Clay County

Biography - BENNETT M. MAXEY

Possessed of the rare gift of being able to give expression to his ideas of right and wrong and still retain the personal friendship of practically every individual who reads his newspaper, Bennett M. Maxey is giving the people of Flora, Illinois, and the adjacent country a newspaper of which they may well be proud in the Flora Journal, the pages of which are filled with clean, clear and concise news matter and virile, well-written editorials. While Mr. Maxey is giving the greater part of his attention to journalism, he has at various times been engaged in business ventures, and now has large real estate holdings both in Illinois and Colorado. He is a native of the Prairie state, having been born in Wayne county, November 25, 1856, and is a son of Joshua C. and Elvira A. (Galbraith) Maxey.

Bennett Maxey, the grandfather of Bennett M., was a native of North Carolina who came to Illinois at a very early date, settling in Jefferson county, where he took up land from the government. During early days in this state he served as an Indian fighter. Agricultural pursuits of an extensive nature claimed his attention during the greater part of his life, and when he died he was in comfortable circumstances financially. All of his five sons were soldiers in the Union army during the Civil war, and Joshua C., father of Bennett M., who had previously been a farmer, and who entered the service in 1861, was a member of Company I, Forty-eighth Illinois Volunteers at the time he met his death, in 1865. He was but thirty-three years of age at the time his death occurred. Joshua C. Maxey was born in Jefferson county, Illinois, and there educated and reared to agricultural pursuits. He was a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and politically, up to the time of the war, was a Democrat, but subsequently gave his allegiance to the Republican party. He married Elvira A. Galbraith, who was born in Marion county, Illinois, daughter of Green B. Galbraith. The latter was born in Tennessee and came to Illinois at an early period, settling first in Marion and later in Wayne county. He was first an agriculturist, but later engaged in the mercantile business at Johnsonville and Odin, and died a prosperous man in the latter city.

The education of Bennett M. Maxey was secured in the public schools of Flora and in the Valparaiso (Indiana) College, from which latter he was graduated in 1880. Taking up teaching as a profession, he followed that vocation during the next eight years in Clay county, becoming widely and favorably known as an educator. At that time he decided to enter the mercantile business and accordingly established himself as the proprietor of a store at Xenia, where he remained for about seven years, during which time the business grew to considerable magnitude. At this time Mr. Maxey learned of a business opportunity in the West, and went to California, where for the next four years he was engaged as a real estate dealer, but in 1892 he located in Flora. From that time until 1904 he followed the real estate business and general merchandising, but in the latter year he purchased the Journal, a Republican publication forty-two years old and the leading newspaper of Clay county. Mr. Maxey's politics have always been those of the Republican party, and he has, no doubt, done a great deal in influencing public opinion during campaigns. He is endeavoring to give the reading public all that is best in journalism, and if the success that has attended his efforts so far is any criterion he has not tried in vain. Alive to every important issue of the day, he gives his support to the measures which he deems will be best for the country, state or community, and as one who has the best interests of the public at heart he has the universal respect and esteem of his fellow citizens. Mr. Maxey's operations have been deservedly successful in a financial way, and he has real estate holdings in Flora and in Colorado. Fraternally he is connected with Flora Lodge and Royal Arch Chapter of Masons and with the Knights Templar, and has served as junior warden and as secretary of his Chapter.

On September 7, 1879, Mr. Maxey was united in marriage with Miss Rosa Tully, daughter of John Tully, an early settler and agriculturist of Marion county. Mr. and Mrs. Maxey are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church and have a wide acquaintance in social circles of Flora.

Extracted 09 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1180-1181.

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