Frank M. Pixley

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Frank M. Pixley, founder of The Argonaut

Frank Morrison Pixley (January 31, 1825 – August 13, 1895) was an American journalist and politician who served briefly as the Attorney General of California.

Pixley was born in Westmoreland, Oneida County, New York. He graduated from Hamilton College and studied law in Rochester, New York. In 1847, he was elected to the Supreme Court of Michigan. Two years later he travelled to California during the Gold Rush, and spent two winters working mines on the Yuba River. He met and, in 1853, married Amelia Van Reynegom; the Pixleys lived in the North Beach area of San Francisco.

Pixley served as the 8th Attorney General of California, from 1860 to 1861. He fought in the Civil War alongside Union General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Cold Harbor. In 1868 he was the Republican candidate for Congress in California's First District, losing to incumbent Samuel Beach Axtell by more than 3500 votes.

Pixley and Frank Somers founded The Argonaut in April, 1877. The Argonaut was considered one of the most important publications in California and it had a great deal of political influence. He was friends with former Governor of California John G. Downey, and after the death of Downey's wife, introduced him to Yda Addis a much younger woman who wrote for The Argonaut, resulting in a minor scandal.

The town of Pixley, in Tulare County, California, is named after Frank Pixley.

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