This is a rather sad story. It’s about a man who took up arms to fight in the Civil War. He survived, settled in Madera County, and then was forgotten. His earthly sojourn ended in Raymond in May 1917, and when undertaker Robert S. Jay buried him, there was one solitary mourner present — no minister, no hymns, no prayers, no flowers, just his embalmer and that one friend.
The old soldier’s name was Alexander Stevens, and he was originally from Illinois. When President Abraham Lincoln put out the call for volunteers in 1861, Stevens answered by joining the 94th Illinois Infantry, Company E.
We don’t know when he moved to California, but he was living in Raymond before the turn of the 20th century.
We also know that he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, better known as the G.A.R. It was a national organization of Civil War veterans, and its local chapter was called the Benjamin Harrison Post of the G.A.R...