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Jamie Horton Alexander

"It is my earnest hope�indeed the hope of all mankind�that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world found[ed] upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice."

General Douglas MacArthur

Jamie Horton Alexander was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, on November 12, 1916, to Selby and Anna Elliott Alexander. The 1920 Federal Census taker recorded Selby, Anna, and their son, Jamie, with two boarders who worked at a tin mill. Mr. Alexander was a motorman for a traction company, which might not be a term familiar to many in the 21st century. Beginning in the 1880s, some West Virginia cities had a public transportation system of streetcars or trolleys powered by horses and later by electricity. The largest of the interurban systems was the Fairmont and Clarksburg Traction, later known as Monongahela West Penn Service Company. These occupations and companies may be of interest to other researchers because Mr. Alexander continued working for the streetcar railways for decades in one capacity or another. (More about West Virginia streetcars can be found in the article "Streetcar Lines" by Borgon Tanner, e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, 16 September 2019, accessed 2 January 2020,

In 1930, Mr. Alexander worked as a motorman for a streetcar line, and the family had one boarder, a teacher in the public school system. According to the 1932 Washington Irving High School yearbook, Jamie Alexander was attending high school during the early 1930s. He is pictured among sophomore boys in a 1932 edition of Reminiscences. A city directory listing for 1935 lists Mr. Alexander as a motorman. In 1939, a city directory lists the family at the same location, but Mr. Alexander is listed as a watchman. Jamie Alexander is listed at the family address and noted as a glass worker. The 1940 census lists the family with a sister-in-law in residence with them along with a boarder, and with Mr. Alexander as a mail carrier for an electric company. This is perhaps a reference, again, to the streetcar system, because the 1942 city directory lists Mr. Alexander as a mail carrier for the Monongahela System, likely referencing the new name of the streetcar system in Clarksburg.

In 1940, Jamie Alexander registered for military service. According to his draft card (U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947), he was employed by the Hazel Atlas Corporation. Hazel Atlas manufactured glassware. In Clarksburg, the company held 15 acres of floor space and was the largest tumbler factory in the world. (Dean Six, "Hazel Atlas Glass Company," e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, 6 February 2019, accessed 2 January 2020, In 1942, the city directory listed Jamie Alexander with "USA" next to his name, likely indicating by now he was in the U.S. Army, as Jamie Alexander had enlisted at Fort Hayes in Ohio on January 22, 1942. His enlistment record (U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946) indicates that he'd had four years of high school education and was single with no dependents. Jamie Alexander attained the rank of technician grade 5 (T/5) with the 340th Construction Engineering Battalion, according to the application for a military headstone and the information on that headstone.

According to the death register for Harrison County, Jamie Alexander died on July 3, 1945, in the Philippines. The WWII Army and Army Air Force Casualty List includes Jamie Alexander with the designation "DNB" as the cause of death. "Died Non-Battle" means that the serviceman died in the line of duty from sickness, homicide, suicide, or accident outside the battle area. Research did not produce any article or record that indicates the cause of death for Jamie Alexander, but in the Philippines in WWII, sickness was a common cause of death outside the combat area. Jamie Alexander's name is listed among the men of the 340th in a book called 340th Engineers in the Pacific. The book describes the unit's departure from the United States and its trip to the Philippines, where it built bridges, repaired roads, built buildings, removed booby-traps, constructed airstrips, and engaged in battle. (The book is in the public domain and available at: United States Army, Engineer Battalion, 340th, 340th Engineers in the Pacific [1946], accessed 2 January 2020,

Jamie Alexander's remains were returned to the states in 1948, and he was interred in Elkview Masonic Cemetery in Clarksburg on August 11, 1948.

Headstone for Jamie H. Alexander in Elkview Masonic Cemetery. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

Article prepared by Cynthia Mullens
January 2020


Jamie Horton Alexander

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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