Dr. John Livingston Maxwell – was a native of Jessamine County, Kentucky, born on January 16, 1836, son of Dr. Joseph L. and Sinai N. (Roman) Maxwell, and grandson of John Maxwell who was a native of Scotland and who at an early date immigrated to the United States. John, the grandfather, went to Kentucky with a Mr. Patterson, and they erected the first house where Lexington now stands. Here John Maxwell died in 1811.
His son, Joseph L. Maxwell was the only son, and was born in Lexington, Kentucky about 1801. He was a graduate of both the literary and medical departments of the Transylvania University, at Lexington, Kentucky, graduating with an M.D. in 1821. He practiced in the town of his birth for a number of years and afterward moved to Nicholasville, where he resided for a few years. In 1842 he immigrated to Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, and in 1844 moved to Cass County, Missouri. He was a soldier in the Mexican War, and enlisted as assistant surgeon in Col. Ralls' regiment, Price's division, and was in service for two years, or until the close of the war. He died in 1864 in Independence. He was a physician who stood in the front ranks of his profession, and was one of the highest Masons in the state of Missouri. His wife, Sinai N. Roman, was born in Fayette County, Kentucky, in 1805, and later lived Kansas City, Missouri. She was the mother of nine children.
Dr. John L. Maxwell received his literary education at Chapel Hill College, Missouri, and at the age of twenty years commenced the study of his chosen profession. In 1853 Dr. J. L. Maxwell entered the medical department of St. Louis University, and in the spring of 1855 graduated as an M. D. He soon after located in Bates County, Missouri, and entered upon the profession at Johnstown, but soon afterward went to Butler, the county seat. He remained there until the breaking out of the civil war, and part of the time he edited the Western Times. In 1856 he married Miss Alzira C. Simpson, a daughter of James M. Simpson, of Harrisonville, Missouri, and a native of the Indian Territory, born in 1835. To them were born nine children.
When the war cloud spread over the nation Dr. Maxwell gave up his local work and entered the Confederate Army as a surgeon. He enlisted in 1861 in Col. T. B. Cummings’ regiment, Price’s division, and was in the Battle of Dry Wood and many other skirmishes, among them Carthage and Springfield. He was then moved south, but became sick and was not able for active service. He however purchased stock for the army and rendered other effective service. When peace was declared he surrendered at McKinney, Texas. After the war the doctor located in Kansas City, established a drug store, and here also practiced medicine. In 1871 he moved to Bentonville, Arkansas, where he resided in later years, but on account of poor health, did not actively engage in his profession. Dr. Maxwell had a beautiful home and was the owner of 120 acres of land adjoining the city of Bentonville. He was engaged in business in Chicago, Illinois, for several years and spent some time there. He was a Prohibitionist in his political views and was a good citizen of the county. He died August 5, 1889 and is buried in the Bentonville Cemetery.
Adapted from Goodspeed – History of Benton County, 1899