Alexander  Cory

          ALEXANDER CORY, deceased, was born in June, 1820, in Preble County, Ohio.  When he came to Shelby County he was only seven years of age.  He was brought up at Freeport, by his uncle, Alexander Rittenhouse, one of the best merchants ever in this section.  From his earliest boyhood, Alexander Cory was a business man.  Although his advantages of school education were very small, he was a fine scholar, and in mathematics he was unexcelled.  At a period when young men usually are wasting their time, he was already deeply involved in ambitious schemes of business.  In February, 1841, he was married to the daughter of a venerable clergyman of the Methodist Church, the Rev. Samuel Morrison.  Loretta Morrison was born in Kingwood, Preston County, Va., November 30, 1823, and her father's family had come to Shelby County in 1826.  Their marriage proved to be a very happy one; and the extraordinary personal beauty of both the father and the mother are singularly reproduced in their sever children:  Mary (Mrs. Wadley),  Anna (Mrs. Parker),  Fanny (Mrs. William S. Major),  Frank,  Henry,  Laura  and  Loretta.  The business enterprises in which Mr. Cory was engaged are truly surprising, both as to number and extent.  An ordinary man's mind would have given way or become confused with an amount of occupation that to him seemed pleasurable.  When only about fifteen years of age he was in partnership with his uncle at Freeport, in a large and extensive mercantile business, and woolen, saw and grist mills.  In 1847, they were active in the building of the Knightstown & Shelbyville Railroad, and Mr. Cory was one of its directors.  Upon his own responsibility and at his own expense, he built a large warehouse and depot for the accommodation of the public.  In 1850, he built the Hanover mills, at that time and for a long while the largest establishment of the kind in the county.  When he removed to Shelbyville, in 1854, he bought out the old Shelby Mills, carried them on with great energy, dealt largely in grain, had an extensive general store on the square, and yet had leisure for any other enterprise that promised well.  In politics he was always an active and decided Democrat, and served several terms as County Commissioner.  The splendid gravel roads and the beautiful iron bridges that are the pride of Shelby County, are largely due to him.  He died suddenly in the midst of business plans that would have taken years for their accomplishment.  This was in March, 1864.  At his funeral, a talented Presbyterian clergyman, Rev. James Jones Smythe, who was a warm friend of his, officiated.  The attendance was immense.  All the church bells in town tolled.  He was buried with Masonic honors.  His loss was regretted by the entire community.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, "Hanover Sketches," Chicago: Brant & Fuller, 1887, page 632-3.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

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