Samuel Willard Saxton
Captain, United States Volunteers
Brevet Major, United States Volunteers
Willard Saxton of Massachusetts
Captain and Assistant Aide de Camp, 30 Apr 1862
Brevet Major of U.S. Volunteers, 12 January 1865
Honorably mustered out of the volunteer service 20 July 1866
S. Willard Saxton, Brevet Major of United States Volunteers (1829-1933), (Samuel Willard Saxton of Massachusetts Captain and Assistant Aide de Camp, 30 April 1862; Brevet Major of U.S. Volunteers, 12 January 1865; Honorably mustered out of the volunteer service 20 July 1866) his wife, Mary Grant Saxton (1836-1930, is buried with him.
They are both buried in the Section 1 gravesite
of his brother, Major General Rufus Saxton.
WASHINGTON, March 20, 1933 – Major S. Willard Saxton, 103-year-old Civil War veteran, retired government employee and probably the oldest citizen of the District of Columbia, died yesterday at his home, 1347 Harvard Street, N. W.
He had been a resident of Washington since 1865, served in three government departments and saw his country engaged in four important wars – the Mexican, Civil, Spanish-American and World. His wife, Mrs. Mary G. Saxton, died three years ago at the age of 94.
Major Saxton was born in 1829 in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He went at the age of 15 to Greenfield, Massachusetts, to learn the printing trade in the office of the Franklin Democrat. From 1845 to 1848 he was a printer on the Harbinger, publication of the Brook Farm Association of West Roxbury, Massachusetts, of which Major Saxton was a member and which included among its membership Charles A. Dana and George William Curtis.
From West Roxbury, Major Saxton went to Boston, where he was a printer until 1853. In that year he went West to engage in engineering work on the Great Northern Railway with his brother. He later returned to his trade in Cincinnati and then moved to Memphis, where he became printing foreman on The Eagle and Enquirer.
On January 26, 1862, his marriage took place at Amhhesbury, Massachusetts, at the home of John Greenleaf Whittier. He and his wife celebrated their sixty-ninth wedding anniversary in 1930.
Soon after his marriage he was appointed by President Lincoln a Captain on the staff of his brother, General Rufus Saxton, whose command was at Beaufort, South Carolina. In March 1865, he received from Secretary Stanton a commission as a brevet Major.
Near the close of the Civil War, Major Saxton was assigned to Washington for duty on the staff of General O. O. Howard. He had resided here since that time.
On July 1, 1869, he was appointed a clerk in the office of the first Controller of the Treasury and advanced to the office of chief of the division of warrants and appropriations. Subsequently he served in the Department of Commerce and the Census Bureau. He was retired August 1, 1921, after fifty years in the government service.
Major Saxton kept a diary from the time he was 16 years old until he reached 95. On his ninety-sixth birthday the insurance company in which he had been insured for thirty-eight years ruled he was “legally dead” and paid him his life insurance.
He is survived by four children, Edward H. Saxton of Boston, Mrs. Harry L. Clapp of Chicago, Mrs. James E. Miller of Brooklyn, New York, and Mrs. R. E. McDuffie of Guilford, Connecticut, and Washington, and five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 P.M. Wednesday at the S. H. Hines Funeral Home. Burial will be in Arlington with fill military honors.
SAXTON, S WILLARD
SAXTON, MARY WELLS GRANT W/O S WILLARD
Posted: 20 October 2002 Updated: 4 April 2004 Updated: 6 November 2005 Updated: 5 May 2008 Updated: 7 May 2008