Isaiah L. Alden was born on June 8, 1846, and lived in East Turner, Maine. In 1867, he began to study medicine at the University of Michigan, but left for Portland, Maine, in March 1868, where he worked for the U. S. Marine Hospital. During a summer visit to Turner that year, Alden contracted a serious disease, and at the end of the year he quit his job at the hospital. In February 1869, he returned to school, and resumed his medical studies at the Medical School of Maine (now the School of Medicine at Bowdoin College). His health continued to deteriorate, and he was eventually diagnosed with tuberculosis. He survived and moved to Iowa to practice law, though his frail health forced a return to Livermore Falls, Maine, in the early 1870s. Alden married Dora Staples on July 24, 1871, and they had three children: Sibyl, Minnie, and Loyal. He remained in Maine until his death on July 1, 1886.