John Alden was the son of James Lawton and Laura (Stevens) Dix. He was born on December 25,1861 in Glens Falls, Washington County, New York. James and Laura had four children; Walter (1858), Annie (1859), John (1861), Charles (1864).
In the 1870 Federal Census, James and Laura are living in Queensbury New York with their children and James’s father Samuel. James and Samuel have real estate holdings in excess of twenty five thousand dollars declared in the census. They are both farmers and it is my belief that Samuel is a widower. In the 1880 Federal Census, the family remains in Queensbury. James and Laura have the same number of children, and it appears that James is no longer a farmer but is a property manager. John Alden is nineteen years old and is attending Cornell University. He graduated from Cornell University in 1883 and continued his education at Hamilton College until 1912. He became a successful businessman who was involved in the lumber and paper industry and later in banking.
In 1899, John Alden married Gertrude Thompson. In the 1900 Federal Census, they live in Greenwich, New York. They have no children but have two servants which they employ. John’s occupation is listed as Capitalist.
John became active in the Democratic National Convention in 1904 and served as chairman of the State Democratic Committee from 1908-1910. John was issued a US Passport on April 2, 1908. They live at 491 State St in Albany, New York. In the 1910 Federal Census, John Alden’s occupation is listed as a Banker. He and Gertrude have no children but have five servants employed in their household. In 1911, he was elected as a Democratic and became the 38th Governor of the State of New York and served for two years until 1913. While he was governor he was credited with establishing a New York State Factory Commission which was, responsible for inspecting conditions in the factories, improving fire codes, building codes and passing a law which limited the work week to fifty four hours. After leaving office he retired from politics but was a very successful in other business ventures.
In the 1920 Federal Census, they are living in Albany, New York and they have one servant working for them.
Ninety one years ago today, April 9, 1928, John Alden Dix died in Manhattan, New York of a heart attack. He was buried in the Thompson plot in section 41, lot 11 in the Albany Rural Cemetery located in Albany, New York along side his wife Gertrude who died a few years earlier.
Rest in Peace, John.
John Alden is my fifth cousin three times removed on the maternal side of my family.