JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
BIOGRAPHIES

Dr. Moss Maxey

In an age when there is no little just discrimination between the true and the false, when real assurance is better appreciated than unpretending merit, it is a pleasure to contemplate the career and character of such a man as the subject of this memoir, who, though unassuming, has not been underestimated by the people and who in return for their confidence and attachment has taught them how valuable may be those professional services that must be sought for and are never obtrusively displayed, as it were, from the house tops or on the public square. Though a man of unpretentious worth, he possesses the magnetic force that silently attracts men and those mental qualities and personal graces that grapple them to him as with bands of steele, also the tact and power that make his fellows as events, subserve his purposes and add to his honorable reputation m one of the most useful and exacting callings which appeal to the human mind.

Dr. Moss Maxey is scion from superior stock. In his life currents are mingled the stury strength of old Virginia ancestry and the ardor of antecedents whose early experience was 4osely interwoven with the pioneer history of the West. For many years both branches of his family have been closely identified with the rise and progress of Jefferson county and today there are few names as widely known or as greatly esteemed in Southern Illinois, as the one which he so honorably bears.

Burchett Maxey, the doctor's grandfather, who erected the first house on the present site of Mount Vernon in the year was a native of Virginia, where his birth occurred in 1795, and to his son, James C. Maxey, the subject's father, belongs the distinction of being the oldest native born citizen of Jefferson county at the present time. Burchett Niaxey removed from his native place to Sumner county, Virginia, in his younger clays, thence migrated to Southern Illinoi~ and was one of the hrst permanent settlers in what is now the county of Jefferson. He bore his full share in the pioneer h';story of this part of the state, but has long been sleeping the 4eep ffiat knows no awaking, leaving to his descendants a name that lives in the memories of the present generation and is destined to be handed down to future years as one of the leaders of civilization into what is now one of the most prosperous and enlightened counties of the commonwealth.

James C. Maxey, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume, married Nancy Moss, like himself, a native of Jefferson county, and became the father of eight children whose names are as follows: John R. deceased; Walter S., a druggist of Mount Vernon; Oscar, a farmer and stock raiser of Jefferson county; A. F.9 who is also engaged in the pursuit of agriculture in the county; Henry, manager of the Standard Oil plant and of the Ice & Cold Storage Company, of Mount Vernon; Lillie married Frank Sugg, of Kinmundy, Illinois; Oliver, deceased; and Dr. Moss Maxey, of this review.

Doctor Maxey is a native of Jefferson county, Illinois, and since infancy his life has been very closely associated with the place of his birth. In the free wholesome out-door life of the i~arm, he spent his early years and while still quite young learned the lessons of industry and thrift in his father's fields and under the direction of his parents laid broad and deep the solid mental and moral foundation upon which his subsequent career as a distinguished member of the medical profession rests. After attending the district schools until acquiring a pretty thorough knowledge of the branches taught therein he turned his attention to farm labor and was thus engaged on the family homestead until deciding to what vocation or profession his future life should be devoted. Having selected medicine as the calling most suited to his tastes and inclinations, the doctor in 1894 entered the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, where he pursued his professional studies and researches until completing the prescribed course three years later, receiving the degree of Doctor of Medicine from that institution in 1897.

Immediately after his graduation Doctor Maxey located at Mount Vernon, where he soon gained recognition and built up a practice which continued to grow in magnitude and importance until his place among the successful physicians and surgeons became permanently fixed and a liberal income assured.

At the beginning of his career he was actuated by a laudable ambition to advance in his noble calling and become a true healer of human ills and with this object in view he devoted every energy to the acquiring of a profound knowledge of medical science with the ability to apply the same to the treatment of diseases. His watchfulness over the interests and welfare of his patients, his devotion to his profession, his sound sense and good judgment combined to complete his acknowledged fitness for his calling and in due time his name and fame spread far beyond the limits of the field to which his talents were principally devoted and earned for him an honorable reputation among the distinguished physicians and surgeons in the southern part of the state. In addition to his general practice the doctor was for eight years one of the surgeons of the Mount Vernon Car Manufacturing Company, discharging the duties of the same with signal ability which has added much to his reputation as a painstaking and untiring devotee of the healing art.

Doctor Maxey has met with unusual success as a surgeon and among his professional brethren is considered a skillful operaor. In medicine he has few equals and no superiors in the city of his residence as is indicated by the extensive practice he now commands, which has been as successful financially as professionally and which has resulted in the accumulation of a handsome cornpetenly and gained for him a place among the well-to-do men of his city and county. The doctor has spared no pains to keep abreast of the times in all matters relating to his life work and in touch with the trend of professional thought, being a close and diligent student, a critical observer and to no small degree an investigator whose discoveries have added very materially to his own success and assisted others in their professional work. He holds membership in various societies and organizations for the advancement of professional thought, among which are the Jefferson County Medical Society, the National Association for the Study and Preservation of 'Fuberculosis; the Association for the Advancement of Science and other societies of like character, in the deliberations of which he keeps well informed and in close touch with the leading spirits among the membership.

Doctor Maxey is highly esteemed in the community and his intercourse with his fellows has been such as to command the respect and confidence of all. Like most enterprising men he takes an active interest in secret fraternal work and belongs to several organizations with this principle as a basis, the most noted being the Masonic Order, in which he has risen to a high degree and been honored at intervals with positions of honor and trust. He is past master of Mount Vernon Lodge, No.31, and is a member of the Royal Arch Chapter besides having a wide acquaintance among the leading Masons of his own and other states. In politics he is a Democrat.. entirely inactive as far as participation in party affairs is concernednotwithstanding which he is familiar with the leading questions and issues of the day and profoundly versed in the history and policies of the various political oragnizations which have marked the progress of the United States from the founding of the government to the present time.

As indicated in a preceding paragraph Doctor Maxey is a student not only of matters relating to his profession but of a wide range of subjects including history, science, sciology, evolution and history of comparative religion, his acquaintance with the world's best literature being both general and profound.

He has always been a good reader and finds his chief enjoyment in his magnificent library where in converse with the wise and great of the ages he acquires the knowledge and intellectual acumen which renders him an authority on the literature of all countries and all times and make him a welcome addition to circles and gatherings having in view the mental improvement of their members.

The doctor has exercised sound judgment and wise discretion in building up his library which is pronounced by scholars and others capable of judging to be the finest collection of standard works in Mount Vernon and one of the largest and most valuable in the state. He selects his books with the greatest care, keeping in mind their literary merit and worth, allowing none but those of recognized ability on his shelves, the number of volumes at this time being considerably in excess of one thousand, among which are none of a Jight or frivolous character, all being standard and of the highest order of literary excellence. In his collection are a number of very rare editions that have come down from remote times and not a few of his choice books are beyond price and cannot be duplicated.

Doctor Maxey was first married in 1892 to Miss LuIu Swift, of Mount Vernon, the union resulting in the birth of two children, a son, Hugh W., and a daughter by the name of Vivian, agedfifteen and twelve years, respectively. His second marriage was solemnized in 1904 with Miss Winnie Tanner, the accomplished and popular daughter of Allen C. Tanner, a prominent citizen of Mount Vernon and one of the enterprising men of Jefferson county. SOURCE:Walls History of Jefferson County, Il By John A. Wall 1909 Submitted by: Misty Flannigan Dec 1997


Dr. and Mrs. Moss Maxey went to Kinmundy yesterday to eat Thanksgiving dinner with the former's sister, Mrs. Sugg. Dr. Maxey will return tonight leaving his wife to make a more extended visit. SOURCE: December 1, 1899 Mt. Vernon Register News Submitted by: Sharlet Bigham LaBarbera Oct 22, 1997

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