On January 2, 1922, James Henry Alexander, Sr. was born in the town of McKenzie in Carroll County, Tennessee. He was the son of E. Marvin Alexander and Lillis McElroy Alexander. Treasurer Alexander was raised in McKenzie, Tennessee and attended the public schools in the community. After graduating from the public school system, he continued his education by attending Bethel College. After attending Bethel College for two years, Treasurer Alexander went to study at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Eventually, he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in business administration.
During World War II, Treasurer Alexander served in the United States Navy. He served in the United States Navy for three years and was commanding officer of LCI. He was discharged in 1945 as Lieutenant JG. After returning from service in the military, he married Lola Chestnut. As time moved along, the couple had three children. Their names were Anne, James H. Alexander, Jr., and Jean. In 1946, Treasurer Alexander established the Jim Alexander Insurance Agency in McKenzie where he worked for many years.
During the 1960s, Treasurer Alexander became involved in a variety of political related positions. In 1962, he served as campaign manager for Governor Frank G. Clement. In 1963, he was elected by the Tennessee General Assembly to serve as State Treasurer. In addition to his terms as State Treasurer, Treasurer Alexander served as Commissioner of Industrial Development in Governor Ellington’s cabinet and briefly under Governor Dunn.
After serving in various roles in the Tennessee State government, Treasurer Alexander returned to the insurance business. In 1971, he became the Executive Director of the Insurers of Tennessee with offices in Nashville.
In addition to his work with insurance, Treasurer Alexander was active in other organizations. He was a member of the Methodist Church and the McKenzie Rotary Club. In addition, he was a member of the Board of Education of the McKenzie School Board Association, the Elks Club, and the McKenzie VFW Post. He also served as the past Post District Commander of the American Legion.
After serving many years in the community, Treasurer Alexander died on February 1, 1992. He was buried in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Carroll County, Tennessee.
Reference: History of Carroll County, Tennessee, Volume 1-1987 (Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company, 1986); “James Henry Alexander,” Find a Grave http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi; Tennessee Blue Book, 1965-1966; Tennessee State Library and Archives, Photographs Negative, CV 14030.