The Families of Adam Keith

“Once upon a time ...”, family facts and tales


Aurora Academy Principal

Alfred Kennedy McAlpine [1856-1896]


Ancestry: Adam Keith1>Maria Catherina [Gieg] m. [John George] Slough2>Barbara [Slough] m. [John] Kennedy3>Jacob Kennedy4>Sophia [Kennedy] m. [Alexander Johnson] McAlpine5>Alfred Kennedy McAlpine6

Alfred Kennedy McAlpine



ALFRED K. McALPINE, A. M., Principal of Aurora Academy, occupies a conspicuous place among the prominent educators of this part of the country, his superior talents and scholarly attainments eminently qualifying him for his important work. No State in the Union, it may here be said, possesses greater educational advantages than the Empire State, special attention being given to the instruction of the young, irrespective of sex, throughout its length and breadth, each county offering excellent facilities for the acquirement of knowledge in all grades, from the kindergarten for the child of tender years to the higher institutions of learning for more mature minds. Professor McAlpine, who presides over one of these advanced schools, is of Scotch ancestry but a native of Canada, having been born in the town of Welland in the Province of Ontario, which was also the place of birth of his father, Alexander J. McAlpine, and of Jonas McAlpine, his grandfather.

Aurora Academy

Aurora, Cayuga Co. NY

Alexander J. McAlpine was a well-educated man, of broad and progressive views, and a man of influence in his native town. Educated for a professional career, he commenced his duties as a teacher, and for eight years was a popular instructor in the schools of Ontario. He subsequently turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, achieving excellent results in general farming. He was a man of much force of character, wise and judicious in his counsels, and became prominent in local affairs, being considered authority on all matters pertaining to the management of the town's interests, and for many years served as Justice of the Peace.

The maiden name of his wife, mother of our subject, was Sophia Kennedy. Her father, the Rev. Jacob Kennedy, of Smithville, Ont., was an old pioneer of that part of Canada, and was a minister of repute in the Methodist denomination. His children, inheriting some of his mental abilities, became eminent in professional circles, one of his sons, Dr. John T. Kennedy, being a physician of prominence in New York City. Mr. and Mrs. McAlpine reared nine children; namely, Alfred K., Augustus W., Ida L., Bruce F., John J., Irving W., Charles B., William D., and David Lorne.


Alfred K. McAlpine, the eldest child of this family, received his elementary education in the schools of his native country, and, after completing the high school course, matriculated at Scoville University in New Brunswick, at which he was graduated with the degree of B.A. He subsequently began his public career as Professor of Languages and Elocution in the Westchester County Institute, holding that position with great acceptance, having won the. approval of the friends and patrons of the college and the high regard of the students, who presented him with a valuable gold chain at the close of his services, as a token of their esteem. The public press of that vicinity also spoke very highly of his ability as an instructor, deploring in no measured terms the loss to the literary and educational circles of the county occasioned by his departure. Going thence to the Peekskill Military Academy, Professor McAlpine was for three years Professor of Classics, under Professor Wright, an educator of repute in this country. At the expiration of that time, remaining still under the employ of Professor Wright, he came to Aurora to assume the charge of the educational department of the Aurora Academy, and has since met with almost phenomena] success in his labors. After he had served in his present position four years, Professor McAlpine asked for his release; but the faculty, justly appreciating his great value to the instutition (sic) , urged the withdrawal of his resignation and made him Principal of the academy, which office he has filled in a most creditable manner since 1886. Under his regime this institution is in a flourishing condition, being at the present time taxed to its fullest capacity, the enrolment containing the names of pupils from eighteen different States, their ages ranging from twelve to twenty years. The high rank which it sustains among other similar schools is due to the joint efforts of Professor Wright, President of the New York Military Academy, and Professor McAlpine, who are co-managers of the school. Professor McAlpine has a more than local reputation in his chosen vocation, and has been the recipient of literary honors, Scoville University having conferred upon him the degree of A. M.


On the 19th of July, 1883, the union of the Professor with Miss Frances Howe, the daughter of J. B. Howe, Surrogate of Auburn, was solemnized; but this marriage, so full of promise of future joy and happiness, was destined to be of short duration, Mrs. McAlpine passing to the beautiful life beyond, May 22, 1887. Professor McAlpine is a valued member of the Masonic fraternity, and has been Master of the Scipio Lodge for two years. In social and literary circles he is held in high esteem, and his integrity as a man and loyalty as a citizen are unquestioned. Politically, he is a stanch Republican, having, since becoming naturalized, in April, 1885, cast his ballot with that party. The portrait of Alfred K. McAlpine, teacher, which has place on another page of the "Review," will be recognized by many pupils and admiring friends as a faithful semblance of this worthy son of Alpin, whose the task "Noblest that noble minds can ask."