Frederick Wakeman Alvord was born on September 28, 1836 in Fairfield, Connecticut. By 1850, he and his parents Elisha and Louisa Alvord had moved to Sandusky, Ohio, where his father worked as a carriage maker. On July 19, 1866, he married Caroline Sprague in Erie County, Ohio.
By 1869 F.W. Alvord was engaged in the wholesale fish business with his father. The E. Alvord & Son wholesale fish business was on the south side of Water Street east of Wayne Street in downtown Sandusky. According to proceedings from the American Fisheries Society, in 1883 Alvord & Son caught over 23 tons of whitefish, and in 1884, they caught 30 ½ tons. During this time, from 1878 to 1885, F.W. Alvord also served as Clerk of Courts in Erie County. Mr. Alvord continued in the wholesale fish business until poor health caused him to disband the business in 1898.
Mrs. F.W. Alvord was an early member of the Board of Trustees of the Library Association of Sandusky, serving in the 1870s and 1880s. Mr. and Mrs. Alvord had three children, Katharine Sprague Alvord, Frederick E. Alvord, and Sophia Louise Alvord Gawne. Katharine Sprague Alvord served as DePauw University's first dean of women, from 1915 to 1936.
Their son, Frederick E. Alvord, along with A.J. Peters, operated the Alvord-Peters Company for many years. The Alvord & Peters Company owned and published the Sandusky Star Journal from 1904 to 1929. F.W. Alvord died in Sandusky in 1908. Mrs. Alvord survived until 1917. Both were buried in the Alvord family lot at Oakland Cemetery.