born in New Haven, Vermont on July 29, 1840, at the home of her
grandparents. She was the daughter of William Gilmore Henry and
Huldana Squire. She moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan with her parents.
Annette Henry met Russell Alger after he had moved to Grand Rapids
to set up his lumbering business. They were married on April 2,
1861, shortly before he entered the Army for service in the Civil
In 1865, after the Civil War, Russell Alger returned to his lumber
business and they relocated to Detroit. The Alger lumbering interests
grew to be some of the largest in the state.
Annette was described as a slender woman of fair complexion, intelligent
and attractive. The Alger’s had nine children. She was gifted
with many accomplishments and was a charming hostess. The children
were described as bright and promising.
Active in Republican politics Russell Alger became Governor of Michigan
in 1885, and his wife the “First Lady”. In 1897, Alger
was appointed Secretary of War by President McKinley. The Alger’s
moved to Washington where Annette continued her supporting role.
The couple entertained international celebrities and diplomats.
Mr. Alger left the McKinley cabinet in 1899 and they returned to
their home in Detroit.
In 1902 Michigan Governor Bliss appointed Alger to fill the unexpired
term of James McMillan in the U. S. Senate. The Alger’s again
moved to Washington where they remained until Senator Alger’s
death in 1907. Mrs. Alger returned to their home at 150 W. Fort
A woman of exquisite taste and manners, Mrs. Alger continued her
social obligations and philanthropic activities. In 1911 she moved
to Grosse Pointe and resided at the home of her son Russell Jr.
She died on August 24, 1919, at the age of 79.
Died: August 24, 1919
Buried: Alger Mausoleum