Doddridge County Roots

A West Virginia Genealogy

Lewis MAXWELL

Male 1790 - 1862  (71 years)


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  • Name Lewis MAXWELL 
    Born 17 Apr 1790  Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Census 1840, 1850  Lewis Co, (W)VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • In 1840, he was enumerated as the only member of the household.
    Census 1860  Doddridge Co, (W)VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation lawyer  [2
    Died 13 Feb 1862  [1
    • Minnie Kendall Lowther (HRC, p. 603) reports his death as 1865 near Weston in Lewis County, but more official sources state Feb 13 1862 in West Union, Doddridge County. The death date on his now-weathered grave marker also appears to be Feb 13 1862. His will, dated July 8 1860, was submitted for probate at the February 1862 term of the Doddridge County Court.
    Buried Blockhouse Hill Cemetery (old SDB section), West Union, Doddridge Co, WV Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Notes 
    • Lewis Maxwell was a member of Congress from 1827 to 1833. A wealthy man for his time, he was a surveyor who entered large tracts of land all over his region of the state. Childless, he left no heirs, so much of his fortune fell to his nephew, Franklin Maxwell. Specifically, his will "gave his widow her dower, and divided the residue of the estate equally between the sons of his nephew Franklin one-half, and the other one-half equally among the sons of his brothers and half-brothers; Franklin Maxwell, under the Will, received $2,000 for settling the estate, and Judge Edwin Maxwell and the Judge's brother Rufus Maxwell received his Library."
      ["History of Ritchie County," p. 603, by Minnie Kendall Lowther]
      ["The Lowther Family of Doddridge County, West Virginia," p. 1, by Lathrop Russell Charter]

      The 1860 Federal Census Slave Schedule for Doddridge County, enumerated on Jun 1 1860, contains the following entry:
      Slave owner: Lewis Maxwell
      Description of slaves:
      1 black female, age 70
      1 black male, age 29

      "MAXWELL, Lewis, (1790 - 1862) MAXWELL, Lewis, a Representative from Virginia; born in Chester County, Pa., April 17, 1790; moved with his mother to Virginia about 1800; completed a preparatory course; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Weston, Va. (now West Virginia); member of the State house of delegates 1821-1824; elected to the Twentieth Congress; reelected to the Twenty-first Congress and reelected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-second Congress (March 4, 1827-March 3, 1833); chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of War (Twenty-first Congress), Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy (Twenty-second Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1832; resumed the practice of law and was also engaged as a surveyor and land patentee; died in West Union, Doddridge County, Va. (now West Virginia), February 13, 1862; interment in Odd Fellows Cemetery."
      Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000269

      Background Information: Lewis Maxwell was born either in Colrain Township of Lancaster County or in Chester County, Pennsylvania on April 17, 1790, and was the son of Thomas Maxwell and Jane Lewis . As a child, he moved with his mother to Lewis County, Virginia. He studied law, was admitted to the bar and became a member of the State House of Delegates 1821-1824. He was served in Congress from 1827 to 1833, after which he resumed the practice of law, was a surveyor and land speculator. He married Sophronia Wilson in 1844, and later, in 1859, Jane Pritchard, who survived him. He was one of the largest landholders in the region, a founder of Weston, (West) Virginia and the founder of Jane Lew, a town named after his mother. He died in West Union, Doddridge County, (West) Virginia on February 13, 1862 and was buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Childless, his fortune ultimately descended to his nephew Franklin Maxwell, son of his older brother Abner.
      http://www.historybyhand.com/Document%20Descriptions/DM4045.htm
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Maxwell

      (NOTE: This report of Lewis Maxwell's burial at the Odd Fellows Cemetery is incorrect, as that cemetery did not exist until 1899. His monument is located in the nearby Old Seventh Day Baptist section of what is now known as Blockhouse Hill Cemetery. The other two Blockhouse Hill Cemetery sections are the former IOOF Cemetery and the Catholic section.)
    Person ID I34201  Doddridge County Roots
    Last Modified 5 Nov 2015 

    Father Thomas MAXWELL,   b. Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1796, Chester Co, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Jane LEWIS,   b. 17 Jul 1767, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jane Lew, Lewis Co, WV Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married CA 1785 
    Family ID F13443  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Safronia WILSON,   d. Bef Jan 1857 
    Married 1844  [1
    Family ID F13442  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 E. P. "Jane" PRITCHARD,   b. 1838, Ritchie Co, (W)VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1921  (Age 83 years) 
    Married 29 Jan 1857  Ritchie Co, (W)VA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Notes 
    • 1850 Census, Lewis Co, (W)VA, enumerated Sep 28 1850:
      Lewis Maxwell, 59, born in Virginia, lawyer. No other household members.

      1860 Census, Doddridge Co, (W)VA:
      Lewis Maxwell, 68, born in Pennsylvania, lawyer; Jane, 21, born in Virginia. No other household members. [2, 5]
    Family ID F13428  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Blockhouse Hill Cemetery (old SDB section), West Union, Doddridge Co, WV Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    34201_LewisMaxwell_SketchByJosephHDissDebar.jpg
    34201_LewisMaxwell_SketchByJosephHDissDebar.jpg
    34201_MAXWELL_Lewis_1790-1864_OldSDBCem_BlockhouseHill_WestUnion_DoddridgeCoWV_Resized.jpg
    34201_MAXWELL_Lewis_1790-1864_OldSDBCem_BlockhouseHill_WestUnion_DoddridgeCoWV_Resized.jpg

    Documents
    Last Will & Testament of Lewis Maxwell (1790-1862)
    Last Will & Testament of Lewis Maxwell (1790-1862)

    Histories
    999999_Early-Doddridge-Settlers_Legends-and-Facts_by-Jennifer-Wilt.txt
    999999_Early-Doddridge-Settlers_Legends-and-Facts_by-Jennifer-Wilt.txt
    999999_Ephraim-Bee-and-Early-Doddridge-County-Part1_by-Jennifer-Wilt.txt
    999999_Ephraim-Bee-and-Early-Doddridge-County-Part1_by-Jennifer-Wilt.txt

  • Sources 
    1. [S293] History of Ritchie County, by Minnie Kendall Lowther, Minnie Kendall Lowther, (1911, reprinted 1999, McClain Printing Co, Parsons WV, http://McClainPrinting.com), p. 603.

    2. [S1890] 1860 Census, Doddridge County, (W)VA.

    3. [S5] Headstone.

    4. [S1630] Ritchie County WV Marriages 1843-1915, (Wes Cochran, 2515 10th Ave, Parkersburg WV 26101 (July 1985)).
      Identified as Lewis Maxwell, widowed, age 60, b. Chester Co PA, res. Lewis Co, son of Thomas & J.; and E. P. Prichard [sic], b. Lewis Co, res. Ritchie Co, dau of P. & E. Married Jan 29 1857. It is noted that the groom's age is understated by about six years. Marriage date reported by Minnie Kendall Lowther (HRC, p. 603) as 1859.

    5. [S293] History of Ritchie County, by Minnie Kendall Lowther, Minnie Kendall Lowther, (1911, reprinted 1999, McClain Printing Co, Parsons WV, http://McClainPrinting.com).