Page 682-683, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


John Gordon Axtell, Civil war veteran, plainsman and pioneer of Beaumont, Kans., traces his Anglo-Saxon ancestry back nearly three centuries. Mr. Axtell was born in Ohio, December 3, 1845, and is a son of Alexander A. and Jane (Gordon) Axtell. Alexander A. Axtell located in Ohio about 1832. He was a son of Daniel Axtell who was born in 1780 and whose ancestors of the Axtell family are as follows, in the direct line of descent, with dates of births: Daniel, 1748; Thomas, 1727; Daniel, 1673; Henry, 1641; Thomas, 1619, and who was the founder of the Axtell family in America, coming to this country in 1642. He was a native of Berkhampstead, England. Jane Gordon Axtell, the mother of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1811, and married Alexander A. Axtell, about 1843. Two children were born to this union, John Gordon Axtell, the subject of this sketch, and Mrs. Martha J. Adams, now residing at Grove City, Pa.

John Gordon Axtell received a common school education, and spent his boyhood days similar to that of other boys of his time, until the Civil war broke out. On August 13, 1862, he enlisted in Company H, One Hundred and Forty-fifth regiment, Pennsylvania infantry, and was mustered into service at Erie, Pa. His regiment became a part of General Maher's Irish brigade and later was attached to Miles' brigade. Mr. Axtell participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, and was in the Mine Run campaign, and during the Wilderness campaign served on a detail that was assigned to carry the wounded off the field of battle, during the engagement. He was in the Wilderness campaign, at the disastrous blowing up of the Mine, the siege of Petersburg, Deep Bottom and Ream's Station. At the latter engagement, he was taken prisoner and sent to Libby prison and later transferred to Belle Island prison and from there to Salisbury, N. C. He succeeded in escaping from the latter place, and found his way back to his regiment, which he joined at BurksviIle Junction and remained in the service until his discharge June 18, 1865. He participated in the grand review at Washington, D. C., after the close of the war. His regiment saw much hard service and few companies of the entire Northern army, if any, show a greater loss than Company H, of which Mr. Axtell was a member. Every man that went out with that company was either killed, wounded or taken prisoner and only five of the entire company returned home.

In 1868, Mr. Axtell came to Kansas and drove a six mule team to Ft. Hayes where he joined General Forsythe's scouts, taking the place of a man who had recently been killed. While with Forsythe's scouts they


operated with the Fifth U. S. Cavalry in the Republican river campaign, and were sent with General Sheridan to supply and to locate the Nineteenth Kansas which was on an expedition against the Indians in the West under command of Governor Crawford After reaching Camp Supply, where General Sheridan was, Mr. Axtell was detailed as one of Sheridan's body guards, serving in that capacity while he remained in the service in the West.

The following March he went to Coffeyville, Kans., where he remained until 1870, when he returned to Pennsylvania and was married and in 1872, came to Kansas again, locating in McPherson county. In 1884 he went to Elk county where he remained until 1892. In 1907 Mr. Axtell removed to Beaumont, Butler county, but still owns his farm of 320 acres which is located in Greenwood county, about five miles from Beaumont where he is extensively engaged in stock raising.

In 1870, Mr. Axtell was married to Miss Jennie A. Blair, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Daniel and Martha (McMichael) Blair, natives of Pennsylvania, where the father was a farmer. Mrs. Axtell has two brothers living, Mathew, Youngstown, Ohio, and John A., Cochranton, Pa. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Axtell, as follows: Mrs. Minnie Ryerson, Burden, Kans.; Mrs. Ollie R. Norman, Beaumont, Tex.; Mrs. Martha J. Olds, Beaumont, Kans.; Guy P., married Effie Westfall, Altamont, Kans.; Mrs. Lena F. Westfall, Piedmont, Kans.; Mrs. Coral A. Ragsdale, Leech, Okla.; Mrs. Clara L. Ludwig, Fall River, Kans.; Glenn J., married Rebecca Hutton, Beaumont, Kans., and Free L., Salt Lake City, Utah. There are forty-five grandchildren in the Axtell family.

Mr. Axtell served as postmaster of Beaumont for two years during President Taft's administration. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Repubic,[sic] and he and Mrs. Axtell belong to the Methodist Episcopal church. Few men of this age and time, are to be found who have passed through the experiences which have fallen to the lot of Mr. Axtell, and any man might well be proud of his record as a soldier and a citizen. He is a remarkable man for his age and his vigorous body and active mind would be a credit to a much younger man. He possesses a remarkable memory, and can relate to the most minute detail, incidences that occured over fifty years ago.

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