Alvin Saunders (July 12, 1817 - November 1, 1899) was a Senator from Nebraska.
Saunders was born in Fleming County, Kentucky. He attended the common schools and pursued an academic course; he moved with his father to Illinois in 1829 and then to Mount Pleasant, Iowa (then a part of Wisconsin Territory) in 1836. He was the postmaster of Mount Pleasant for seven years. Saunders studied law but never entered into practice; instead, he engaged in mercantile pursuits and banking. He was a delegate to the Iowa State constitutional convention in 1846 and was a senator in the Iowa General Assembly from 1854-1856 and 1858-1860. Saunders was one of the commissioners appointed by Congress to organize the Union Pacific Railroad Company.
He served as the last Governor of Nebraska Territory from 1861-1867. He was a delegate to the 1868 Republican National Convention. Saunders was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 5, 1877, to March 3, 1883; chairman, Committee on Territories (Forty-seventh Congress). He died in Omaha on November 1, 1899; interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Saunders is the grandfather of William Henry Harrison, who served several terms as Wyoming's member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1950s and 60s.
Saunders County, Nebraska is named after him.
Preceded by: Algernon S. Paddock (acting) Governor of Nebraska Territory 1861-1867 Succeeded by: position abolished Preceded by: Phineas W. Hitchcock United States Senator from Nebraska (Class 2) 1877-1883 Succeeded by: Charles F. Manderson