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
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming