As people in the rural areas found needs for cash, they turned to business opportunities that were home based or natural resource based. We will examine how people of Alexander earned cash to satisfy their wants and needs. Much of the information in these articles is from the Annual Report of Maine, with some additional material from census records and the 1881 Atlas by George Colby.
The Maine Reports, sometimes called Maine Registers or Maine State Year-books list merchants, manufacturers, hotels, and associations. Almost every person discussed in this article was active in farming. Farming provided each family with its needs, ie. food, fuel, fiber for clothing, and lumber for buildings. Cash was for those wants that the farm could not supply such as a cast iron cook stove, factory made cloth, pots and pans.
Wesley Flood carried general stores from before 1870 well into the present century. His home and store were on the Cooper Road near the Cooper town line. This business was passed to his son Arthur, then his grandson Nelson and the store operated to the middle of the 20th century.
Albion Hanford Perkins opened a general store before 1886 and operated it beyond the turn of the century. His home and store were at 1288 Airline Road
Brown Brothers went into the store business about 1890. These brothers, Harry, Charles, Fred, and Henry also were into lumbering. Charles eventually became the storekeeper at 70 Cooper Road. Charlie ran this store into the early 1950s.
In 1913, W. E. Bohanon ha a store at his home at 159 Arm Road and True Varnum was selling fertilizer farther west on the same road. Stephen Emery Frost was selling groceries in the 20s at the Four Corners, Young Tom Blaney and Henry McDonough each sold groceries from their homes.