John Franklin Rixey

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John Franklin Rixey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1897 – February 8, 1907
Preceded by Elisha E. Meredith
Succeeded by Charles C. Carlin
Personal details
Born (1854-08-01)August 1, 1854
Culpeper County, Virginia
Died February 8, 1907(1907-02-08) (aged 52)
Washington, DC
Resting place Fairview Cemetery in Culpeper
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ella B. Barbour
Occupation Lawyer

John Franklin Rixey (August 1, 1854 – February 8, 1907) was a Democratic U.S. Congressman from Virginia's 8th congressional district from 1897 to 1907.[1]

Early and family life[edit]

John Franklin Rixey was born on August 1, 1854 in the Catalpa district of Culpeper County, Virginia to farmer Presley Morehead Rixey and his wife the former Mary Frances Jones. His older brothers who survived American Civil War included Charles J. Rixey (1849-) and Presley Marion Rixey. The son of his younger brother, the banker Eppa Rixey (1857-1917) would become a major league baseball player, Eppa Rixey Jr.. This John Rixey attended local schools and Bethel Academy, then studied law at the University of Virginia.[2]

Rixey married Ella B. Barbour (1859-1946), daughter of James Barbour and his wife Fanny Thomas Beckham and granddaughter of John S. Barbour, who had likewise been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia's 15th congressional district. Their children included Mary Barbour Compton (b. 1884), John Strode Rixey (b. 1891), James B. Rixey (b. 1895) and Edith Presley Rixey Moore (b. 1897).[3]


After admission to the Virginia bar in 1875, Rixey had a private legal practice in Culpeper, Virginia. He was elected the county's Commonwealth Attorney (prosecutor) in 1879 and served in that position until 1891.[4]

In 1896, Democratic Congressman Elisha E. Meredith retired to his legal practice, and voters in Virginia's 8th congressional district elected Rixey to the 55th Congress. Re-elected five times, Rixey served from March 4, 1897, until his death in Washington, D.C. on February 8, 1907 (before the close of the 59th Congress). Although he had been re-elected to the 60th Congress, he died before beginning that term.

Beginning in his third Congressional term, Rixey proposed to place all Civil War veterans in the same class with respect to federal and state soldiers' homes. He also hosted President Theodore Roosevelt at Beauregard during his visit to Culpeper county and Cedar Run battlefield in 1902, and a troop of Culpeper County veterans from the Spanish American War marched at Roosevelt's inauguration.[5]

Death and legacy[edit]

Rixey died in Washington, D.C. on February 8, 1907, and was survived by his wife and daughter Edith Presley Moore. He is interred at Culpeper's Fairview Cemetery.[6] His portrait was placed at the courthouse in 1917.[7]

After a contested Democratic primary, Charles Creighton Carlin of Alexandria, Virginia, succeeded him in the U.S. House.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ * John Franklin Rixey at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography (1915)
  3. ^ 1900 U.s. Federal Census for Stevensburg, Culpeper County, Virginia
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography (1915)
  5. ^ Scheel at pp. 260, 313
  6. ^ "Maj James Barbour". Find A Grave. Apr 26, 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  7. ^ Eugene M. Scheel, Culpeper: A Virginia County's History through 1920 (Green Publishers for the Culpeper Historical Society, 1982) p. 323
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Elisha E. Meredith
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Charles C. Carlin