Alexander Oswald Brodie
Colonel, United States Army
Alexander O. Brodie
His military record is even more distinguished than his record as governor, but either record certainly stands alone. Alexander Oswald Brodie, did one of the most spectacular jobs as Governor of the Arizona Territory and initiated in its final stages of statehood. He would lead the Arizona Rough Riders in Cuba during the Spanish-American War and would later retire from the governorship to continue his distinguished military career.
He was born November 13, 1849 in Edwards, New York to Alexander O. Brodie and Margaret Brown. He was educated at a boarding school operated by St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. In 1866 he was appointed to attend US military academy at West Point, graduating in 1870. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the First Calvary and was stationed in Arizona in April of 1873 at Fort Apache. He received a commendation by the Secretary of War for an eight hour skirmish against the Apaches there.
On August 25, 1874 he was reassigned to Fort Walla Walla in the Washington territory. He participated in the Nez Pierce War and was promoted to First Lieutenant in May of 1876. He resigned his commission on September 30, 1877 most likely as a result of the death of his wife and child. He was a cattleman after leaving the Army in Kansas.
He later remarried in December of 1892 and had a daughter. His daughter, Sandy, would later be referred to by Theodore Roosevelt as "The Little Rough Rider". He re-enlisted in the US Army Calvary in August of 1893 at the Jefferson Barracks in Missouri. He was assigned to serve in Arizona again but was discharged from the Army in February 1884. He remained in the Arizona Territory and became a civil engineer there.
He was chief engineer of the Walnut Grove Dam from 1887-1890, that dam would later burst on February 22, 1891 with the loss of 70 lives. Brodie would not be held responsible. He was appointed by Governor Irwin as first commander of the Arizona National Guard, he would later resign in 1892. He was Yavapai County Recorder from 1893-1895 and Republican nominee for delegate from Arizona in September of 1898, but was defeated by John E. Wilson.
He was asked to raise a regiment to fight in the Spanish American War. He helped create the First Territorial Calvary, later known as the "Rough Riders", 170 men strong included the likes of Leonard Wood and Teddy Roosevelt. Brodie was named Senior Regimental Officer with the rank of major. His regiment was involved in some of the most heavy fighting of the war at Las Guasimas on June 24, 1898. At this battle a bullet would shatter his right wrist and force him to leave the war for a brief period to recover. He would return as a Lieutenant Colonel and would relieve Theodore Roosevelt. Brodie was mustered out of the army on September 15, 1898. After the war he was a mining engineer in Arizona from 1898-1902.
He was appointed to the Governorship of Arizona on July 1, 1902. His first Annual report included the need for teachers, the development of agriculture, praise for the Arizona Rangers, and a demand for statehood. He was strongly opposed to joint statehood with New Mexico, and helped defeat a bill by the United States Congress to create one. He supported the Newlands Act and the improvement of the Colorado River and a levee at the Yuma Crossing. He wanted more public buildings, better Indian Schools, a hospital for infirm miners, limited hours for mine workers, and women's suffrage.
While Governor he pardoned Pearl Hart, the first and only female stagecoach robber, passed an eight hour work day law, and exempted dams from being taxed for nine years. He established both a Territorial Board of Health, and County Boards of Health. He raised taxes for more construction for Tempe Normal School and the Territorial Asylum. In December of 1903 the Arizona Industrial School opened. He rejects statehood for a combined Arizona and New Mexico in 1905. He was critical of the Territorial Tax System because he felt it did not tax mines enough. He wanted to create a sanitorium for poor health seekers in Arizona and create a law that would punish wife and child desertion in the Territory. Governor Brodie would retire from the Governorship on February 15, 1905 and re-enter the Army as a Major.
He was sent to the Phillipines as Military Secretary for Church Claims. In 1907 he was made Adjutant General of the Department of the Dakotas. In 1911, he was Adjutant General of California, later retiring in 1912.
He settled in Haddonfield, New Jersey in "Greensfield
Hall". He died there on May 10, 1918. The Arizona Legislature passed a
memorial to him for his service as Governor in Arizona.
Alexander Oswald Brodie was born November 12, 1849 at Edwards, Saint Lawrence County, New York and died May 10, 1918 at Heddonfield, Camden County, New Jersey. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1870 and was a Major in the Regular Army before the Spanish American War.
During the Spanish-American War he served with the First United States Volunteer Cavalry (The Rough Riders) with Colonel Theodore Rooevelt. He was third in command of the regiment , below Colonel (Doctor-Surgeon) Leonard Wood, Regular Army, then Teddy Roosevelt, and Brodie. Brodie was in charge of one of the two squadrons. His right arm was shattered in that "Splendid Little War." He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel for heroism in that conflict.
He also spend 20 years in Prescott, Arizona Territory before the Spanish-American War, and owned a large mine there. After the Spanish-American War, he was appointed (Republican) Governor of Arizona Territory, July 1, 1902 - February 15, 1905. He also was a candidate for Delegate to U.S. Congress from Arizona Territory, 1898, immediately after the Spanish-American War.
Following his death in 1918, he was buried
in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Mary L. H. Brodie
(1864-1957) is buried with him.
LT COL US ARMY
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/15/1850
DATE OF DEATH: 05/10/1918
DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown
BURIED AT: SECTION 3 SITE LOT 1525
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
BRODIE, ALEXANDER A
BRODIE, MARY L H W/O ALEXANDER A
Updated: 5 November 2000 Updated: 18 December 2001 Updated: 15 February 2003 Updated: 4 September 2004 Updated: 19 November 2005
Photo By M. R. Patterson, October 2007