Hiss, Alger, 1904-96, American public official, b. Baltimore. After serving (1929-30) as secretary to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Hiss practiced law in Boston and New York City. He then was attached to the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (1933-35) and to the Dept. of Justice (1935-36). He entered the Dept. of State in 1936 and rose rapidly to become an adviser at various international conferences and a coordinator of American foreign policy. In 1947, he resigned his government post to become president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In Aug., 1948, Whittaker Chambers, a magazine editor and former Communist party courier, accused Hiss of having helped transmit confidential government documents to the Russians. Hiss denied these charges; since, under the statute of limitations, he could not be tried for espionage, he was indicted (Dec., 1948) on two counts of perjury. When he was first brought to trial in 1949, the jury was unable to reach a decision. At a second trial Hiss was found guilty (Jan., 1950) and sentenced to a five-year prison term. His trial created great controversy; many believed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had tampered with evidence in order to secure a conviction. Hiss was released from prison in Nov., 1954, his term shortened for good conduct. In 1957 he wrote In the Court of Public Opinion, in which he denied all charges against him. Hiss maintained his innocence to his death; Soviet files made public in 1995 convinced most observers that he had been guilty, but controversy lingers.

See W. Chambers, Witness (1952, repr. 1983); R. Seth, The Sleeping Truth: The Hiss-Chambers Affair Reappraised (1968); A. Weinstein, Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case (1978).

Alger, Horatio, 1834-99, American writer of boys' stories, b. Revere, Mass. He wrote over 100 books for boys, the first, Ragged Dick, being published in 1867. By leading exemplary lives, struggling valiantly against poverty and adversity, Alger's heroes gain wealth and honor. His works were all extremely popular. Silas Snobden's Office Boy, which ran serially in the Argosy magazine in 1889-90, was not published as a book until 1973.

See H. R. Mayes, Alger (1928, repr. 1978); study by E. P. Hoyt (1983); bibliography by G. Scharnhorst and J. Bales (1981).

Alger, Russell Alexander, 1836-1907, U.S. secretary of war (1897-99), b. near Medina, Ohio. After moving to Michigan he engaged in the lumber business, in which he made a fortune. During the Civil War he rose from the ranks to be a brevet major general. Alger was (1885-86) a popular governor of Michigan and was prominent in Republican national affairs. He was made secretary of war by President McKinley, but the inefficiency of his department, which was highly disorganized when he took charge, and his appointment of William R. Shafter as leader of the Cuban expedition were bitterly criticized, and he resigned. He was later (1902-7) U.S. senator from Michigan.
Alger is a village in Hardin County, Ohio, United States. The population was 888 at the 2000 census.


Alger is located at (40.708828, -83.844512).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 888 people, 371 households, and 251 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,138.0 people per square mile (1,224.5/km²). There were 402 housing units at an average density of 1,420.6/sq mi (554.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.44% White, 0.11% Native American, and 0.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.11% of the population.

There were 371 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the village the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 79.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.0 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $26,447, and the median income for a family was $33,438. Males had a median income of $29,250 versus $18,636 for females. The per capita income for the village was $14,742. About 13.5% of families and 18.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.0% of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.


State Route 235 is an important street in Alger.

Notable natives


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