Lewis Alexander

Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing recently featured Lewis and Sidney Alexander in the Fall Edition of their newsletter “Riverside Review.” We are going to share Riverside’s research as well as our own as we tell the story of this family.


Lewis Alexander (circa 1839-1915) was born enslaved in Brandenburg, KY to Heykirk and Amy (Butler) Alexander. Sidney Ann Moreman (circa 1837-1910) was also born enslaved in Brandenburg, KY, but her parents are unknown. They were all owned by Alonson and Rachel Moreman. In 1856, Lewis and Sidney had their first child together, Amanda. At the time of her birth legal marriage was rarely permitted by slave holders, and thus, Lewis and Sidney were not legally wed. According to Riverside, “Lewis and Sidney were both enslaved in Brandenburg and moved to Riverside with the Moremens in 1860.” Census records show that Lewis and Sidney were married in 1861. Together they had two more daughters born enslaved: Sidney Belle and Emma. When the family was freed, they moved to Louisville’s 11th Ward where Lewis worked in a brick yard and Sidney took care of the children. In 1869, Sidney gave birth to Mary, and in 1872, she gave birth to Carrie. In 1875, Mary died of complications from tuberculosis. By 1880, their first daughter Amanda was married to Simeon Adams, a pit and well digger. The couple was raising two daughters: Gertrude Glover, Amanda’s daughter from a previous relationship, and their daughter together Emma.


By 1899 Lewis, Sidney, Belle, Emma, and Carrie were living together in a home at 2502 Magazine Street in the Russell Neighborhood. All three of the daughters were teachers (we will share more about them tomorrow). Sidney died on May 9, 1910 at the age of 73. At the time of her death, Sidney and Lewis had been married for 50 years. Lewis died of pneumonia on April 26, 1915 at the age of 76. The couple is buried in the Alexander plot in Eastern Cemetery, which is located in Cave Hill Corner. The entire plot has a single headstone that only says “Alexander.”