"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


McRae, Alex, a pioneer of Rhinelander now living in that city, and who is at present serving as assessor of incomes for District 34, is a man of varied experiences on sea and shore, and in both city and the forest, and is still active and useful. He was born in Nova Scotia, March 18, 1858, son of Kenneth and Mary (MCDONALD) MCRAE, and, as his name indicates, comes of sturdy Scottish ancestry. In fact Nova Scotia, or "New Scotland," was largely settled by men and women of his race, and his parents were both born there and spent their lives as farmers in that province. Both are now deceased, the father having passed away in December, 1914. Their family included 13 children: James, for a number of years a resident of Rhinelander; Margaret, now Mrs. Fred PHILLIPS, residing in Nova Scotia; Alex of Rhinelander; Christina, wife of Robert WATSON, of Beddeck, N. S.; David, of Ironwood, Mich.; Robert, who is in the state of Washington; Morris of Rhinelander; Catherine, who married a Mr. ROOD of Didsberry, Ala.; Daniel of Duluth, Minn.; Kenneth and William of Seattle, Wash.; Anna, who is married and lives in Idaho; and Robert, who died at the age of two years. Alex MCRAE had but limited school advantages in his boyhood, but reading, study, and the practical experience of life subsequently improved his education to a considerable extent and he has not been found lacking in those things which he has been called upon to do. At the age of 19 he went to Betts Cove, Newfoundland, where he worked for a few months in copper mines. In maritime provinces the sea exercises a strong fascination for youth, and when young MCRAE had had enough of the mines, he shipped on board a fishing schooner at St. Johns, Newfoundland. This vessel was the Charles H. Hodgdon, commanded by Capt. MATTHESON, and after fishing for cod on the Grand Bank, the schooner put in at Provincetown, Cape Cod, this being in October, 1878, and Mr. MCRAE obtained his discharge. During the next two years he was engaged in farming at Greenbush, Plymouth County, Mass. Then in the fall of 1880 the lure of the West seized him and he came to Wisconsin. During the following winter he worked for the old Lake Shore & Western Railway, being stationed at Wausau, Marathon County, where he remained in the employ of that company until July, 1881, and was afterwards otherwise employed there until October, 1882, when he came to Rhinelander. Here until the fall of 1892 he followed the occupation of carpenter, contractor or builder, and at the end of that time became connected with the lumber and timber business, chiefly as a cruiser. In 1906 and 1907 he was cruising and buying land for J. H. Queal & Co. and for the Western & Pacific Land and Lumber Co. In 1908 he was with the McCloud River Lumber Co. of McCloud, Calif., superintending their logging operations and also doing some cruising. From that time until 1918 he was back and forth with the two companies last mentioned, also doing some cruising and speculating in timber lands on his own account. He was then appointed, in the fall of 1918, to his present position as assessor of incomes for District 34, of Wisconsin, the district covering Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties. This is not his first public office, as in 1890 he was a member of the board of supervisors of the town of Pelican, which then included two-thirds of Oneida County, the only other towns at that time being Woodboro and Hazelhurst. At one time Mr. MCRAE was the owner of several hundred acres of timber land, but he has disposed of it all except some cut-over land in Michigan. He is a member of Rhinelander Lodge No. 242, A. F. & A.M., and of Rhinelander Chapter, No. 74, R.A.M. In 1905-06 he was a member of the Rhinelander Board of Education and from 1918 to 1922 of the Police and Fire Commission. In December, 1883 Mr. MCRAE was married at Wausau, Wis., to Jennie LOOMIS of Belmont, Portage County, Wis., who was the first school teacher in the town of Pelican, Oneida County, and also in Rhinelander, which place as a new village was under town government. Mr. and Mrs. MCRAE are the parents of three daughters: Florence, now of Denver, Colo.; Grace, of Madison, Wis., and Mary, of Rhinelander. The family home in Rhinelander is at No. 636 Eastern Avenue.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from page 217, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.

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