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AlexanderThe Town of Alexander will celebrate its 200th birthday starting Saturday, but questions still surround the Town as the man it’s named after still remains a mystery after all these years.

Alexander Rea from Pennsylvania purchased the land the Town of Alexander sits on in 1802, but before Rea made his way to the area he lived in Geneseo and married Nancy Jones.

“Basically Alexander Rea was looking for work and got hired as a surveyor with the Holland Land Company and that’s how he moved a little further west here and he surveyed the area where Alexander is today,” said Goodman.

Finally in 1812 Rae decided he wanted to separate from Batavia, that’s when the Town of Alexander was officially born. Goodman said that’s when Rae went to work.

“He also served in the state legislature both as an Assemblyman and as a Senator in the early 1800’s,” said Goodman.

That’s really all that’s known about the Town’s namesake. The documented history of him ends in the 1840’s. Goodman said it’s even unknown when and where he died.

“I’m not sure if he’s buried in our cemetery, but his wife and his children are, he’s not listed in our cemetery records. The citizens of Alexander put a memorial marker for and his wife Nancy Jones Rea up in Veterans Memorial Park in the Village in 1931,” said Goodman.

There was rumor that Rea died in Canandaigua, but Goodman said besides that everything about Rea is a big mystery, including what he looked like.

“We don’t have any artist sketch or images of him, several people have looked myself included and so far nobody has come up with any image of him of any sort,” said Goodman.

One thing that is known about Alexander Rea is that without him the Town of Alexander wouldn’t exist. 

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