by Holly Zane
Alexander H. (Zenophan) Zane was born on July 18, 1841, in Oliver, West Virginia. He died on March 7, 1895, on the Wyandotte Reservation, Indian Territory, in present day Wyandotte, Oklahoma. His life is forever recorded in history through his service in the Civil War; and through his death, in the records of the US Supreme Court.
Alex was the son of Noah E. Zane, a farmer, and Jane S. Long, and brother to Julia and Elizabeth. He lived on Wyandot/Wyandotte Reservations in Ohio, Kansas (in the cities of Kansas City, Kansas, and Quindaro) and Oklahoma.
Alex was a descendant of Colonel Ebenezer Zane (the ancestor of author Zane Grey) as well as Colonel Ebenezer Zane’s brothers, Jonathan and Isaac (husband of Myeerah, the daughter of Chief Tarhe, Grand Sanchem of the Wyandot Nation).
In 1869, Alex married Hannah Coon, the widow of Jacob Whitewing and mother of Mary Whitewing Kelley, and had two more daughters, Jane and Kate. When Hannah passed away, Alex married Lucy A. Robertson Vanslyke, the widow of James Vanslyke and mother of James, in 1877 in Newton, County, Missouri. Alex and Lucy had six children, two sons – Noah and Henry, and four daughters – Isabella, Julia, Cella and Pearl.
Alex served as a private in Company E of the 15th Kansas Cavalry Regiment (Wyandotte County, Kansas) during the Civil War from January 1963 to October 1965.
In 1895, Alex was killed by his daughter’s (Jane’s) husband, Jerry Wallace, and in front of his (Alexander’s) 15-year old son Noah, over a land boundary dispute.
Mr. Wallace was convicted of murdering Alexander Zane and sentenced to hanging, but appealed his conviction, which was heard by the US Supreme Court in Wallace v. US, 162 U.S. 466 (1896). Mr. Wallace claimed that he killed Alexander Zane in self-defense and that the trial court hindered his ability to offer that defense. The Supreme Court agreed and reversed Mr. Wallace’s murder conviction and ordered a new trial.
Jane Zane, Alex’s daughter, became a famous entertainer and advocate for Native American rights during the Harding Administration. She subsequently divorced Mr. Wallace, the father of her son Everett A. Wallace, and later married Mr. Waters, and then Mr. Gordon.
Mr. Wallace was eventually released from jail, remarried and had three children with his wife, Etta.
Jane Zane (Wallce/Waters/Gordon), daughter of Alexander Zane, with President Warren G. Harding