John A. Maxwell is now living retired in Gibson City, but for a long period was identified with agricultural interests in this section of the state, and by his well directed industry and capable management gained the success which now enables him to enjoy a well earned rest. He is one of Illinois' native sons, his birth having occurred in Tazewell county, near Danvers, on the 23d of December, 1857, his parents being Eli and Amanda (Hill) Maxwell. The father was born in Greene county, Ohio, and the mother was also a native of that state. She died when her son John was but six months old and the father, long surviving her, passed away about 1893. He became a resident of Illinois in 1852, at which time he located near Danvers in Tazewell county, where he followed farming. There he remained until called to his final rest at the age of seventy-six years.
John A. Maxwell was reared upon the old homestead farm and acquired his education in the district schools of McLean county, Illinois. He early became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist, and on starting out in life on his own account, first rented land in McLean county. He has also been identified with industrial pursuits and for several years operated a sawmill, while for twenty years he also engaged in threshing in McLean county, owning a threshing machine. Purchasing land, he was for a wlong period successfully engaged in general agricultural pursuits, bringing his fields under a high state of cultivation and so conducting his business affairs that his interests returned to him a gratifying annual income. He is still the owner of five hundred acres of good land which he drained, putting in twelve miles of tile, and thus brought it into a rich state of fertility. He carried on the work of tilling the soil year after year and gathered rich crops until 1897, when he left the farm and removed to Hudson, where he lived for several years. About 1900, however, he came to Gibson City and purchased the Damman home, which is one of the finest residences of the city. He also owns another house and lot here, and from his farming property he derives a good income. In 1906 he rented his place, which was devoted to the raising of stock and grain while he resided upon it.
In March, 1879, Mr. Maxwell was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Fay, a daughter of Dr. Louis Fay, who died in Florida about 1897, after having lived there for fifteen years. Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell have become the parents of six children: Lillian, who is the wife of William R. Greer, a farmer living near Woodford in McLean county, Illinois; Bessie, the wife of Rollie B. Price, who carries on general farming north of Bloomington; Mahala, the wife of Roscoe Moore, who is engaged in farming about four miles southwest of Gibson; Mollie, Ruth and Bryan, all at home.
Mr. Maxwell has been called to some local offices, serving for four terms as collector in his township before his removal from the farm. He is a member of the Lotus Club of Gibson City, and he gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. He is a man of broad mind, of genial nature and social qualities, and wins friends wherever he goes, while he and his family are held in the highest esteem by those who know them.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 554-555.

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