Studied at Norwich University (Bachelor of Science, 1863. Civil Engineer, Doctor of Laws). Served as private United States.V., 1862, to major 2d Massachusetts cavalry, 1865.
Captain regular army, 1866-1872.
He served as the president of the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Oklahoma State University) and the Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland) as well teaching Military Science at Massachusetts Agricultural College (Now the University of Massachusetts - Amherst). Alvord was born on March 11, 1844 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. He served as Professor of Agriculture of the Massachusetts Agricultural College from 1886 to 1887, as well as the second president of Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College from 1894 to 1895.
He became interested in the emerging western cattle industry while serving as a cavalry officer in the United States Army, and Alvord later lobbied for the passage of the Hatch Acting of 1887 and the Morrill Acting of 1890, which helped establish agricultural experiment stations.
He died on October 1, 1904 in Saint Louis, Missouri while attending the World"s Fair.
Member International Jury (Vice-President class 40), Universal Exposition, Paris, 1900. Member Standing Common for International Agricultural Congress.
Married Martha Scott Swink, September 6, 1866.