Alexander M. Lindsay is really an unknown character from Stewarton's past. He was born at Byrahill Cottage, a small single storey house just off the back road to Kilmarnock. His mother was one of the Millers of Wardhead, one of the few farms in the area not in the hands of the major landowners.
When he was 20 he went to Glasgow to train as a draper, then around 1865 he emigrated to America, having already been recruited by a large Boston company.
He worked his way up and in 1868 he, with two partners, opened their own drapery store in Rochester, New York State, which later became known as Sibley's.
His father who had been a carpenter, died in October 1872, leaving only 15 shillings in cash, while his son's company in America was recording a six-month profit of $20,000 in the same year!
Another Rochester inhabitant was George Eastman, who invited Alexander to
became a director of his company, Eastman Kodak, and he served on the board for over 16 years from 1904 until his death.
His store went on to become one of the largest department stores in New York State and his wealth enabled him to visit Scotland several times, as well as tour Europe and even sail up the River Nile on one occasion.
He kept his links with Ayrshire, however, as he called one of his homes Rowallan and he visited Stewarton on several occasions.