Wallace McKinney ALEXANDER.† One of the qualities most frequently attributed to the San Francisco business man is the cosmopolitan character of his interests.† His viewpoints are world wide, and his standards of judgment are based upon dealings limited by none of the ordinary conventions of commerce and trade.† One of the men who exemplifies this quality is a high degree is Wallace McKinney ALEXANDER, president of the great firm of ALEXANDER & BALDWIN, Limited of Honolulu.† Mr. ALEXANDER is himself a native of the Hawaiian Islands, and his family were pioneers in the sugar planting and refining industry of the Pacific.
Mr. ALEXANDER was born on the Island of Maui, Hawaiian Islands, November 10, 1869.† His mother, Martha Eliza (COOKE) ALEXANDER, was born in Honolulu, both her parents being of Revolutionary stock and English descent her father being a native of the State of Connecticut.† Her parents went around Cape Horn in a sailing vessel to Honolulu, and for some time had charge of the Royal School, where the Hawaiian chiefs and wives were educated.
Samuel Thomas ALEXANDER, father of Wallace M. ALEXANDER, was also a native of the Hawaiian Islands, born of American parents.† His father, William Patterson †ALEXANDER, landed on the Hawaiian Islands in 1830, a missionary.† The ALEXANDER family is of American Revolutionary stock and of Scotch-Irish descent, coming to America on account of religious prosecution, and settled in Virginia and Maryland.† Samuel T. ALEXANDER with his brother-in-law, the late Henry P. BALDWIN, his nephew, Joseph P. COOKE, and his son Wallace became factors in the sugar industry of the Hawaiian Islands, founding the concern of ALEXANDER & BALDWIN, Ltd.† Samuel T. ALEXANDER, was a great traveler and hunter.† He went around the globe, exploring and traveling over South America and Europe, the Orient, Australia and the South Sea Islands.† His daughter, Anne M. Alexander, accompanied him on his last trip to Central Africa and later to the southern part of Africa.† He was accidentally killed at Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in 1904.† Samuel T. ALEXANDER was a man of real world spirit, active, broad gauged, chivalrous.
Of the three sisters of Wallace McKinney ALEXANDER, mention has just been made of Miss Annie M. ALEXANDER, who was her fatherís traveling companion and who for many years has been noted as a collector.† She donated a museum of paleontological specimens to the University of California.† She is now interested in ranching on Grizzly Island in the Sacramento River. The two other sisters are Miss Juliette ALEXANDER, a resident at Piedmont, California, and Martha, the wife of John WATERHOUSE, of Honolulu.†
Wallace McKinney ALEXANDER completed his education in Yale University, graduating with the Bachelor of Arts of degree in 1892.† In 1894, thirty years ago, he assisted in the organization of the firm of ALEXANDER & BALDWIN, Ltd., of which he is now president.† It is one of the largest firms in Honolulu, representing a number of plantations and handling approximately 135 tons of sugar annually.† The firm is a member of an organization in Honolulu known as the Sugar Factors Company.† The greater part of the raw sugar controlled by the Sugar Factors Company is sent to the California and Hawaiian Sugar Refining Company at Crockett on the Carquinez Straits, opposite Vallejo.† This is one of the largest sugar refining plants in the world.
Mr. ALEXANDER is also a vice president of the Matson Navigation Company, vice president of the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, Ltd., a vice president of the Honolulu Consolidated Oil Company of California, a director of the California and Hawaiian Sugar Refining Company, and a director of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company and a director of the Columbia Steel Corporation.
At one time or another he has had some influential connection with nearly all the movements and organizations designed to influence and aid the commercial life of the Pacific and the far West.† He served as chairman of the commission from San Francisco that visited Japan in 1920, and is chairman of the Japanese Relations Committee of California.† In 1921-22 he was president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and it was during his presidency that the Community Chest was organized to centralize most of the charitable and social welfare work of the city.† He is a director of the Californians, Inc., perhaps the most distinctive publicity organization ever promoted, and is a director and member of the executive committee of the San Francisco Industrial Association.† He was a member of the Theta Xi college fraternity, belongs to the Pacific Union Club at Honolulu, and the Yale Club of New York.† He is a republican and a member of an interdenominational church.
Mr. ALEXANDER married at Oakland, California, August 16, 1904, Miss Mary S. BARKER.† Mrs. ALEXANDER is a native daughter and has been prominent in many social and civic movements.† During the World war she was captain in charge of the canteen work at the end of the Oakland Mole.† She has been active in the Red Cross and Community Chest movement in Oakland and in the Piedmont Interdenominational Church.† She was born at San Francisco.† Her father, the late Timothy L. BARKER, was attracted to California from Auburn, New York, during the gold rush, arriving in the state in October, 1849.† His name is associated with the pioneer history of the City of San Francisco.† He was associated with Governor BOOTH in the wholesale grocery business in Sacramento and with Wellman PECK & Company in San Francisco.
Mr. and Mrs. ALEXANDER have one daughter, Martha Barker ALEXANDER.
Transcribed by Deana Schultz.
Source: "The San Francisco Bay Region" Vol. 3 page 249-251 by Bailey Millard. Published by The American Historical Society, Inc. 1924.
© 2004 Deana Schultz.
California Biography Project
San Francisco County
Golden Nugget Library