Kayser, Alexander

Born: 1815-02-15 Germany

Died: 1864-10-17 Saint Louis, Missouri

Flourished: 1838 to 1864 Saint Louis, Missouri

Alexander Kayser, attorney, was born in St. Goarshausen, Germany and studied architecture briefly in Frankfurt at age sixteen before beginning training in carpentry. He emigrated to St. Louis with two siblings in 1833. Kayser took up farming in the area of St. Louis then soon moved to Beardstown, Illinois, where he worked as a teacher. He returned to St. Louis in 1838 and worked as a register in the U.S. General Land Office and was appointed a street commissioner. Kayser resigned the latter position to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1841. Five years later, he served as a lieutenant in the Mexican War. In politics, Kayser was initially a Democrat, and served as a delegate to the 1844 Democratic National Convention and as a Democratic presidential elector in the election of 1852. In election of 1856, he announced himself as an independent Missouri elector for Republican presidential candidate John C. Fremont, but despite speaking alongside Abraham Lincoln in support of Fremont, by 1861 he opposed Lincoln’s administration and was labeled a secessionist. Kayser married Eloise P. Morrison and the pair had several children. At the time of the 1860 census, he owned real estate valued at $100,000 and possessed $10,000 in personal property.

Richard Edwards and Menra Hopewell, Edward’s Great West and her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis (St. Louis: Edward’s Monthly, 1860), 564-65; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Ward 2, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, 240; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 10 October 1856, 3:1; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 5, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, 141; Louisville Daily Courier (KY), 22 June 1861, 1:6; Evening Bulletin (San Francisco, CA), 3 August 1861, 1:5; Missouri, U.S., Death Records, 1850-1931, 17 October 1864, St. Louis (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, 2018); Gravestone, Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.