"ALEXANDRIA, a town in Bonhill parish, Dumbartonshire, on the right bank of the Leven, opposite Bonhill town, with which it is connected by an iron suspension-bridge of 438 feet span, erected in 1836 at the cost (£2200) of Captain Smollett of Bonhill. Its station, on a branch of the North British, is 19¼ miles WNW of Glasgow, 3¼ N of Dumbarton, 31½ WSW of Stirling, and 1¾ S by E of Balloch Pier, Loch Lomond.
From a clachan or 'grocery', Alexandria has risen in less than a century to a busy and prosperous town, this rise being due to the bleaching, printing, and dyeing works established in the Vale of Leven since 1768. Itself containing one extensive calico print and Turkey-red dye work, and a clog and block factory, it has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments: a branch of the Clydesdale Banking Company, and a savings' bank: a Young Mens' Christian and a Rifle Association: gas works, an hotel, and a public hall: and the Vale of Leven Mechanics' Institute (1834), with a library of 3600 volumes and a handsome lecture hall, seating 1100, and built in 1865 at a cost of upwards of £3000. A cattle market is held here on the first Wednesday of June. There are 6 places of worship- Established (stipend £150), Free, U.P., Congregationalist, Wesleyan, and Roman Catholic (Our Lady and St Mark, 1859: 352 sittings). Under the Bonhill schoolboard there were open here in 1879 a fine stone public school (erected in 1877) and a Roman Catholic school, which, with respective accommodation for 613 and 155 children, had an average day attendance of 448 and 119 (78 and 90 evening scholars), and total grants amounting to £451,10s. 6d. and £126, 9s. Pop. of town (1841) 3039, (1871) 4650, (1881) 6616. Pop. of quoad sacra parish of Alexandria, in the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr (1871) 5065, (1881) 6616."
Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4)