Alexander Majors

Alexander majors Born: October 4, 1814, in Simpson County, Kentucky

Died: January 14, 1900 of pneumonia in Chicago, Illinois

As a young man, Alexander Majors helped his father with the backbreaking work of building a frontier home in Missouri. He cleared land, split rails, and harvested crops. He married when he was twenty and bought his own farm. In 1848, he formed his own freighting company hauling merchandise to Santa Fe. In 1853, he was hauling military supplies to Fort Union.

Majors was not one to stay at home while his employees worked the trail. He worked the routes setting strict standards for himself. He read his Bible frequently, never swore, and did not drink. He expected his employees to follow his example and insisted that they take an oath of good conduct upon their employment. This same oath was later taken by Pony Express riders.

Majors developed a reputation for the being the best freighter in the West. When he formed the partnership of Russell, Majors and Wadell, he was the field man, overseeing the actual running of the wagons on the Oregon Trail.

The after years of Russell, majors, and Waddell were clouded by disappointment, hardship, and obscurity.

Majors steeled himself against the adversity which overtook him and remained in the freighting business. In 1865 he sent two wagon trains from Nebraska City to Salt Lake City and later freighted to points in Montana. In 1867 he moved his family to Salt Lake City where he engaged in grading the roadbed and furnishing ties and telegraph poles to the Union Pacific Railroad. On May 10 1869, he was present at the ceremony of driving the gold spike which marked the completion of the transcontinental railway.

Somehow domestic trouble developed and his home was broken up. He hopefully turned to prospecting in the Utah mountains, engaged in it for several years, but without success. After 1879 he made his home at various places, including Kansas City and Denver. In Denver "Buffalo Bill" Cody, then at the height of his fame as a showman, found him living in a little shack engaged in writing the story of his life. Cody hired Prentice Ingraham to edit it and paid for having it printed under the title Seventy Years on the Frontier. He died in Chicago on January 14, 1900, in his eighty-sixth year, and was buried in Union Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri.

Source: Settle and Settle, Saddles and Spurs.

Majors' Grave Site Majors' grave
Pony Express Marker