One of eight sons and four daughters, Alexander Brevard was a Revolutionary War officer, planter and iron manufacturer. He was born in Iredell County. In 1776, he joined the Continental Army and rose quickly from the rank of ensign to first lieutenant in the 4th North Carolina Regiment. During a brutal winter with George Washington at Valley Forge, he was ordered home due to health problems. In 1779, he was made captain of the North Carolina Militia, and fought at Camden, S.C. with Gen. Horatio Gates in 1780. After the war was over, in 1792 he became a partner with three other investors in an iron ore business. He built the Mt. Tizrah Forge; by 1804 the company had 5,000 acres of land and nine slaves. Brevard later built Rehoboth Furnace. Via the Catawba River, he shipped iron goods made at his factories to markets as far away as Charleston, S.C. Alexander Brevard was married to Rebecca Davidson, the daughter of Major John Davidson. They had ten children, seven of whom survived their father.