biography

Moroni Woodruff Alexander and Martha Rees—Biographical Information


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.

Berilla Alexander Wilkerson

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 husband.




Rees, Martha Thomas

Alexander, Moroni Woodruff


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