William H. Maxwell was born July 5, 1829, on a farm near Palmyra, Marion county, Missouri. According to his death certificate and some census records, his father John was born aboard ship on the Atlantic Ocean, and his mother was born in Kentucky.
23 Oct 1850, Warren Twp, Marion Co., MO, Series: M432
His boyhood years were spent in the usual manner of farmers' sons, attending school in the short winter months and working the farm during the summer. Having heard glowing stories of the west and its wonderful possibilities, and wishing to make a life for himself, April 15, 1852, he began the weary journey across the plains with an ox team, taking five months to reach California. For several months he engaged in prospecting and mining in Hangtown, and from there went to Coloma, then Georgetown, and then to American river, following the miner's life there until 1854. He moved on to Michigan Bluffs, and then on July 1, 1858, he started for the Fraser River country in British Columbia. Bellingham Bay, Washington, was as far as he went, however, and after two months decided to return to Michigan Bluffs, and engaged in mining there until 1866.
On May 1, 1864, he married Alice Buell, daughter of Giles Alfred Buell and Elizabeth Prior. She was born November 25, 1847, in Middleton, Connecticut. Their first child, Alice May, was born about 1865. Subsequently, they moved to Auburn, California. Their second child, Edgar William, was born in March 1868, probably in Auburn.
William continued in placer mining until the fall of 1868, at which time the family moved to Portland, Ore. He later went to Fairview, where he was foreman of the Smith ranch for 2½ years.
June 1870, Sandy Pct, Multnomah Co., OR, Series: M593 Roll: 1287 Page: 156
In 1871 he turned his attention from mining to agriculture, buying a farm of 153½ acres near Orient, which was only partially cleared and on which stood a small house. After living there a few years he built a more commodious house and otherwise improved the property. Besides his farming interests he also engaged to some extent in sawmilling.
1 Jun 1880, Powell Valley Pct, Multnomah Co., OR, Series: T9 Roll: 1082 Page: 167
On March 9, 1893, the Oregonian reported that William's son Edgar William Maxwell, living in Lake County, California was critically ill. William immediately left to be at his son's bedside. On March 16th, the paper reported that William had brought his son's body home for burial.
15 June 1900, Powell Valley Pct, Multnomah Co., OR, Series: T623 Roll: 1351 Page: 205
For eight years Mr. Maxwell served his district as road supervisor, school clerk eight years and as school director for six years. Politically he was a Republican, and a member of the Masonic lodge and the Grange.
Alice died January 9, 1910. William died April 3, 1921. William, Alice, their children, Edgar, Louise Nelson, Cora, and Eda are all buried at the Pleasant Home Cemetery.
The nine children of William Maxwell and Alice Buell were:
Alice May Maxwell was born Abt 1865 in California, and died 6 Feb 1939 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon. She married Wilbur Charles Spaulding 29 Jan 1888 in Multnomah Co., Oregon. He was born 11 Apr 1858 in Panton, Addison Co., Vermont, and died 15 May 1942 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon.
Edgar William Maxwell was born 23 Mar 1868 in California, and died 8 Mar 1893 in Lake Co., California.
Elnora Maxwell was born 16 Feb 1870 in Oregon, and died 22 Aug 1970 in Oregon. She married Seymour Wright Scoville 22 Feb 1891 in Orient, Multnomah Co., Oregon, son of Chancy W. Scoville and Mary Jane Seymour. He was born 2 Dec 1859 in Woodstock, Lake Co., Illinois, and died 26 Jun 1940 in Toledo, Lincoln Co., Oregon.
Katie Maxwell was born Jun 1873 in Oregon. She married Robert Isaac Anderson 12 Sep 1901 in Multnomah Co., Oregon. He was born about 1863 in Missouri, and died 29 Aug 1927 in Multnomah Co., Oregon.
Louise Maxwell was born May 1875 in Oregon, and died 9 Nov 1968 in Lincoln City, Lincoln Co., Oregon. She married Hans C. Nelson 27 Jun 1906 in Multnomah Co., Oregon. He was born Jul 1872 in Norway, and died 18 Jun 1938 in Gresham, Multnomah Co., Oregon.
Myrtle Maxwell was born Jul 1876 in Oregon. She married Helmer Johnson 6 Mar 1907 in Multnomah Co., Oregon. He was born about 1873 in Norway, and died 10 Sep 1933 in Clackamas Co., Oregon.
Wilmer H. Maxwell was born 1 Jun 1880 in Orient, Multnomah Co., Oregon, and died Aug 1964 in Washington. He married his first cousin Harriet A. Perry about 1902, daughter of John Henry Perry and Florence E. Buell. She was born about 1878 in California, and died 24 Sep 1940 in Spokane, Spokane Co., Washington.
Cora Belle Maxwell was born October 8, 1883 and died December 29, 1884.
Eda G. Maxwell was born August 23, 1888 and died December 1, 1892.