William C. Alexander was the son of James Waddel Alexander (1804-1859), a Presbyterian minister, and his wife, Elizabeth Clarentine Cabell (1809-1885), a great-granddaughter of the original William Cabell of Nelson County, Va. Though the residence of his guardian while at the University of Virginia was in Charlotte Court House, Virginia, William Alexander was born in New York, and spent most of his life there. During the Civil War, young Alexander and his mother lived in England.
He attended the University of Virginia in sessions 43-45 (1866-1869). While at U.Va., Alexander became one of the founding members of Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa fraternity. (The others were Frederick Southgate Taylor, Littleton Waller Tazewell, James Benjamin Sclater, Jr., Julian Edward Wood, and Robertson Howard.) Soon after he left U.Va. he was offered a temporary position with the Equitable Life Assurance Society, of which his uncle, William C. Alexander, was the president. He accepted the job, and worked for the company for sixty-five years, and eventually became the company’s Secretary.
On 10 Nov. 1887, Alexander married Frances Gordon Paddock (d. 1931) in Manhattan. In 1888, the couple had their only child, Frances Gordon Alexander. The family lived in New York City throughout their lives. William Alexander died in his eighty-ninth year, and was buried in the Alexander Family plot in Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, New Jersey.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Pedigree Resource File,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/2:2:3ZG6-VQ5 : accessed 2017-07-13), entry for William Cabell /Alexander/.
- “Deaths.” New York Times, Mar 28, 1937; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times, p. 41.
- “New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W36-112 : 20 March 2015), Frances G. Paddock Alexander in entry for Unknown Alexander, 02 Oct 1888; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 27261 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,482.
- “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:243H-MKP : 20 March 2015), William Alexander and Frances Paddock, 10 Nov 1887; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,571,010.
- “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24Z8-NB2 : 20 March 2015), Allen Gouverneur Wellman and Francis Gordon Alexander, 21 Nov 1910; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,503,871.
- Tombstone of William Alexander, Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, NJ. Findagrave.com
- University of Virginia Alumni Association. Directory of living alumni of the University of Virginia. Centennial Edition. Charlottesville, VA, 1921, p. 13.