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Virginia Dare Thomas Alexander

Public Servant and Historian


She was the daughter of the late Eura W. and Pearl Lawrence Thomas, born at home 3 1/2 miles west of Cadiz on Maple Grove Road in the Warrenton community. Virginia finished 7th grade Warrenton Grade School, with Ms. Beulah Tompkins as teacher. She graduated from 8th grade at Cadiz Grade School. Four years later, she became a graduate of Trigg County High School. She then enrolled for the fall semester at Newton's Business College in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

Virginia Dare Thomas was married to Rumsey H. "Pete" Alexander on April 8, 1949. They had no children, but felt like the three children of Virginia's sister, Doris Thomas Skinner were hers, and the boys always felt they had two sets of parents. Rumsey died on July 17, 2001

Virginia was offered a job as secretary at the Trigg County Extension Office in the courthouse in early 1941. She also served as secretary of Trigg County Farm Bureau and Trigg County Soil Improvement Coop, Inc for eleven years.

Virginia became a member of the Trigg County Democratic Party. She was approached about her interest in becoming the next Trigg County Circuit Court Clerk. Mr. R.C. Burnett, the clerk at the time, wanted to retire if Virginia could be appointed to fill his unexpired term. The Trigg County Democratic Party approved her appointment, and she was sworn in by Circuit Judge Ira D. Smith for a two-year term.

The primary election was held August 5, 1953. With only one Democratic opponent, she won by a large majority. Virginia was the first woman to hold the office of Trigg County Circuit Court Clerk. She was never opposed in this office for a span of 20 years. During this time, she served as Master Commissioner of the Court, appointed by Circuit Judge Stephen White.

In 1953, she was also named as secretary/treasurer of Trigg County American Red Cross, a position she would hold until 1994.

Virginia was also the first woman to serve as president of the Cadiz-Trigg County Chamber of Commerce.

Pauline Crump, Paula Flood, Virginia Alexander, Sidney Allen and Elaine Sanders at a BPW meeting

Virginia continued her political pursuits by serving as local chairwoman for many state and national candidates, including John F. Kennedy for President, Lawrence Weatherby, Bert Combs, and Ned Breathitt for Governor of the Commonwealth.

In 1973, Virginia made a race for the office of Trigg County Clerk, an office which was salaried. Her first election in the 1973 May primary was easily won. She was challenged for the office during her third term, but was again successful in winning. In her fourth term as Trigg County Clerk, she was once again challenged. Virginia lost this election.

Disappointed, but not discouraged, she then filed for a two-year term as a member of the Cadiz City Council and won a seat with the largest number of votes in that election. This enabled Virginia to continue her work for the people of Trigg County, thus ending her political career of 40 years.

One of the great projects of Virginia's life was being one of the business women in Trigg County that helped incorporate the Barkley Lake Broadcasting Company - Radio Station WKDZ. She was a stockholder until it was sold. She noted several times that this was progress for Trigg County, with all the people in all parts of the county knowing weather conditions at the same time.

Virginia and a group of retail merchants organized the Cadiz Retail Merchants' Association in the late 1950's. In 1962, the Retail Merchants' Association was disbanded, and the Trigg County Chamber of Commerce was organized. Virginia served as secretary until 1974, and in 1991 and 1992, she served as Vice President and then President of the Chamber of Commerce.

In 1976, she was honored as the Chamber’s “Outstanding Citizen of the Year.”

Another great progress for Trigg County in which Virginia was involved was the founding of the Trigg County Hospital in the early 1950's. She served as secretary to the hospital committee.

Pauline Crump, Roy McDonald and Virginia Alexander working on the Senior Citizens Kitchen.

She was also one of the first members of the Tourism Commission and the Chairman.

Virginia also served as a chairman of the Trigg County Sesquicentennial Committee. At the time, she was acting president of the Trigg County Business and Professional Women's Club, and in 1976, the group elected Virginia as Business Woman of the Year, honoring her during the Sesquicentennial.

She was also a founding member of the Trigg County Historical and Preservation Society Inc. and served as vice president.

Virginia was the organizer of the James Thomas Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and an active member until she died.

She was a founding member of the Thomas Bridges Association and served in many capacities.

She was the force behind Trigg County starting a chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution called the Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter.

She was a member of the Kentucky Heritage Council for 8 years and a member of the board of the Historical Confederation of Kentucky.

She was a member of Dyer’s Chapel United Methodist Church for most of her life where she was pianist for many years.

Trigg County Judge Berlin Moore and the Trigg County Fiscal Court designated Virginia Alexander Trigg County Historian.