This item appeared in "A Biographical Record of Clark County, Ohio.", published in 1902.

James L Maxwell, Twynholm and Springfield, Ohio

In an analyzation of the character and life work of James L. Maxwell, we note many of the characteristics which have marked the Scotch nation for many centuries; the perseverance, reliability, energy and unconquerable determination to pursue a course that has been marked out. It is these sterling qualities which have gained for Mr. Maxwell success in life and made him one of the substantial and valued citizens of Springfield. Mr. Maxwell is now a well known and prosperous florist of this city where he has carried on business on his own account since 1895, His residence in Springfield, however, dating from 1882.

He was born in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, May 1, 1854, and is a son of John Maxwell, who was also born in the same place. The father is a stone-mason by trade and long followed that occupation, but is now living retired. He pursued his education in the common schools of his native country, was an apt pupil and has always been a wide reader of good literature. He married Agnes Lindsay, also a native of Kirkcudbright. He is now a hale and hearty man of eighty-two years, while his wife has reached the age of seventy-six years. His mother attained the advanced age of eighty-nine years, while her sister reached the extreme old age of ninety-nine years. Unto John and Agnes Maxwell were born six children, of whom a son died in early childhood. The others are: Margaret, the wife of P. H. Murphy, of Springfield; Isabelle, who is the widow of Robert Aitken and a resident of Port Augusta, Australia; James L., of this review; John, who is engaged as chief manager of an insurance company of Liverpool, England; and Alexander, who is living in Springfield. The children all attended the public schools of Scotland and the last two had college educations.

James L. Maxwell pursued his studies in the public schools until thirteen years of age when he began working in a private greenhouse belonging to General Ervin. There he learned the business with which he has since been connected, working for General Ervin until eighteen years of age. He was afterward associated with his father as a stone cutter for two years. In 1874 he left the land of hills and heather and came to America, remaining in Springfield for two years. On the expiration of that period he returned home to his native land and when two years had elapsed he once more crossed the Atlantic to the United States and took up his permanent abode in this city. He managed the florist business for his brother-in-law until he embarked in business on his account in 1895. He rented his first place for five years and in 1900 purchased four acres of land and erected thereon a modern residence with all up-to-date improvements. He also equipped a florist plant, has well arranged and large greenhouses and conducts a good business, selling to the local trade.

He began operations on a small scale, but has constantly enlarged his facilities to meet the growing demands of his trade which he continues upon that basis, always keeping well stocked in order to supply his patrons. All that he possesses has been acquired through his own efforts and to-day he is a prominent and successful representative of business interests in Springfield.

In the year 1895 Mr. Maxwell was united in marriage to Miss Rachel Kolb, who was born in Springfield in 1862, a daughter of Frederick Kolb, now deceased, who owned a shoe store at No. 9 West Main Street, Springfield. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell have been born two sons: George L. and Frederick K.

In his political views Mr. Maxwell is a Republican where questions of state and national importance are involved, but at local elections where there are no issues before the people he casts his ballot regardless of party ties, considering only the capability of the candidate. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and also of Ingomar Lodge, K. P. while working with General Ervin in early youth he learned salmon fishing and became an adept at that art. He also attained superior proficiency as a marksman and hunter and in the handling of all kinds of fire arms. For three years he served in the Scotch army as a volunteer. In all manly sports he takes an active interest, and in church and charitable work he is found as a liberal contributor. Thirteen times he has crossed the Atlantic, making trips to and from his home in his native country. He has found in the business advantages of the new world the opportunities which he sought, for here labor meets with its just reward and consecutive efforts and keen discernment in business have won for him a creditable place in the financial world.


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