Biography of Alexander M. Dockery
Alexander M. Dockery was born in Livingston county, Missouri, February 11, 1845. His father is a distinguished minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Sarah E. McHaney, his mother, was a native of Kentucky; of their family of three children, the subject of this sketch is the only survivor. He received a thorough classical education in Macon Academy, Macon, Missouri. In 1863 he entered the St. Louis Medical College, from which he graduated in March, 1865, receiving his diploma.
Dr. Dockery then located for the practice of his chosen profession in Linneus, Missouri, where he pursued the practice of medicine until the year 1867, when he removed to Chillicothe, Missouri, and there practiced successfully for six years, and from 1870 to 1874 filled with acceptance the office of county physician for Livingston county. In March, 1874, he abandoned the pracive of medicine and removed to Gallatin and, associated with Thomas B. Yates, Esq., established the Farmer’s Exchange Bank, now recognized as one of the solid financial institutions of the State, of which bank he has been cashier since its organization. Dr. Dockery certainly has few equals as a business manager and financier ; he is vigilant, tireless and energetic; is methodical in his habits and in all business transactions of whatever character coming under his supervision; is careful in forming opinions and is a man of decision and great force of character. He has, by skill; industry, and discreet management, accumulated quite a competency, and at this time is the second largest taxpayer in Daviess county.
He has always been the friend and advocate of popular education, and deeply interested in its advancement; has freely given his time and money to that end. During his residence at Chillicothe he was president of the Board of Education of that city for three years. Since January 1, 1873, he has been a member of the Board of Curators, of the University of Missouri; his present term expires January 1, 1883.
He was made a Master Mason in 1866, in Jackson Lodge No. 82, Linneus, Missouri; was exalted in Lone Star Royal Arch Chapter No. 30, in Chillicothe, Missouri, in 1868, and was at one time High Priest of that chapter: In 1878 he received the Knight. Templar degrees in Kadosh Commandery No. 21, at Hamilton, Missouri,. and is at present Eminent Commander of that commandery, now located at Dameron. He served as Worshipful Master of Jackson Lodge, and afterwards filled the same position in Friendship Lodge No. 89, at Chillicothe, and in 1877 was Worshipful Master of Jamesport Lodge No. 201. For the last ten years he has been District Deputy Grand Master in this State. In 1879 he was elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of the State, and the following year Deputy Grand Master of the same body. At the last session of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, on October 13th, 1881, he was, by practically a unanimous vote, elected to the distinguished and responsible position of Grand Master of Masons for the State of Missouri, receiving from a delegation of 795, 685 votes: Dr. Dockery is probably the youngest man who has ever been chosen for this honorable position in our State. In May, 1880, he was elected Grand Scribe of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter .Of Missouri, and the following year Grand King of the same body, which position he now fills. From his early youth he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of which his father is well known as a distinguished minister.
In politics, Dr. Dockery is a pronounced Democrat. For the past ten years he has taken an active part in the councils and directions of the party, and has earned for himself the reputation of a forcible, convincing and eloquent speaker. As a political organizer and worker he is not excelled by any of the leaders of his party in the State, and his valuable services have been recognized from time to time. He has served as chairman of the Tenth Congressional District Committee, and at the Democratic Congressional Convention held at Brunswick; in July, 1880, the delegations from the largely Democratic counties of Randolph and Chariton supported him for Congress, despite his positive declination and refusal to accept the nomination. At present he is the mayor of the City of Gallatin.
April 14, 1869, he. was married to Miss Mary E., daughter of Greenup Bird, Esq., then a banker at Chillicothe, now a resident of Kansas City. Of this union five children have been born, all of whom have been claimed in, death.
Dr. Dockery is a man of commanding personal appearance, standing five feet and eleven inches in height, and weighing 175 pounds; of popular address and pleasing manners, he occupies his place easily, gracefully and naturally in the church or lodge, in the business or in the social circle. And as a presiding officer or public speaker, he commands the attention of all who see or hear him. He is yet young in years but more firmly established in the confidence of his associates than many who are double his age. But few men of his age have been so universally esteemed a recognized and true friend of education; a zealous and warm-hearted Mason; a kind Christian gentleman ; a worthy, upright, public-spirited citizen ; an honest, yet aggressive, politician; these traits have won for him honor and profound respect and admiration from all who have had the favor to know him and of him.
A man of progressive ideas, a strong will, a clear and bright intellect, endowed with indefatigable energy, he has before him a bright and prosperous future, and such a one as will be identified with the growing history of this. great State and nation. This we leave for the future historian confident that what shall be hereafter written about him will not mar nor pluck one laurel from the foregoing epitome.