James A Paxton

Source – Entry #244 in Paxton’s Marshall Family
(written circa. 1885)

B- Sept 13,1788 D-Oct 26, 1825

Note: this entry describes the parents of Paxton who wrote the Marshall Family

244(a)        MARIA MARSHALL, b. at “Walnut Grove” Mason Co.,  Ky., July 20, 1795;  d. in  Columbus,  0.,  February  6, 1824;  married May 2, 1811, JAMES A. PAXTON, b. in.Rockbridge Co., Va., September 13, 1788;  d. in Washington, Ky., October 23, 1825. My mother died when  I was but four years old, yet  I remember some of the circumstances and can recall the sad pageant of her burial.    She was buried in the Fnmklinton  Cemetery,  but, a few years ago, we had her dust removed to the Columbus  Cemetery, and laid beside her sister, Mrs. Sullivant. We erected a neat monument, to preserve her memory. I have often heard my mother praised for her lovely yet fragile form, and for her amiable disposi­tion. Her house was the home of  her relatives. She inherited from the McDowell’s sweetness, modesty, and purity, and from the Marshalls intelligence, vivacity, and spirit.

My grandfather, James Paxton, was killed in Rockbridge Co., Va., shortly after his marriage, by an accidental shot from the gun of a companion, with whom he was hunting.  My father was the only child of the marriage; but his mother married a  Mr.  Moore, removed to southwestern Kentucky, and raised a large family, none of whom I remember ever meeting. (See No. 180e.) When a youth, my father followed his uncle, William McClung, to Kentucky, and lived for a few years near Bardstown.  About 1803, the uncle and nephew came to Mason Co., Ky. Under the instruc­tions of Judge McClung (72), my father pursued a long course of reading and studied law. His learning, as well as his handsome person and brilliant oratory, introduced him into a wide practice. Raised in the Federal school of politics, he became a zealous Whig, and a sincere Emancipationist.  

 In 1822, he determined to sacrifice his well-established practice and rear his children upon free-soil. He accordingly removed to Columbus, then a small but rising city,. and was received by the McDowells, and other friends, that had preceded him with open arms. There he started on a professional and political career that would have brought distinction. But my mother died, and his heart and children were in Kentucky. 

His second wife was a cousin of my mother.    (See No.180.)    He lived but a few months after his second marriage. He died while on a. visit to Washington, Ky. He was thrown from his buggy at the Blue–Licks, his head struck a log, and he died from some affection of the brain.

I was six years old when my father died. He was portly six feet high and weighed 175 pounds. As a lawyer and orator, he had few superiors.  An intelligent, genial, and urbane gentleman, he was beloved by a large circle of intimate friends and was very popular with all classes.  His commanding military person, as well as his coolness and courage, called him forth in the  Indian Wars; and, a.s aide to Generals Shelby ·and Harrison, he filled his proper place. He was an enthusiastic Mason, and was buried with all the. “pomp and circumstance” of the Mystic Order.

He lies in the cemetery on the “Hill,” in Washington, and his  broad  slab bears the following legend, written by Dr.Edgar:

“REARED to the memory of James A. Paxton, the son of James Paxton and Phoebe McClung, b. September 13, 1788, in Rockbridge Co., Va., d. October 23, 1825, aged 37 years. No one has fallen a victim to the death of more incorruptible integrity. To preeminent talents and at­tainments, he united the social and domestic virtues in a degree seldom if ever, surpassed by a friend or husband, a father or brother. Though learned and eloquent as a jurist, yet his main attractions were found in his sympathetic heart, his disinterested benevolence, and his moral delicacy of sentiment and action.  
“His home was the retreat of peace and plenty, where, supporting and supported, polished friends and dear relatives’ met and mingled into bliss.”

My father’s will was made September  11, 1825.  It gives his lands to his executors, with power of sale, in trust for his widow and children. The widow was to have received a child’s  part, but this she would not take from the children, having enough property in her own right. The will appoints his widow and my uncle, James . K. Marshall, his executors. It is witnessed by Marshall Key, Susan McClung, Frances Marshall and John A. McClung.

Note: Entry #244 in Marshall Family – Paxton contains much more info on Paxton ancestors but is not included here.