Alexander McCrary was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1825, son of Alexander and Mary (Summers) McCrary. His father was a native of South Carolina and his mother of Kentucky. Mr. McCrary spent his youth upon a farm, receiving such an education as the common schools afforded and was early inured to the hard labor of pioneer farming. His natural mechanical tastes and ideas prompted his taking up a trade, and at the age of twenty-one years he started out in life as a carpenter, and later as a bridge builder and millwright. In 1856 he moved to Iowa and located in Muscatine County, engaging in farming and also as a carpenter and builder.
In 1866 he continued his pioneer life by locating in Cherokee County, Kansas, and was engaged in railroad construction and various other enterprises until 1874. In that year he continued his westward march and located in Los Angeles County, California, where he was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company in bridge building, etc.
In August 1875, he moved to Riverside, and first located on a twenty-acre tract on the north side of Center street one-half mile east of Magnolia avenue, on the Government tract, and commenced horticultural pursuits. At that comparatively early date in tree planting in the Riverside colony, no guide was given as to what would finally result in profit and he, like scores of others, lost both time and labor in planting a large variety of deciduous trees and vines, and in 1882 dug most of then out and put in citrus fruit trees. Mr. McCrary sold that place in 1886, and moved to a five-acre tract on Cypress avenue one mile south of Riverside, where he built a comfortable cottage residence and established himself in one of the pleasantest homes in that section. His present lands comprise two and a half acres of oranges, and about the same acreage in raisin grapes, which under his intelligent care and cultivation yield him a handsome profit. He is also engaged in contracting, house moving, etc. Mr. McCrary is a hale and hearty man, fast approaching his three score and ten years in age. He is enthusiastic in regard to Riverside and its wonderful climate; and boasts that for ten years neither he nor any member of his family has needed the services of a physician. His long residence has- made him well known to the people of Riverside, and his success in life and his pursuits are the result of his untiring energy and straightforward dealings.
For more than fifty years, he has been a consistent member of the Methodist Church, and a strong supporter of the same. In politics he is a Republican, uniting with that party upon its organization in 1856.
In 1848 Mr. McCrary married, Mrs. Martha Slater, a native of Pennsylvania. There are now five children living, from this marriage, viz.: Mary, now Mrs. James Rogers, of Duarte, Los Angeles County; William H., who married Miss Edith Ball; Isaac A., who married Miss Laura Graves, residing at Monrovia, Los Angeles County; John, who married Miss Julia Pugh, and Letta, now Mrs. Jacob Mann.