Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of
Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


ELY PAXSON. Forms of burial have differed from the days of Adam to the present time. The people of various ages run the entire gamut from the work of putting dead persons in the ground to lodging them in the tops of trees after the manner pursued by certain African tribes and North American Indian communities. The civilized manner of burial calls for the skill of an expert undertaker such as Mr. Ely Paxson, who for years has been one of the leading undertakers of Springfield as well as one of the city's best citizens. He is a product of the Buckeye State, born near Findlay, January 17, 1847, and a descendant of an old Colonial familyof English origin. Ely Paxson, grandfather of subject, was a native of Pennsylvania, and received his given name from the Ely family. He became a substantial farmer and a prominent citizen. As early as 1833 he moved with his family to Findlay, Ohio, and there made his home until about 1876 when his death occurred. His son, Morris Paxson, father of subject, was born in Burks County, Penn., September 26, 1825, and received the common education of his day. He learned the blacksmith trade and in 1833 went with his parents to Findlay, Ohio. There he met and married Miss Mariah Shipman and their union was blessed by the birth of seven children. In May, 1867, Mr. Paxson moved to Missouri, Greene County, and settled in Springfield. There this worthy citizen passed the closing scenes of his life, his death occurring in January, 1893, when sixty-seven years of age. Socially he was a member of the K. of P. and in religious belief a Methodist. Honorable and upright in every walk of life he was universally respected. Ely Paxson, the original of this notice, was educated in the common schools and later learned the cabinetmakers trade, also the undertaking business at Findlay, Ohio. In the year 1868 he came to Springfield, Mo., and for two years worked as a journeyman in the cabinetmaking and undertaking business for Julius Kassler on College Street, then went into partnership with him and in March, 1880, bought him out and has continued the business ever since alone. In 1875 and also in 1885 his establishment was burned. In 1883 he removed to South Street. In 1888 he erected his present building which is a substantial brick structure two stories high, 25x80 feet, and an excellent building for his business. As the services of the undertaker are only called in under the most trying circumstances, the utmost tact, coupled with decision and perfect unostentatious knowledge of the business is required. In these points Mr. Paxson is well grounded by nature and experience, having been engaged in the business for over twenty-five years. He is one of the most prominent business men in Springfield, and like his father before him, is highly esteemed. Socially he is both a Mason and a K. of P. In Masonry he is a Knight Templar, and is past master of the Blue Lodge and for seven years recorder of St. John's Commandery. In politics he is a stanch Republican and has held the office of coroner two terms. On March 20, 1873, he married Miss Anna Belle Keet, daughter of James Keet, a brother of J. T. Keet, a prominent merchant of Springfield. Both Mr. and Mrs. Paxson are members of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church and the former has been steward in the same for many years. He is one of the public spirited men of Springfield and has assisted liberally with his means to all worthy enterprises.

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