of LEWIS MAXAM
Town of MEXICO,
Many thanks to Esther
Rancier for sharing her information on the Maxam family. Esther is
researching in Richland and Mexico the Soul/Soule, Brace
and Daniel P. Smith families, and would appreciate hearing from
anyone researching these surnames. Esther Rancier at: email@example.com
Families of Mexico, NY were well aware of the bloody Civil War raging in
the South. They sent their sons to fight, they prayed for the Union
Army and the oppressed slaves, they sang patriotic songs at rallies.
All of the above was fairly easy, but then... the years came when the coffins
were unloaded from the railroad freight cars. Smashed and torn bodies
were tenderly helped back to the arms of their weeping families.
But for an unlucky few, there was the silence – no news.
the war, as the horrors of Southern prisons became known, no name evoked
more terror than that of Andersonville. Mexico’s small farmers spent
their lives marching in time with the seasons. Their names were largely
only known to their neighbors. They helped to feed the community,
but they were nearly faceless.
one close-knit family learned their beloved oldest son, Smith E. Maxam,
had been captured on 20 April 1864 at Plymouth, NC. He had enlisted
as a private at Fulton, NY in Co. A 12th NY Cavalry. The rebels took
Smith to Andersonville Prison where the war had created food and medicine
many died. Smith, died 7 August 1864 from chronic diarrhea.
His body was tossed into grave no. 4946 where his remains lie now under
the care of the National Park Service.
years passed before the families learned about the cruelties. In
June 1893 the Andersonville memoirs of a 12th NY Calvary
Henry A. Harmon were published. Even by 21st century standards, the
scenes depicted are obscene in their inhumanity. Only mid-20th century,
German concentration camps rival the conditions of starvation that existed
wrote, “Scattered … and stretched out on the ground … were men in the last
stages of disease, generally that of the bowels and other kindred complaints.
As the coarse food that was issued to the prisoners only aggravated complaints
of this kind… the prisoners died by the hundreds….”
further commented, “ The dead were picked up every morning, carried to
the gates and laid out in a row, ready for the dead-wagon to draw them
out. Very few bodies would be left with any clothing on them; it
would be in the majority of cases be stripped from them before the breath
had left the body.
were the fights for dead men’s rags. It was pitiable to view the
naked dead as they were pitched like cord-wood into the wagon preparatory
to their ride to the dead-house or cemetery. They were thrown in, indiscriminately.”
the tale went on and on. No family that read of these matters, visualizing
their own beloved one could escape from being changed forever. The
Maxam’s of Mexico never seemed to have written of their personal anguish.
They went on to average lives, but the nation should never forget about
their sacrifice. The Maxam’s were and still remain the best in America.
They hid away their tears and went on.
In Kent, England about 1654, a Samuel Maxam was born. By about 1680
Samuel I was in Plymouth Co., MA where the family remained via, Samuel II
to IV who died in Middleboro, Plymouth Co., MA on 6 December 1820.
This Samuel IV and his wife, Margaret Lucas, had 11 children. Their
8th child, Ansel, born 2 April 1791, married Sarah Tiffany on 24 October
1810 in Adams, Jefferson Co., NY.
29 December 1841 in Marions' Corner, Wayne Co., NY, Lewis married
Mary A. Parmeter, daughter of Elijah Parmeter and
Rachel Mary Elwell. She
was born November 1824 in Saratoga Co., NY.
By 1843, the family was living in Farmington, Ontario Co., NY where their oldest
son, Smith E. Maxam was born 22 October 1843. The family moved to
Mexico, Oswego Co., NY by 1846 where Lewis began a successful farm.
In that first year the next son, Chester, died at age 3 months. The
babe was buried in Arthur Cemetery at Mexico. In the quiet years
that followed, more children were born.
Children of Lewis and Mary
1. Smith E. Maxam b. 22
October 1843; m. Olive Carrie Meyers; d. 7 August 1864 at
Prison in Georgia.
lived in an area of Mexico called Texas, NY, where there was no church,
close by. Lewis became a trustee of the Texas Union Church Organization
which came into being on 1 April 1868. This church was free to all
Christian denominations to attend. The group needed a proper church building.
Lewis served on the Building Committee and the structure was erected, but
it burned down on 31 December 1871. The church was rebuilt by the
2. Chester Maxam b. May 1846; d.
1846, age 3 months. Buried in Arthur Cemetery, Mexico.
3. Francis/”Frank” Maxam b. 1850;
d. after 1880 unmarried. Buried Mexico Village Cemetery.
4. Charles H. Maxam b. 7 May 1852;
m. 16 March 1871 Sarah Jane Chesebro; d. New Haven, NY.
5. Cynthia Louise Maxam b. 11 October
1856; m. Mexico, 9 June 1881 Frank Calkins; d. 1930. Issue: 2 sons.
Residence Mexico. Buried Mexico Village Cemetery.
In 1893, a Methodist Episcopal Church
was organized in Texas. Various other groups also used its facilities.
The last group to do so included Lewis Maxam in 1895.
active on his farm until he was past 80. Mary, died 1 September 1908 at
Texas and was buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery. Lewis died at
the home of his daughter, Cynthia Calkins in Mexico, on 27 February 1914.
He also was buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery.
son, Charles H. Maxam married on 16 March 1871 to Sarah Jane
They resided in New Haven, NY, having 4 children. He was a dairy
farmer. In 1910 the couple had been married 39 years.
Children of Charles and Sarah Maxam:
1. William DeForest Maxam
b. 25 March 1872; m. 4 August 1894 Cora Ann Moyers; d. November 1955 in
New Haven, NY.
Cynthia L. Maxam, married Frank E. Calkins in Mexico on 9 June 1881.
Frank was born October 1855 in Richland. He lived until 2 April 1938.
They had 2 sons.
2. Helen M. Maxam b. 25 March 1882;
m. 29 March 1902 Morris E. Mason, a carpenter whose father was b. in England.
Issue: Vivian Mason b. 1909 and Irene Mason b. 1911.
Buried New Haven
3. Sementha Martha Maxam b. 26 August
1889; m. 22 April 1908 George Milton Parsons.
Buried New Haven Cemetery.
4. LeRoy Jenison Maxam b. 4 February
1895; m. before 1922 Lena May Aston; d. October 1981 in Marion Co., OH.
Children of Cynthia and Frank
1. Frank Stanley Calkins
b. 1886; m. Emma May Webster who d. 1921; d. 1928. Issue:
Evelyn Calkins and
Stanley Orr Webster Calkins, who m.
at Pulaski, NY, on 7 July 1926 to Lena Gladys Colvin.
Maxam married at Texas, NY, 4 August 1894 Cora Ann
Moyers, born 10 December
1874 in Mexico. They resided first in Demster, NY then later in New
Haven. He was buried in the New Haven Cemetery in November 1955.
2. Lewis Calkins who m.
Issue: Francis Calkins.
Children of William and
1. Blanche Bell Maxam b.
Demster 7 August 1895
LeRoy J. Maxam
married before 1922, to Lena May Aston. By 1930 the family lived in Fulton,
NY. Later they moved to Marion Co., OH. LeRoy died October
1981 at Marion Co., OH.
2. Hazel May Maxam b. Demster 15
3. Willford Maxam b. Demster 30
4. Gertrude Isabelle Maxam b. Demster
1 June 1905
Children of LeRoy and Lena Maxam:
1. Norman LeRoy Maxam b.
2. William Maxam b. February 1923;
d. 1 March 1998 in Sturgis, St. Joseph Co., MI.
3. James Maxam b. 18 August 1825;
d. December 1980.
4. Robert Maxam b. 28 August 1931;
d. September 1972.
5. Lewis Maxam b. 18 September 1936;
d. 23 July 1997.
Andersonville Memoirs of Henry
A. Harmon. Available [online] [29 December 2002]
Andersonville Prisoner Lookup
Results. Available [online] [29 December 2002]
Cemetery Census of the Town
of Mexico, Oswego County, New York. Mexico: Mexico Historical Society,
Descendants of Matthew Grant.
Available [online] http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com
[30 December 2002]
Index. Available [online]
[28 December 2002]
New York. Office of
Adjutant-General. Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of the State
of New York for the Year 1894, v. 3.
Oswego, NY. Available
[25 December 2002]
Simpson, Elizabeth M. Mexico:
Mother of Towns. Buffalo: Clement, 1949.
Social Security Death Index.
[30 December 2002]
U.S. Census for Oswego Co.,
NY 1860, 1880, 1910, 1920 & 1930.
Wildey, Anna C. Genealogy
of the Descendants of William Chesebrough. New York: Wright, 1903.
World Connect Project.
[28 December 2002]
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Nov. 2003 Esther Rancier
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