The efforts of the subject of this sketch have proven of the greatest
value to his fellow citizens as well as to himself. He has shaped his career
along worthy lines, and they have been discerningly directed along
well-defined channels of endeavor. He is a man of distinct and forceful
individuality, of marked sagacity, of undaunted enterprise, and in manner he
is genial, courteous and easily approached. His career has ever been such as
to warrant the trust and confidence of the business world and his activity
in industrial, commercial and financial circles, forms no unimportant
chapter in the history of Clay county.
Bennett M. Maxey, publisher of the Flora Journal, was born in Johnsonville, Wayne county, Illinois, November 25, 1856, the son of Joshua C. Maxey, a native of Jefferson county, this state, where he spent the greater part of his life on a farm. He was a sergeant in Company I, Forty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and took part in the battles of Pittsburg Landing, siege of Vicksburg and other noted battles. He was killed while in service at Louisville, Kentucky, near the close of the war. He was regarded by his comrades as a brave and gallant soldier. Bennett Maxey, the subject's paternal grandfather, was one of the original settlers of Jefferson county, where he devoted his life to farming, and lived to an advanced age. Our subject is a descendant of a prominent pioneer family of Jefferson county. The subject's mother was Elvira A. Galbraith, whose people were early settlers of Wayne county. She passed to her rest in 1887. Mr. and Mrs. Joshua C. Maxey were the parents of five children, three of whom are living at this writing. They are Bennett M., Mrs. Belle Sanders, of Du Quoin, Illinois, and Mrs. Mattie Vickrey, of Missoula, Montana.
Mrs. Maxey was educated in the common schools of Johnsonville, Wayne county, and in Xenia, Clay county. He also attended school in Valparaiso, Indiana, having graduated from that institution in 1880, completing the teacher's course. After leaving the university he taught school for five years. In 1881 he engaged in the drug business at Xenia which he conducted until 1887, when he sold out and went to California, where he remained for four years, engaged in the real estate business and ranching. He returned to Clay county in 1889 and located in Flora, where he has since resided. He was associated with J. L. Black in the real estate and insurance business until 1898, in which year he launched in the mercantile business in which he engaged until 1904, when he bought The Southern Illinois Journal, the leading local paper of Flora, which he has continued to manage up to this writing with increasing success.
Mr. Maxey has other interests of various natures, being interested financially in several local enterprises. He has served as City Alderman, during which time he looked well to the city's development in every way possible.
Mr. Maxey was united in marriage in 1880, to Rosa Tully, of Xenia, a native of Clay county. No children have been born to this union.
In his fraternal relations, our subject is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Masonic Fraternity and the Order of Eastern Star. Both he and Mrs. Maxey are members of the Methodist church. In politics he is a Republican and always loyal to its policies. His paper is an important factor in local political affairs. It is on a good footing and the plant is well equipped and modern, having a cylinder press and gas power. Mr. Maxey owns the building in which the plant is located, and he also owns his residence property. He deserves a great deal of credit for what he has accomplished, for his success in the various lines of business he has followed has been won in the face of obstacles and by his unaided efforts.
Extracted 27 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay & Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 104-105.