Samuel Maxwell, p. 150

SAMUEL MAXWELL was born on October 23, 1776, near Carlisle, Pa and died October 9, 1865. (family records show he was born in Ireland)

About the year 1800 he purchased a farm in the vicinity of New Cumberland, W. Va. (then Brooke county, Va., now Hancock County, W. Va.), which was his home until his death.

Mr. Maxwell was very highly esteemed as a neighbor and a citizen. He was for over fifty years a ruling elder in the Presbyterian church, having been ordained to that office by Rev. Elisha McCurdy, in the church known as the " Three Springs," in the burial ground of which his body a-waits the resurrection of the just. He was twice married: first to Miss Sarah Scott, by whom he had five sons-Scott, Smiley, John, Robert, William (who died in infancy)-and one daughter -Elizabeth, who became the wife of a Mr. Welsh, whose son, Rev. Josiah Welsh, was the founder and, until his death in 1877, the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mrs. Jane Fulton, a sister of the Rev. John McCluskey, D. D., and widow of John Fulton, of Florence, Penn.-, was Mr. Maswell's second wife. They were married August 18, 1831. Mrs. Maxwell, by her first husband, was the mother of Rev. Robert John Fulton (a sketch of whom follows), a brilliant young clergyman, who died at Cumberland, (Guernsey Co., Ohio, in 1855. The children of Samuel and Jane (McCluskey) Maxwell were William (born August 9, 1882, and died at Williamsburgh, Va., May 13, 1863), James McCluskey (a sketch of whom follows), and Joseph Henry, who is an extensive wheat-grower near Dawson, Minnesota.

Joseph Henry Maxwell was born March 10, 1840. In the early history of the war of the Rebellion he enlisted in the First West Virginia Regiment (loyal), Col. Thoburn, commander, and continued in the ranks until the close of the war, refusing promotion and passing courageously through more than thirty pitched battles, fortunately receiving no serious personal injury and only on one occasion a slight wound.

ROBERT J. FULTON was born in the northern part of Washington county, Penn., a son of John Fulton a descendant of Robert Fulton, of steamboat renown. His mother was Jane McCluskey, a sister of the late Catherine (McCluskey) Herriott, who was the mother of William and John Herriott, well-known farmers of Mt. Pleasant township, of Miss Nancy Jane Herriott, of Canonsburg, and Mrs. Kate (Herriott) Ewing, wife of Rev. William Ewing, of the same place. Her son, James H., died some years ago at Lawrence, Kans. Mr. Fulton was one of the brightest men that ever enlivened a dinner party or social. He was considerably over six; feet tall of very slender but compact build. His manner; was keen and surprisingly alert. Had he been a heavier boned man he might easily have been mistaken for a twin brother of Abraham Lincoln. He had dark complexion, small, black, sparkling eyes and a dense shock of very black hair. Hs was a man of exceedingly fine taste, and very few in the Presbyterian Church to-day equal his scholastic attainments and oratorical powers. After teaching school in country districts for some years while a boy, he attended the celebrated academy at West Alexander, presided over for many years by his mother's brother, the far-famed Dr. John McCluskey. Then after teaching in this school and reading a complete course in the classics, mathematics and theology under the tuition of Dr. McCluskey, he was, after a most rigid examination, licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Ohio, whose members declared that he had stood a better examination than any candidate that had ever come before them.

Mr. Fulton bad no brother, but two sisters, one of whom, long since dead, was the wife of Samuel Phillips, of Chartiers township. She had three children: Fulton, Hibbert and Sophie C. J., the first being the editor and proprietor of the McDonald Outlook, the second a very popular and successful physician at Pittsburgh, and the third a well-known resident of Canonsburg. The second sister of Robert Fulton was Mary, wife of Rev. T. B. Van Eman, of Canonsburg, who died many years ago, leaving one son, John William, who is a Presbyterian minister and missionary at Geneseo, Kans. After having been licensed, Mr. Fulton was called to the Presbyterian Church at Cumberland, Ohio. A few years after he wet to assist at a wonderful revival of religion in a neighboring church where he preached each day and each night for two weeks; then coming home preached on Sabbath to his own people an exceedingly impressive sermon from Micah vi: 9, and took pneumonia and fever that carried him off in a few days. Thus passed sway one of the brightest spirits this county ever produced. Robert Fulton married Ruth Anna Lucas, who resided in West Alexander, Penn. They had one daughter, Kate, who married a Mr. Sproul, an attorney, who has for some years been engaged in one of the departments at Washington, D. C.

REV. JOHN MCCLUSKEY, D. D., was for over a quarter of a century the active and successful pastor of the church of West Alexander, Penn. At the age of thirty-three years he came to it, licentiate from the Presbytery of Philadelphia, and was ordained by Washington Presbytery as pastor, October 8, 1828. Chester county, Penn)., claims the honor of his birth, which occurred June 17, 1795, though the discipline of his youth came from Washington county, the future sphere of his labors.

Jefferson College sent him forth in the class of 1822, adorned with her culture, and better still as a new man in the purpose of his life; for while an under-graduate he made his confession of Christ in the Chartiers Church, then under the pastoral care of Dr. John McMillan. Not a little of his mental development., before and after his collegiate training, came through his own efforts as a teacher, and the habit thus acquired increased and widened his influence throughout his pastoral work. He received his theological training partly under the instruction of Dr. Ezra Stiles Ely, of Philadelphia, and, for one year, in the Princeton Seminary.

Dr. McCluskey was more a man of action than of servere study. His preaching was plain, Scriptural, sound and spiritual, abounding in illustrations from daily life. It was attended with steady ingathering to the communion of the church, and often with special revivals. He was pre-eminently a man of affairs, even at times taking the temporal as well as spiritual interests of his people into his care. Thus, under his influence, the general advancement of society kept pace with the progress of his church. He was a special friend of liberal education. He established the West Alexander Academy, and conducted it with much success and reputation during the pastorate, sending forth from its walls about fifty students who became ministers, besides many candidates for the other professions. He was also an active trustee of Washington College. Dr. McCluskey's resignation, April 15, 1854, in the fifty-ninth year of his age, was not for the purpose of inglorious ease, but rather for a change of work.

After a year spent in the service of the board of education, he supplied the pulpit of the church of Neshaminy, Penn., and afterward that of Smyrna, Delaware, through a period of five years. In 1859 he founded a church-school in West Philadelphia. In 1864 he established an institution at Hightstown, N. J., for the free tuition of the children of ministers, and especially of missionaries. Returning to Philadelphia in 1870, be acted for a time as associate principal of the Mantua Academy.

The evening of his declining life was spent among friends at Wooster, Ohio. On March 31, 1880, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, his life work came to its end in Philadelphia, and he ascended to the upper skies. [From the "History of the Presbytery of Washington. "]

His body was laid to rest in the old Neshaminy Cemetery at Hartsville, Penn., where, since, at his side was placed the body of his most estimable and greatly beloved wife.

REV. JAMES McCLUSKEY MAXWELL, D. D., was born in the vicinity of New Cumberland, Brooke Co., Va. (now Hancock county, W. Va), August 1, 1837. He was baptized in infancy by Rev. John W. Scott, president of Washington College, at the old Three Springs church, where his father, Samuel Maxwell, had been many years before ordained a ruling elder by Rev. Elisha McCurdy. His mother was Jane McCluskey Maxwell, a native of Robinson township, Washington Co., Penn., and a sister of Rev. .John McCluskey, D. D., well known in western Pennsylvania as a leading preacher and educator in his day. At Cumberland, Ohio, and at Miller Academy, Washington, Ohio, Mr. Maxwell was prepared for Washington College, where he graduated in 1860. The two years following he spent in the Western Theological Seminary, at Allegheny, Penn., going in the autumn of 1862 to Chicago, where, in the spring of 1863, he graduated from the McCormick Theological Seminary.

Mr. Maxwell's student life was marked by faithfulness as well as brilliancy, and gave full promise of his , subsequent successful and eminently useful career. He was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Presbytery of Zanesville at its session held at McConnellsville, Ohio, in April, 1862, and was invited, immediately after completing his theological course, to take charge of the Presbyterian Church at Fort Madison, Iowa, also to the pastorate of the Presbyterian church at Kirkwood, in the vicinity of St. Louis, Mo. The latter he accepted, and was in September, 1863, ordained a Gospel minister by the Presbytery of St. Louis, and installed pastor of the Kirkwood Church, which position he held until June, 1865, when he accepted a call to the pastorate of the 'Twelfth Presbyterian Church of Baltimore, Md.

The two years which Mr. Maxwell passed at Kirkwood were the closing years of the war of the Rebellion, and in addition to his pastoral duties he gave attention to the physical and spiritual wants of the soldiers in the barracks, hospitals and prisons of St. Louis. He entered upon his labors as pastor of the Baltimore Church in August, 1865, and continued in that pastorate for nine years, when, on account of impaired health, he was advised by his physician to give up work entirely for a year or two, or seek a field in which his duties would be much lighter; and in accordance with his advice he removed, in the fall of 1874, to the beautiful town of Belvidere, N. J., where he accepted a call to the Second Presbyterian Church, in the pastorate of which he continued for six years.

On October 26, 1865, Mr. Maxwell was married in Hightstown, N. J., to Miss Gertrude A. Appleget, of that town, Rev. S. S. Shriver and Rev. John McCluskey, D. D., officiating. Mrs. Maxwell is a woman of rare natural endowments and broad culture, and she has ever, by her sweet, Christian spirit, and her efficiency and exceptional qualification as a social leader and Christian worker, won a warm place in the esteem and affection of all with whom her position has brought her into contact. The kindly, generous and hospitable disposition of the husband has always met with the hearty sympathy and co-operation of the wife, so that the parsonage has ever and everywhere been noted for its delightful hospitality.

Mr. Maxwell and his wife have been twice abroad: first for four months in 1877, visiting Great Britain, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and France. The second visit abroad was made in 1880-81, including almost a year, and embraced Algeria, Spain, Italy, and, on the part of Mr. Maxwell, Egypt, Palestine, Greece, Constantinople, and westward by way of the Black Sea, the Danube, Hungary, Austria, Venice, and over the Simplon Pass. During this tour Mr. Maxwell was correspondent of such well-known newspapers as the New York Independent and Tribune, the Interior of Chicago, and has since been a valued contributor to the Christian at Work and the Christian Union.

In 1882 Mr. Maxwell became editor of the Presbyterian Observer at Baltimore, which position he held until the winter of 1885-86, much of the time supplying the Presbyterian Church of Harmony, Harford Co., Md., and was earnestly solicited to become pastor there, but, though the mutual attachment was very great between the people of that church and himself, he did not see his way clear to assume its pastorate. In the meantime he was called to the pastoral charge of the Presbyterian Church at Sweet Air, Baltimore Co., Md., and to that of Beaver, Penn., and also to the church of Monongahela City, Penn., which latter he accepted, and of which he is still the popular and beloved pastor. Dr. Maxwell is a preacher of rare power-fresh, vigorous and suggestive - a pastor of exceptional tenderness and devotion - an organizer of peculiar tact - a friend whom one values and a companion of whom one never tires.

Text taken from page 150 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).

Transcribed March 1997 by Judy and Lee Schaeffer of Pittsburgh, PA as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at

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