THOMAS JEFFERSON MAXEY
SURNAMES: NIXON, HARRIS, OGAN, COCKBURN, McKILLIP, HOLLISTER
Among the fine
farms in the Berryessa District is that of Mr. Maxey. He is the owner of 123
acres, bounded on the north by the Maxey and Ables road, on the east by the Rice and Randall road. Excepting a small orchard, this land is
devoted to the production of hay and grain and stock-raising; of the latter Mr.
Maxey has some splendid specimens of Norman horses, of which he is justly proud.
Among the horses is his stallion "Prince." He also owns 160 acres of land
located about two and one-half miles north, and near the summit, of Mount
Hamilton. This land is used for stock purposes. The subject of this sketch is
the son of Robert and Ridley Ann (Nixon) Maxey, and dates his birth in
Buckingham County, Virginia, October 8, 1828. His parents were natives of
Virginia. In 1831 his father moved to Cumberland County, Kentucky, and in 1838
moved to Knox County, Illinois. His father was a farmer, to which occupation Mr.
Maxey was reared. His education was limited, and only such as was afforded by
the frontier schools.
He remained on his father's farm until 1852, in which year he started overland with ox teams for California. The Indians were somewhat troublesome that year, but the train proceeded safely, and was only stopped once. They were surrounded by the Indians, who became very demonstrative in their actions. The emigrant force was small, and Mr. Maxey volunteered to ride back on the trail and seek a relief force from other trains. It was a hazardous undertaking, but, mounted upon a fleet horse, he burst through the cordon of the Indians, and, before they had fairly recovered from their surprise at his daring, he was beyond their reach and dashing along the trail. The Indians knew too well what this movement meant, and soon after moved off and left the train to proceed on its way. Mr. Maxey arrived at Stockton in September, and worked at brick-making for about two months. He then came to Santa Clara County, and for nearly three years was engaged in various pursuits. He worked for Dr. Jones, near Evergreen, and helped to build the first house ever erected in that section. He also worked for Edward Doty for nearly two years at farm labor. In the fall of 1855 he rented 250 acres of land from Mrs. White, which he devoted to raising grain.
In 1856 Mr.
Maxey married Miss Theresa J. Ogan, daughter of James S. and Elizabeth B.
(Harris) Ogan, residents of Santa Clara County. (Mrs. Ogan's father and mother
were natives of Kentucky and Missouri respectively.) Mr. Maxey continued his
work upon this and other rented farms until 1858, when he purchased his present
residence and farm. He at once began its cultivation and improvement, which he
has so successfully accomplished. He purchased his hill farm in 1882. Mr. Maxey
is a member of the A. O. U. W. He is well-known throughout the section in which
he resides—a man industrious, energetic, and of progressive views. His success
in life is due more to these qualities than to any advantages he received from
education in early life. Mr. and Mrs. Maxey have three children, viz.: Alice J.,
Clayborn, and Millie F. In addition they have an adopted son, Frank Maxey, the
son of W. H. and Margaret J. (Cockburn) McKillip. Frank Maxey married Ella J .
Hollister, (1880) daughter of Page Hollister, of San Jose. They are residing near
Hollister, San Benito County.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.