History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Alvin Saunders
ALVIN SAUNDERS was born in Fleming County, Kentucky, July 12, 1817, and received but a common school education, working on his father's farm until nineteen years of age. He came to Iowa in 1836 when it was a part of Michigan Territory, and located at Mount Pleasant. After a few years he opened a store and was appointed postmaster. He took an active part in public affairs and in 1846 was chosen a delegate to the convention which framed a Constitution for the State. In 1854 he was elected to the State Senate as an antislavery Whig and was one of the most influential members in securing the election of James Harlan to the United States Senate. He was a delegate to the convention which organized the Republican party in 1856. Mr. Saunders served eight years in the Senate, helping to elect Governor Grimes to the United States Senate in 1858. He was a delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1860 which nominated Abraham Lincoln for President. In 1861 Mr. Saunders was appointed Governor of Nebraska Territory where he became one of the promoters of the building of the Union Pacific Railroad. He served as Governor until 1867 when Nebraska became a State. In 1877 he was elected to the United States Senate for six years. After the expiration of his term he served ten years on the Utah Commission which had supervision of registration and elections in that Territory. Governor Saunders died at his home in Omaha, November 1, 1899.