|Birth: ||Mar. 1, 1802|
|Death: ||Jan. 7, 1880|
"Montani Semper Liberi"
Col. 15th W.Va. Vols. Sept. 6, 1862-Sept. 7, 1864
The Miami Republican, Paola, Miami Co., Kansas, Friday, January 9, 1880, page 1:
"Col. Maxwell McCaslin, who is very well known throughout Miami county, and who has been spending the declining years of his life quietly at his residence in this city, died suddenly about 10 o'clock on Wednesday. Since the death of Miss Ward, his housekeeper, which took place last summer, it has been noted among his friends that he was failing fast. Recently it has been apparent that old age had indeed laid its withering hand upon him, and that the day of final dissolution was not far off.
Col. McCaslin was a gentleman of the old school. His presence was sufficient to command respect. Added to a manly figure and a splendid military bearing were a kind heart and all qualities of a real gentleman. As a civilian and a soldier his career has been in all respects honorable and successful, and in many respects remarkable.
He was born March 1, 1802, in Martinsburg, Berkley county, Virginia, and consequently, at the time of his death, lacked two months of being 78 years of age. His parents, who were of Scotch-Irish descent, were in very moderate circumstances. When he was four years old his father moved to Waynesburgh, Greene county, Pennsylvania, where Maxwell acquired an education in the common schools, and where he displayed the characteristics which mark self made men, who, by their own force, rise to places of honor and usefulness in society. Arriving at the age of manhood, he became a bricklayer, at which trade for several years. Following this he bought a farm and followed farming and stock raising.
It is said of him that when quite young he took a lively interest in the military organizations of his State, and at the age of eighteen he became a member of a volunteer rifle company, called the Franklin Rangers, which company became one of nine forming a regiment known as the Washington and Green Van Guards, commanded by Col. Thos. Rigland. Col. McCaslin subsequently became a Quarter-master and a Adjutant of this regiment. In 1828 he was elected Mayor of the first battalion. In 1835 he was elected Brigadier Inspector over Mayor Samuel McGuire and Major R.H. Lindsay, two of the most prominent military men of the State of Pennsylvania, in which capacity he served seven years. In 1842 his fortunes changed and he was elected as a Democrat to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, to which he was twice re-elected. While serving in the capacity he was twice chairman of the committee on military affairs, and once chairman of the committee on ways and means. At the inauguration of Gov. Shurk he served as temporary Aid de Camp, to which position on the Governor's Staff he was afterwards appointed with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1845 Col. McCaslin was appointed one of a commission to suggest means for the equalization of taxes throughout the state. In 1848 he was elected State Senator from the district composed of Fayette and Green counties, and was elected speaker of the Senate by that body. In 1851 he was chosen to the Senate again from the district composed of Washington and Green counties, and was again chosen speaker. About this time Col. McCaslin married Mrs. Joanna Hale, a lady which whom he boarded, and who is spoken of as a most estimable lady during her life; but unfortunately she died about a year after their marriage.
In 1852 he became one of the Democratic electors on the Pierce ticket, and in 1855 he was appointed by Mr. Pierce agent for the Osage Indians, the agency being located in Paola. Speaking of him in this connection his biographer says: "In this station the most important duties devolve upon him. These were the most trying times of Kansas, and Col. McCaslin discharged all of his duties with such impartial justice and fairness as to command the respect of all parties." A statement that has never been called into question. Subsequently, on account of his exposure of the "Oxford fraud" in a letter to Hon. Charles R. Buckalow, which letter found its way into print, he was removed and Hon. Seth Clover became Indian agent in his stead.
Returning to Virginia in 1858 he returned to his farm near Parkersburg, where he resided until 1862, when, notwithstanding his advanced age of 60, he raised and was commissioned by Gov. Pierrepont, Colonel of the 15th West. Virginia Infantry, and entered the Union Army. He served a little over three years, when he resigned and retired honorably discharged."
NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that some people doing genealogical research are confusing this Maxwell McCaslin with Maxwell McCausland, husband of Eliza Kirk, who may be found at the following link on Find A Grave:
Plot: Oak Grove Addition-Southern Half
Maintained by: Laurel
Originally Created by: Thomas & Darlene
Record added: Mar 25, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35105127