logo 
Axtell One Name Study
See also

Family of Samuel Beach AXTELL and Adaline S. WILLIAMS

Husband: Samuel Beach AXTELL (1819-1891)
Wife: Adaline S. WILLIAMS ( -1893)
Children: Myron Williams AXTELL (1842- )
Charles Clifford AXTELL (1844-1913)
Alice E. A. AXTELL (1852- )
Wallace AXTELL (1860-1860)
Marriage 20 Sep 1840

Husband: Samuel Beach AXTELL

Name: Samuel Beach AXTELL 1,2
Sex: Male
Father: Samuel Loree AXTELL (1791-1855)
Mother: Nancy SANDERS (1792-1881)
Birth 14 Oct 1819 Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA 2,3
Death (1) 6 Aug 1891 (age 71) Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey, USA 2,3
Death (2) 7 Aug 1891 (age 71) Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey, USA 1
Burial 1891 Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey, USA 2

Wife: Adaline S. WILLIAMS

Name: Adaline S. WILLIAMS 1
Sex: Female
Father: -
Mother: -
Birth USA
Death Jul 1893 USA

Child 1: Myron Williams AXTELL

Name: Myron Williams AXTELL 1
Sex: Male
Birth 25 Feb 1842 USA

Child 2: Charles Clifford AXTELL

Name: Charles Clifford AXTELL 1
Sex: Male
Spouse: Mary Elizabeth TOWNSEND ( - )
Birth 21 Sep 1844 USA
Death 18 May 1913 (age 68) Akron, Summit County, Ohio, USA 4

Child 3: Alice E. A. AXTELL

Name: Alice E. A. AXTELL 1
Sex: Female
Spouse: Charles M. PHILLIPS ( - )
Birth 3 Aug 1852 Summit County, Ohio, USA

Child 4: Wallace AXTELL

Name: Wallace AXTELL 1
Sex: Male
Birth 10 Apr 1860 USA
Death 25 Nov 1860 (age 0) USA

Note on Husband: Samuel Beach AXTELL (1)

b. Oct. 14, 1819, married Adaline S. Williams of Summit Co., Ohio, Sept. 20,

1840. In 1843 he moved to Mt. Clemens, Mich. We have from the pen of Ralph

Emerson Twitchell the following: Samuel Beach Axtell was born in Franklin

County, Ohio, October 14, 1819. An ancestor was an officer in the

Revolutionary army and his grandfather was a Colonel of a New Jersey regiment

during the war of 1812. His father was a farmer. Governor Axtell was a

graduate of the Western Reserve College at Oberlin and was admitted to the

bar in Ohio. In 1851 he went to California and engaged in gold mining and

upon the organization of counties of the state was elected district attorney

of Amador county, holding this office three terms. He removed to San

Francisco in 1860, was elected to congress in 1866 and 1868 as a democrat. He

changed his political faith at this time and allied himself with the

republican party of which he was a staunch supporter to the time of his

death. In 1874 he was appointed governor of Utah by President Grant and in

the following year was transferred to New Mexico, being inaugurated governor

July 30, 1875. He was superseded in this position by General Lew Wallace,

appointed by President Hayes in 1878. In 1882 he was appointed chief justice

of the supreme court of New Mexico, assuming the duties of the office in

August of that year. In 1885, Grover Cleveland having been elected president,

he resigned the office in May of that year. He was a man of high principles,

absolutely without fear. On the bench he endeavored at all times to secure

what he saw fit to designate as "substantial justice" for all litigants, and

judicial precedents which interfered with the main object of trials in his

court, or with equity from his standpoint, were ruthlessly cast aside. In

1890 he was elected chairman of the territorial republican committee. He died

August 7, 1891, at Morristown, New Jersey. Conditions, methods, and practices

obtaining in the courts of New Mexico during Judge Axtell's incumbency, and

the fearless character of this jurist are well exemplified in the relation of

incidents occurring in one or two cases tried before him. In a celebrated

criminal trial at Las Vegas, although Judge Axtell had been warned that his

life would be forfeited if he dared to sit in the case, promptly on time he

opened court. On this occasion he compelled the sheriff to search all of the

court attendants and the spectators before he allowed the case to proceed. As

a result forty-two revolvers were piled on the table, some having been taken

from the attorneys in the case. Each man carrying a weapon into the court

room was fined ten dollars for contempt of court, and no show of resistance

was made when the fine was collected.

 

In another case before him the defendant, a poor young man, whose farm was

in jeopardy, had no attorney. Seeing that the case was going against the man

unless he could obtain legal counsel, Judge Axtell descended from the bench

and began conducting the cross-examination with the remark: "It takes

thirteen men to steal a poor boy's farm in New Mexico." Upon the conclusion

of the submission of evidence, he instructed the jury to find a verdict in

behalf of the defendant. When the foreman announced a disagreement, the judge

discharged the jury, announced a verdict in behalf of the defendant, and told

the sheriff never to allow any one of the discharged jurymen to serve again

in Miguel county. His wife died in July 1893.

Note on Husband: Samuel Beach AXTELL (2)

Axtell, Samuel Beach (1819-1891) of Mt. Clemens, Macomb County, Mich.; Amador County, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, N.M. Born near Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, October 14, 1819. Democrat. Lawyer; U.S. Representative from California 1st District, 1867-71; Governor of Utah Territory, 1875; Governor of New Mexico Territory, 1875-78; justice of New Mexico territorial supreme court, 1882-85. Presbyterian. Died in Morristown, Morris County, N.J., August 6, 1891. Interment at First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Morristown, N.J.3

Note on Husband: Samuel Beach AXTELL (3)

AXTELL, Samuel Beach, (1819 - 1891)

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

AXTELL, Samuel Beach, a Representative from California; born near Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, October 14, 1819; attended the local schools and Oberlin College; was graduated from Western Reserve College, Hudson, Ohio; studied law; was admittedto the bar in 1843 and commenced practice in Mount Clemens, Mich.; went to California in 1851 and engaged in mining in Amador County; prosecuting attorney of Amador County 1854-1860; moved to San Francisco in 1860 and practiced law; elected as a Democrat to the Fortieth and Forty-first Congresses (March 4, 1867-March 3, 1871); was not a candidate for renomination in 1870; affiliated with the Republican Party during the administration of President Grant; appointed Governor of Utah Territoryin1874 and subsequently, in 1875, transferred to the office of Governor of the Territory of New Mexico; chief justice of the supreme court of the Territory of New Mexico from August 1882 until his resignation May 25, 1885; engaged in the practiceoflaw in Santa Fe, N.Mex.; at the time of his death was counsel of the Southern Pacific Railroad Co. and chairman of the Republican Territorial committee; died while on a visit to Morristown, Morris County, N.J., August 6, 1891; interment in FirstPresbyterian Church Cemetery.5

Note on Husband: Samuel Beach AXTELL (4)

Samuel Beach Axtell (born October 14, 1819 - died August 7, 1891). Notable for being the most controversial Chief Justice of the New Mexico Territorial Supreme Court; corrupted administration as Governor of New Mexico; brief tenure as Governor of Utah; and two term Congressman from California.

 

Contents

1 Early life

2 Life in California

3 Governor Axtell

4 Chief Justice

5 Legacy

 

Early life

Axtell was born in Franklin County, Ohio, to a family of farmers. An ancestor was an officer in the American Revolutionary army and his grandfather was a Colonel of a New Jersey regiment during the war of 1812. He married Adaline S. Williams of Summit County, Ohio, September 20, 1840 and moved to Mt. Clemens, Michigan in 1843. Axtell was a graduate of the Western Reserve College at Oberlin, Ohio and was admitted to the bar in Ohio in the 1830s.

 

Life in California

In 1851, Axtell was caught up in the last days of the California Gold Rush. He moved to California and engaged in gold mining along the American River - in which he had little success. Upon the organization of California's counties he became interested in Politics and was elected district attorney of Amador County, holding this office for three terms. He moved to San Francisco in 1860, and was elected to the United States Congress as a Democrat, Representing California's First CongressionalDistrict in 1866 and re-elected 1868. He chose not to run for re-election when he changed political parties.

 

Governor Axtell

As a prominent western Republican, he was tapped by President Ulysses Grant to be the Governor of the Utah Territory in 1874. Within the year, he was appointed to the slightly more prestigious post of Governor of the New Mexico Territory on July 30, 1875.

 

Axtell exhibited good administrative and legislative qualities while Governor of Utah and Representative from California, respectively, but his tenure as Governor of New Mexico would be so inept, a federal agent named Frank Angel would later describe Governor Axtell's administration as having more "corruption, fraud, mismanagement, plots and murder" than any other Governor in the history of the United States. This contributed to the lawlessness that prevailed in much of the territory, and Axtell's inability to understand or combat that problem. He often exhibited dictatorial practices, and when something was wrong, he would blame someone else.

 

The straw that broke his back as Governor was created in 1878 when he issued a proclamation declaring that he had no paper to issue a proclamation on, which was obviously false, as he was able to issue that proclamation. This embarrassing episode was chronicled in eastern newspapers and lead Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz to initiate an investigation into Axtell's activities as Governor. The investigation turned up so much corruption that Secretary Schurz suspended the Governor, and President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed the famous General Lew Wallace to quickly fix the numerous problems Axtell had caused.

 

Chief Justice

Despite the corruption, no criminal charges were brought against Axtell. Indeed, he was still seen as a prominent political figure in New Mexico. After a brief cooling off period, he was appointed Chief Justice of the New Mexico Territorial SupremeCourt in 1882. He would resign in May of 1885 after Grover Cleveland was elected President, and planned to remove Axtell from the office.

 

In 1890 he was elected chairman of the New Mexico Territorial Republican Committee.

 

He died at Morristown, New Jersey.

 

Legacy

Despite his total failure as Governor, he was a brilliant Jurist, and that is his political legacy. On the bench he endeavored at all times to secure what he saw fit to designate as "substantial justice" for all litigants, and judicial precedents which interfered with the main object of trials in his court, or with equity from his standpoint, were ruthlessly cast aside. However, his time on the bench was still marked with corruption, and many found his method of authority dictatorial. He often cast out any Jury's opinion when he did not agree with it.

 

He is most remembered for two cases:

 

In celebrated criminal trial at Las Vegas, New Mexico, Axtell's had been warned that his life would be forfeited if he dared to sit in the case. Axtell took the bench, and promptly opened court on time. He compelled the sheriff to search all of thecourt attendants and the spectators before he allowed the case to proceed. As a result forty-two revolvers were piled on the table, some having been taken from the attorneys in the case. Each man carrying a weapon into the court room was fined tendollars for contempt of court, and no show of resistance was made when the fine was collected. The event was heavily covered in newspapers as a "triumph of law over the lawlessness" of the Wild West.

 

In another case before him the defendant, a poor young man, whose farm was in jeopardy, had no attorney. Seeing that the case was going against the man unless he could obtain legal counsel, Judge Axtell descended from the bench and began conductingthe cross-examination with the remark: "It takes thirteen men to steal a poor boy's farm in New Mexico." Upon the conclusion of the submission of evidence, he instructed the jury to find a verdict on behalf of the defendant. When the foreman announced a disagreement, the judge discharged the jury, announced a verdict in behalf of the defendant, and told the sheriff never to allow any one of the discharged jurymen to serve again in San Miguel County. This case was the epitome of his dictatorial use of authority, but it was seen that he did it for the common good.6

Note on Wife: Adaline S. WILLIAMS

of Summit Co., Ohio.

Sources

1Daniel Gibson Axtell, "Axb45.ged" (File from www.axtellfamily.org).
2Kris, "Find-a-Grave for Samuel Beach Axtell (18191-1891)" (http://www.findagrav e.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&;GSln=axtell&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all &GSob=c&GSsr=81&GRid=11853643&).
Find-a-Grave. Web: http://www.findagrave.com.
3"Internet". http://politicalgrave yard.com/bio/aviata-ayer.html.
4David Axtell, "Person - Dave Axtell". Email 02/02/2008.
Ancestry.
5"Internet". http:// bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=A000349.
6"Wikipedia". http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Samuel_Beach_Axtell.