History of Maxwell, California
From: Colusa County
Its History Traced From A State of Nature
Through The Early Period of Settlement
And Development To The Present Day
By: Justus H. Rogers
Orland, California, 1891


This thriving town, which sprung up in the summer of 1878, is nearly in the geographical center of the county, and in the middle of the Central Irrigation District. It was called for George Maxwell, a former resident, who died in 1878. It was originally called and known as Occident. It is a depot station on the Northern Railway, and contains about four hundred inhabitants. Like nearly all the young towns in the county, it was fated in its infancy to pass through the ordeal of fire, but it soon recovered from the effects thereof; and its growth has since been conservative but steady. It is a prominent point for the handling of grain provided by the rich country tributary to it, and hence the large warehouses of Harden Bros., De Lappe & Co., with a capacity of twenty two thousand tons for storing grain, which attract the eye of the visitor and cause him to wonder whence come all the wheat and barley with which to fill them. While the surrounding country is chiefly devoted to grain, the soil has proved itself especially adapted to fruit and viticulture. Numerous small vineyards have been planted, and also orchards for home use mostly, which have done remarkably well; pears, peaches, cherries, apricots and oranges growing side by side.

Maxwell can justly pride itself in its educational advantages and church facilities. The public school building is a large, commodious and even elegant brick edifice, constructed at a cost of $10,000. There are three churches, the Catholic, Methodist, and Baptist, while members of the other denominations are ministered to at regular intervals. In the line of benevolent societies Maxwell is well represented, having a lodge of the A. O. U. W., a parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, a lodge of the Masonic order and one of the Odd Fellows fraternity. Of hotels there are two, the Maxwell House, E. F. Peart proprietor, and the Russ House, conducted by Mrs. Hamblen. The number of places of business is as follows: Drug stores, two; hotels, two; lodgings, one; saloons, four; photograph gallery, one; millinery, one; undertaking, one; fruit and confectionery, one; contractors and builders, three; real estate, one; newspapers, one; harness, one; hardware, agricultural implements and tin shop, one; general stores, three; men's furnishing, one; livery stables, two; lumber yard, one; bakery, one; blacksmith shops, two; grain and insurance office, one; meat market, one; physician, one; a variety store, and two warehouses.

The Maxwell Mercury, a bright, newsy harvester of local items, is the only paper published in the place. It is conducted by John G. Overshiner, formerly prominent in Southern California journalism. It is independent in politics and a staunch advocate of irrigation.

The headquarters of the Central Irrigation District are located at Maxwell, the Board of Directors and the treasurer having their office here; and the people of Maxwell have great confidence in the development of the country and the upbuilding of the town with the completion of the irrigation works. As fine fruit as is produced in the country is to be found in this locality, and the planting of trees and vines is annually becoming more extensive.

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