BIOGRAPHY - A. C. Maxson

A. C. MAXSON, a practical and progressive farmer of Lyman Township, residing on section 14, claims Connecticut as the State of his nativity. He was born February 8, 1821, and traces his ancestry back to the days when the Pilgrim Fathers landed on the shores of Massachusetts. His parents were Amos Champaign and Elizabeth (Tinker) Maxson. His father was born in Connecticut, and was a carpenter by trade. In politics, he was a Democrat, and in religious belief was a Baptist. He died at the age of ninetythree years. His family numbered four sons and two daughters, but, with the exception of our subject, only one is now living, Nancy, who resides in Connecticut, at the age of ninety-two. The early boyhood days of our subject were spent under the parental roof, where he remained until fourteen years of age, when he shipped aboard a sailing-vessel on the high seas, leaving New York on a packet bound for London. He followed this life for seven years, and became mate of a vessel. He has sailed to the Sandwich Islands, Havre, Rotterdam, Italy, Sicily, Antwerp, and around Cape Horn. He made fifteen voyages on the "Wellington" to London, one on the "Hector" to Mobile, one each to Liverpool on the "Metoka," the "Sidons" and the "Cornelia," one each to London on the "Toronto" and the "Montreal;" was second mate on the brig "Republic" during three voyages, and the brig "Mettamora" on two voyages to Appalachicola, was boatswain on two voyages to Liverpool, was first mate on the "Sampson" on three voyages, on the barque "Curtis" from New Orleans to Philadelphia, on the brig "Emeline," on the brig "Ocilla", which went around Cape Horn to California, on the barque "Mayflower," for two years, on the "Sir Robert Peel," during two voyages, and the "Lenore," and the "American Congress" during one voyage. He was Captain of the ships "Tonera," and "Edwina" each a voyage. He was on the high seas for about a quarter of a century, during which time they encountered many severe storms, and on one occasion the crew were at the pumps for seven days and seven nights.

In 1852, Mr. Maxson was united in marriage with Miss Phoebe Elizabeth Pierson, a native of Lime, Conn., and unto them were born three sons and three daughters, all yet living, namely: Ettie Louise, who was educated in Grand Prairie Seminary in Onarga, and is a successful teacher of this county; Laura, wife of Henry Clay Miner, of Genesee County, N. Y.; Bertha, wife of John Dopps, of Bloomington, Ill.; John Arthur, who is married and resides in Brenton Township; Pierson R., who is married, and is employed in the shops of the Chicago & Alton Railroad at Bloomington, Ill.; and Wilber R., who completes the family. The mother departed this life July 19, 1879, and her remains were interred in Roberts Cemetery, where a beautiful monument marks her last resting place.

In 1859, Mr. Maxson came to Ford County, then a part of Vermilion County, and, although he has resided upon the same farm, has lived in two counties and three different township organizations, Stockton, Brenton and Lyman. He entered one hundred and sixty acres of raw land upon which not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made. Gibson, Melvin, Roberts and Piper City were not then laid out, and wild game roamed over the prairies upon which those towns are now located. Mr. Maxson now owns eighty acres of improved land and his valuable farm yields to him a good income. In his political affillations, he is a Republican, but has never sought or desired public office, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his business interests. His career has been a checkered one, yet one of honor, and he is regarded as one of the valued and representative citizens of Ford County. He is also numbered among its honored pioneers, having been an eye-witness of its growth and upbuilding for a third of a century.

Extracted 31 Jul 2020 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 286-289.

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