Biography of Dr. John K. Maxwell
Armstrong County, PA Biographies

JOHN K. MAXWELL, M. D., of Worth ington, has been for the last thirty five years a well known and prominent physician of Armstrong and Butler counties. He is a son of Robert and Jane (Kelley) Maxwell, and was born near the present site of Strattonville, Clarion county, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1825. The Maxwell family of Armstrong county is of Scotch Irish descent, and the Maxwell coat of arms is a boar's head, the origin of which is traced back to an early period in the history of Scotland, when a king of that country, being annoyed by the ravages of a very large and fierce boar in one part of his kingdom, declared that the honor of knighthood should be conferred upon the one who would kill the boar, and a Maxwell having succeeded in killing the dangerous animal, was knighted and received as his coat of arms a boars head. Dr. Maxwell repudiates this tradition, and is of opinion that the coat of arms has reference to the pig headedness so notorious in the whole family. Robert Maxwell (father) was born March 17, 1767, in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, but svent when a mere child with his father to Muffin county, where he afterwards purchased the land on which Lewistown is now built. In 1792 he removed to Clearfield county, where he built a shanty on the present site of Clearfield, Pa., and was employed by the Baring Bros. (English capitalists) to survey the "Bingham Lands," an extensive body of land which they owned in that section of the county. He carried a rifle with his compass, and employed Indians to carry the chain, as there were no white settlers within forty miles of his location. He afterwards settled in Clarion county; where he died on St. Patrick's day, 1845 (it being his seventy eighth birthday). He and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church. He married Jane Kelley, who was born in Penn's Valley, Centre county, in 1780, and died in 1847. Her father, Edward Kelley (maternal grandfather), was a Revolutionary soldier, and seven brothers of Dr. Maxwell's maternal grandmother were starved to death on a British prison ship on the Delaware river.

Dr. Maxwell grew to manhood near the place of his birth and received a good practical business education. At the age of twenty one years he was appointed county surveyor of Clarion county, and in the same year (1845) commenced to read medicine with Dr. James Ross, of Clarion, Pa. 'When he completed the required course of reading he entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated. In 1855 he came to Worthington, where be practiced until March 3, 1863, when he enlisted in the Union army and was appointed assistant surgeon of the 45th regiment, Pa. Vols. He served until August 31, 1864, was discharged on account of physical disability and returned to Worthington. After having partly regained his health he resumed the practice of his profession, in which he has continued ever since. In 1874 he removed from Worthington to one of his farms in West Franklin township, where he now resides. His field of practice embraces the western part of Armstrong and the eastern part of Butler connties, and he has frequently ridden for two weeks at a time with neither rest nor s]eep. His ability and skill have secured for him the extensive practice which he enjoys, while his integrity as a man and his usefulness as a citizen have won him the respect and esteem of all who know him. He owns about two hundred and eighty acres of land in West Franklin township and makes a specialty of raising fine stock.

In 1848 Dr. Maxwell married Hannah Lobaugh, who was a daughter of John Lobaugh, of Clarion county. She died in 1871, and in 1872 he married Mrs. Nannie (Huston) Cowan, of this county. To this second union have been born five children, four sons and one daughter: William H., John R., Thomas MeC., Robert C. and Jennie C.

Dr. John K. Maxwell is a member of the Presbyterian church and is a Free and Accepted Mason, He is a pronounced republican in politics, has held at different times the various borough offices of Worthington as well as filling some of the offices of West Franklin township. Dr. Maxwell has always been devoted to his profession, in which he has attained high and honorable standing. He is a member of the Armstrong County Medical society and the State Medical society of Pennsylvania.


From:
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891


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