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Alexander Weil Biography

Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana, The Southern Publishing Company, Chicago & Nashville, 1890

BIOGRAPHY:  Alexander Weil has an extended acquaintance throughout this section of the country, for he has been a worthy resident of Claiborne Parish since 1850, but at the present time is a resident of the city of New Orleans.  He was born in Albersweiler, Rheinish Bavaria, Germany, November 5, 1830, being the sixth of a family of seven children-four sons and three daughters-born to Hirsh Weil and Charlotte (Levy) Weil, the former born in Germany, and the latter in Alsace, France (now Germany).  The father was a wine merchant, and for six years was a soldier in Spain under Napoleon Bonaparte.  He and his wife are now deceased, both having been intelligent and well educated people. 

Their children are as follows: Ester (died at the age of sixty years, wife of L. Levy, a grain dealer), Aaron (who is a wine merchant of Germany), Yetta (deceased), Samuel (of New Orleans), Michael (deceased), Alexander and Caroline (residing in Germany). 

The early educational training of Alexander was received in the public schools of Germany, and at the age of twelve years he entered college where he remained two and a half years, taking a full course of general instruction which has admirably fitted him for the practical life he has led.  He came direct from his native land to Homer march 19, 1850, via New Orleans, and commenced life in America as a merchant, a calling he followed until the opening of the war, and during this time proved himself a successful business man.  He was married in Carlsrue, Baden, on February 7, 1867, by the United States Consul to Miss Henrietta Wolf, a native of Alsace, but who was reared in Rheinish, Bavaria.  She was born in 1846, and received a finished education in Germany.  To her union with Mr. Weil five daughters have been born: Carrie S., Lillie (deceased), Camille, Omega and Blanche.  

At the opening of the Rebellion Mr. Weil enlisted in the Claiborne Guards and was assigned to the Second Louisiana Infantry Volunteers, which were ordered to Virginia at once, under Gen. McGruder, and he afterward took part in the battles of Bethel Church, Dam No. 1, seven days' fight around Richmond and Malvern Hill, where there was a terrible slaughter of men.  Here Mr. Weil was compelled to use six different guns and his clothing was riddles with bullets, but notwithstanding this fact, he came out of the battle unharmed.  He was also at the second battle of Manassas, Antietam, being wounded in the right leg in the last named battle while attempting to take the flag from a comrade who had fallen.  He was sent to the hospital at Richmond, from which place he was furloughed home, where he remained until his wound healed, when he at once went to the front again, joining his regiment near Fredericksburg, Va.  The next engagement in which he took part was the Wilderness, after which he went up to Shenandoah Valley, and took part in the engagement at Harper's Ferry, being afterward at Gettysburg, where he was again severely wounded, this time on the left side of his head.  This wound was pronounced fatal, but his wonderful nerve and indomitable will brought him through, and he now carried in his watch a charm of a large piece of the ball which was the means of almost terminating his life.  Six pieces were taken from his head.  He was so severely wounded that he was taken prisoner and was kept at David's Island, where he remained two months.  He was then paroled, returned home, and once more turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, but during the twenty-four subsequent months he was much troubled with his wound which remained open.  

He has always been a stanch Democrat, and his first presidential vote was cast for James Buchanan, the "bachelor President."  He has been chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee of Claiborne Parish for many years, and at one time was a formidable candidate in the race for representative of his parish, and as he was in the political arena as a candidate only one week, his opponent defeated him by only a small majority. He has been one of the prominent councilmen of his town for several years, and socially in a member of Homer Lodge No. 152, of the A. F. & A. M., and he also belongs to the A. L of H., a very prosperous organization in Claiborne Parish and in the State of Louisiana.  He is a valued and honored member of the well known Jewish order of I. O. B. B.  He also belongs to the order known as the Army of Northern Virginia.  

He and his family belong to the Hebrew Church of New Orleans, and are well known in social circles both in that city and in Homer.  As a business man his success has been almost phenomenal, and he is now well to do.  He is special agent of the well known and honored life insurance company, the Manhattan Company, of New York City, and has the full confidence of his employers.  For some time after the close of the war his health was so poor that he decided to take a tour to Europe, and while there much of his time was spent at the famous watering places: Weisbaden and Baden Baden.  He remained in the old country one year, and when he returned to the land of his adoption he brought his bride with him.

Owner/SourceBiographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana
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