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Alexander Legge

Prominent World War I Administrator.
Respected Corporate President

Alexander Legge was a poor farm boy who worked his way up to become president of one of the nation's largest corporations. ■ When World War I broke out, he was appointed to the War Industries Board, and later to the Federal Farm Board. ■ He was the son of Alexander Legge and Christina Fraser. His parents met in Aberdeenshire, married in 1852, and emigrated to America in 1857. Alexander Jr. was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, on January 13, 1866. ■ In Scotland nearly all Scots named Alexander are nicknamed "Sandy," so to distinguish between Legge father and son, one was called Old Sandy and the other Young Sandy. ■ Young Sandy is described as a "voracious reader, an excellent penman, and a brilliant mathematician." The family moved to Nebraska where Old Sandy was a partner in a ranch operation. Before her marriage Mrs. Legge was a schoolteacher and a fine judge of livestock. ■ Young Sandy did well as a cattle buyer and seller, but when he was offered a job as a bill collector for the McCormick Company in Omaha, he took it. He proved to have an amazing ability to collect overdue bills. He soon came to the attention of the president of the company, and eventually he became president himself. ■ Legge was proud of his Scottish heritage. He said he learned that his character was laid generations before by strong men and women who lived hard and self-reliant lives. He was offered the job of secretary of commerce by President Hoover but turned it down. ■ To get the Farm Foundation started, he gave nearly a million dollars. Legge received many honors during his distinguished career. ■ He died at his home in Hinsdale, Illinois, on December 3, 1933.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546