Alexander M. Dockery was born in
Livingston county, Missouri, February 11, 1845. His father is a distinguished
minister of the Methodist Episcopal
Church South. Sarah E. McHaney, his mother, was a native of Kentucky; of their family of three
children, the subject of this sketch is the only survivor. He received a thorough
classical education in Macon Academy, Macon, Missouri. In 1863 he entered the
St. Louis Medical College, from
which he graduated in March, 1865, receiving his diploma. Dr. Dockery then located for the practice of his
chosen profession in Linneus, Missouri, where he pursued the practice of medicine
until the year 1867, when he
removed to Chillicothe, Missouri, and there practiced successfully for
six years, and from 1870 to
1874 filled with acceptance the office of county physician for Livingston county. In March.
1874, he abandoned the practice of medicine and removed to Gallatin and,
associated with Thomas B. Yates,
Esq., established the Farmer's Exchange Bank, now recognized as one of the solid financial institutions of
the State, of which bank he has been cashier since its organization. Dr.
Dockery certainly has few equals as a business manager and financier ; lie is
vigilant, tireless and energetic; is methodical in his habits and in all
business transactions of whatever character coming under his supervision; is
careful in forming opinions, and is a man of decision and great force
of character. He has, by skill, industry, and discreet management,
accumulated quite a competency, and at this time is the second largest
taxpayer in Daviess county.
He has always been the friend and advocate of popular education, and deeply interested in its advancement; has
freely given his time and money to that end. During his residence at
Chillicothe he was president of the Board of Education of that city for three years.
Since January 1, 1873, he has been
a member of the Board of Curators, of the University of Missouri; his present term expires January 1, 1883.
He was made a Master Mason in
1866, in Jackson Lodge No. 82, Linnens, Missouri; was exalted in Lone Star Royal Arch Chapter No. 30, in
Chillicothe, Missouri, in 1868. and was at one time High Priest of that chapter.
In 1878 he received the Knight Templar
degrees in Kadosh Commandery No. 21, at Hamilton, Missouri, and is at present Eminent Commander of
that commandery, now located at Cameron. He served as Worshipful Master of
Jackson Lodge, and afterwards filled
the same position in Friendship Lodge No. 89, at Chillicothe, and in 1877 was Worshipful Master of Jamesport
Lodge No. 201. For the last ten
years he has been District Deputy Grand Master in this State. In 1879 he was elected Junior Grand Warden of the
Grand Lodge of the State, and the
following year Deputy Grand Master of the same body. At the last session of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, on
October 13th, 1881, he was, by
practically a unanimous vote, elected to the distinguished and
responsible position of Grand
Master of Masons for the State of Missouri, receiving from a delegation of 795, 685 votes. Dr.
Dockery is probably the youngest man who has ever been chosen for this
honorable position in our State. In May, 1880, he was elected Grand Scribe of
the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of
Missouri, and the following year Grand King of the same body, which position he now fills. From his early
youth he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of
which his father is well known as a distinguished minister.
In politics. Dr. Dockery is a
pronounced Democrat. For the past ten years he has taken an active part in the
councils and directions of the party, and has earned for himself the reputation
of a forcible, convincing and eloquent speaker. As a political organizer and
worker he is not excelled by any
of the leaders of his party in the State, and his valuable services
have been recognized from
time to time. He has served as chairman of the Tenth Congressional District Committee,
and at the Democratic Congressional Convention, held at Brunswick, in July,
1860, the delegations from the
largely Democratic counties of Randolph and Chariton supported him for Congress, despite his positive
declination and refusal to accept the nomination. At present he is the mayor of the City of
April 14, 1869, he was married to
Miss Mary E., daughter of Greenup Bird, Esq., then a banker at Chillicothe,
now a resident of Kansas City. Of this union five children have been
born, all of whom have been claimed in death.
Dr. Dockery is a man of commanding
personal appearance, standing five feet and eleven inches in height, and
weighing 175 pounds; of popular address and pleasing manners, he occupies his
place easily, gracefully and naturally in the church or lodge, in the business or
in the social circle. And as a
presiding officer or public speaker, he commands the attention of all
who see or hear him. He is
yet young in years but more firmly established in the confidence of his associates than many who
are double his age. But few men
of his age have been so universally esteemed a recognized and true friend of education; a zealous and
warm-hearted Mason; a kind Christian gentleman; a worthy, upright,
public-spirited citizen; an honest, yet aggressive, politician; these traits have won
for him honor and profound respect and admiration from all who have had the
favor to know him and of him.
A man of progressive ideas, a strong
will, a clear and bright intellect, endowed with indefatigable energy, he has
before him a bright and prosperous future, and such a one as will be
identified with the growing history of this great State and nation. This we leave for
the future historian, confident that what shall be hereafter written about
him will not mar nor pluck one laurel
from the foregoing epitome.
[The History of Daviess County,
Missouri Published by Birdsall
& Dean, 1882 - Sumbitted by Barb Z. - 2009]