Justice Augustus Maxwell
Escambia County claims the distinction of having an illustrious family that sent three of its members to the Court. Walker Anderson, the 6th Justice of the Court, served from 1851-53. His son-in-law, Augustus E. Maxwell, then served from 1865-66 and again from 1887-91 as the 14th Justice of the Court. Augustus' son, Evelyn C. Maxwell, also served from 1902-04 as the 31st Justice. All three men were from Pensacola, creating the most noteworthy "dynasty" of relatives who served on the Court.
All three men had storied careers. Walker Anderson was born in Petersburgh, Virginia, in 1801, but later moved to North Carolina where he graduated from the University of North Carolina and studied law. He began practicing law in Pensacola in 1836, serving as a delegate to the 1838 Constitutional Convention, to the Territorial House of Representatives, and to the Territorial Senate. He later worked as a U.S. District Attorney for West Florida and as a U.S. Navy agent. He was employed with the Navy at the time of his death in 1857.
Augustus E. Maxwell was born in Elberton, Georgia, in 1820 and graduated from the University of Virginia. He first practiced law in Alabama, but later moved to Tallahassee and then Pensacola. In 1852 he began two terms as Florida's U.S. congressman in Washington. Then, in 1857, he succeeded his father-in-law as U.S. Navy agent in Pensacola. In 1862 Maxwell was a delegate to the Confederate Senate. After the Civil War, he briefly practiced law in Pensacola, but then was named to the Florida Supreme Court in 1865. He resigned the next year, and later served as president of a railroad company, a judge, and various other positions, before serving again on the Court from 1887 to 1891. He died in Chipley, Florida, in 1903, and is buried in Pensacola.
Evelyn C. Maxwell came to the Court as both the son of a former Chief Justice (Augustus) and the grandson of another (Walker Anderson). He was the only one of the three not to serve as Chief Justice. Born in Alabama, Evelyn Maxwell was educated in the schools of Pensacola and later at the University of Nashville in Tennessee. He began practicing law in 1885, and served as a judge of the Escambia County Criminal Court and later as a circuit judge. The youngest Maxwell was renowned for the extraordinary messiness of his office. One attorney who practiced before Judge Maxwell said he would stack papers on his desk until they became about two feet high. Then the judge would move to a table to do his work until it, too, became too piled with documents for him to be able to work there. Then Maxwell moved to his secretary's desk and repeated the same cycle. Nevertheless, his contemporaries all agreed there was method to the madness, because Maxwell always knew where a particular document could be found in the heap.
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