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Jay County Indiana Biographies


John Riley PAXSON, a well known and substantial farmer and landowner of Penn township, living on rural mail route No. 4 out of Bryant, and who formerly and for many years was widely known hereabout as a stock buyer, is a member of one of the real pioneer families of Jay county, the PAXSON's having been here since 1836, the year in which Jay county was organized. Mr. PAXSON was born on a pioneer farm in Penn township on July 21, 1848, and is a son of Cyrus C. and Axie ( PEACOCK ) PAXSON, the latter of whom was born in Randolph county, this state. Cyrus C. PAXSON was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, and came here with his parents, Joseph J. and Ann PAXSON, who settled on a tract of land which Joseph J. PAXSON had entered from the Government in Penn township. Joseph J. PAXSON, who was one of the best known pioneers of this county, carried the mail through here from Greenville, Ohio, to Huntingdon, Ind. for eight years and was one of the influential factors in bringing about proper social and economic conditions here in the formative period of the county's development. Cyrus C. PAXSON, one of the sons of this pioneer, grew to manhood here and after his marriage became engaged in farming. He also took up the buying of live stock and became widely known throughout this region as a stock buyer. He added to his original land holdings until he became the owner of 300 acres of land. In 1885 he disposed of his interests here and moved to Dixon county, Kansas, where he bought a farm of 240 acres and on that place continued his operations until his retirement and removal to a suburb of Topeka, where his last days were spent. He and his wife were the parents of four children, of whom the subject of this sketch now alone survives, he having had two sisters, Ruth Anna and Mary Jane, and a brother. Miles M. PAXSON. Reared on the home farm in Penn township, John R. PAXSON received his schooling in the old PAXSON and Griest school houses. He married when twenty-one years of age and then started farming on his own account, renting land from his father. Not long afterward he bought the original '"eighty" of his grandfather's old homestead place and established his home there. He started operations with one horse, a set of harness, a cow, one sheep and a pig and in addition to the heart-breaking job of finishing the clearing of the place helped to build corduroy roads in the neighborhood and in such other time as he had to spare engaged in teaming between here and Ft. Wayne. Mr. PAXSON vividly recalls the fact that the first money he earned was at a wage of 12 cents a day. As he got his farm under cultivation and his affairs prospered he added to his holdings and now has a well improved place of 121-1/2 acres, on which he is very comfortably situated. For twenty years Mr. PAXSON was engaged in the buying of live stock throughout this region and thus acquired a wide acquaintance among stockmen. He is a Republican and a birthright member of the Friends Meeting at Pennville. On March 3, 1859, John R. PAXSON was united in marriage to Harriet SWIGERT, daughter of Peter and Rebecca SWIGERT. and to this union were born four children, Walter C., Ernest L., Rosa B. and Elsie L, all now deceased. The mother of these children died on April 19, 1921, and Mr. PAXSON is now alone in so far as immediate kindred are concerned.

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