The Paxtons, An American History by Frank Paxton, Jr.
A free digital download of the original two volume set.
Frank Paxton, Jr.
Frank Paxton, Jr. had a different approach to genealogy: Instead of documenting just his own family line, he wrote the history of 23 branches of the Paxton family from the time they came to America. This work occupied much of his free time for more than a quarter of a century. During those years, Frank also built the family lumber company into the nation’s largest hardwood distributor, served as a police commissioner and was an avid golfer.
Frank started his research as a favor to his aunt, Mary Paxton Keeley. Mary was the childhood friend of Bess Wallace Truman and the first woman graduate of the journalism school at the University of Missouri. In the late 1960s, she felt it was imperative that the family genealogy be compiled, but she believed she was too old for the task. In fact, Aunt Mary would live to be 100.
In the era before the internet, Frank developed vast amounts of time to his project. He wrote letters and waited for responses. He traveled to distant libraries and archives (making sure to take change for the copy machines). He filled notebooks with correspondence and supporting materials. He cut and pasted drafts.
Frank was doing what he expected to be the final edits on his work at the time of his death in 1997. His widow, Millie Heath Paxton, wanted to complete Frank's project. She enlisted Christie Kennard to finish preparing the manuscript for publication.
The two-volume set is a compendium of biographical sketches and photos. It includes maps and military records. For the general reader, it is a slice of Americana. Frank looked for, and found, multi-generational family talents and interests. For members of the Paxton family, it is a summary of who many of our ancestors were, where and how they lived, and the events that shaped their lives.
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User Guide To The Free PDF Download
The family of Frank Paxton, Jr. shared his genealogy research with libraries, relatives, and others through a two-volume set of books published after his death. The book is now out of print, and the family has explored other avenues to make Paxton's study of his family's genealogy available. Although e-book or e-pub formats were considered, the original files do not support those publishing platforms. Therefore, the books are provided here in PDF format.
Maintaining the original work's integrity has been important in providing these files. One of the primary concerns was preserving the original pagination so references to a page in the PDF file match the page in the original books. Page numbering is complicated because a PDF file numbers each page from the first page, while a book starts numbering the pages after acknowledgments, prefaces, and introductions, which are generally referenced with Roman Numerals and not part of the page count in the book. Hence, if a single PDF were made of volume one, there would be a seven-page difference in referencing a page in the book and the PDF file.
Two PDF files were created for each volume of the original work to solve this problem. One file contains the Front Matter of the book -- acknowledgments, prefaces, and introductions -- and the second includes the Body Content. This ensures that the page references from the book or PDF file remain the same. For example, Volume I, Chapter 2 in the book and the Body Content PDF begins on page 9 -- not page 9 in the book and page 16 in the PDF file.
The PDF scans were processed as a Searchable PDF, enabling you to search the document for particular references. One final note: the Body Content PDF for both volumes is large and could be challenging to download if you cannot access a high-speed internet connection, so individual Chapter and Chart file PDFs are included for each volume.