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Who was Alexander W. Doniphan?

Alexander William Doniphan was born near Maysville in Mason County, Kentucky, on July 9, 1808, and died in Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, on August 8, 1887. He was 79 years of age at his death. Descending from Revolutionary War ancestry, Doniphan graduated from Augusta College in Kentucky in 1827 at age 19. In 1829, after studying law for two years, he was admitted to practice in the courts of Ohio and Kentucky. In 1830 he relocated to Lafayette County, Missouri, where he established a law office. Within a few years, he traveled to Liberty, Clay County, where he became known as a fearless orator in the courts of law.


The Alexander W. Doniphan Community Service and Leadership Foundation recognizes honorees who exemplify General Doniphan’s outstanding characteristics and personal commitments.


Learn more about the Alexander W. Doniphan Award and its recipients.


Alexander Doniphan’s legacy can be seen throughout North West Missouri in a myriad of projects.

The Legacy lives on...

Help us continue Doniphan’s legacy! Your generous donation will help continue to highlight those who make a difference in the community.

The Will of Missouri: The life, Times, and Influence of Alexander William Doniphan is a collection of writings and essays procured and compiled by the Alexander Doniphan Committee.

Who is the most well-known Missourian? Might it be Shery Crow or Brad Pitt? How about the most influential Missourian? Maybe it is Harry Truman or Chuck Berry? Alexander William Doniphan is perhaps the least well-known yet simultaneously most influential Missourian.

Doniphan was dedicated to the rule of law, even when standing for this principle was not the popular opinion for people of the day. Doniphan believed in the value of education and helped establish one of the first colleges in the western frontier. Doniphan’s military exploits remain extraordinary to this day.

To celebrate the Missouri Bicentennial the Alexander Doniphan Committee sponsored a community writing project to chronicle the life, the times, and the influence of this incredible yet little-known Missourian.