Maxwell Evarts

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Maxwell Evarts, (November 15, 1862 - October 7, 1913), youngest of the twelve children of Hon. William Maxwell Evarts and Helen Minerva (Wardner) Evarts. He was fitted for college at St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire. He graduated from Yale College, 1884,[1] where he was a member of Skull and Bones.[2]:165 After graduation, he studied two years in the Harvard Law School, and was then in the law office of Seward, DaCosta & Guthrie until the summer of 1889.

In 1890 he was appointed an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. He held this office two years, after which he entered the law department of the Southern Pacific Railroad Co. In recent years he had been active in the counsel of the Southern Pacific Railroad Co., Union Pacific Railroad Co., and affiliated lines of the E.H. Harriman System; with co-General Counsel Robert Scott Lovett. In 1904 he was elected a director of the Southern Pacific Railroad, for several years was an attorney of the Harriman system, and in 1910; he was made general counsel of the Oregon Short Line and the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Co. Upon the separation of the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads he became general counsel of the Southern Pacific Co. He had also been a director of the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. and the Union Pacific Land Co. He represented Wong Kim Ark in his lawsuit to gain recognition as a U.S. citizen. The Supreme Court sided with Evarts, establishing birthright citizenship as a right.

His home (Juniper Hill Farm) was in Windsor, Vermont, a stately manor overlooking Lake Runnemede and his family's compound. Maxwell Evarts considered Vermont to be his home, and made many contributions on both the local and state levels.

He was an organizer of the State National Bank of Windsor, which included Vermont State Treasurer John L. Bacon as cashier. He was also vice-president of the Windsor Machine Co., half owner of the Amsden (Vt.) Lime Co., president of the Vermont State Fair Association, a governor of the Morgan Horse Club, and president of the Vermont Fish and Game League. He was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives in 1906.

He married in New York City, April 23, 1891, Margaret Allen Stetson, daughter of Charles Augustus and Josephine (Brick) Stetson, and they had four daughters and a son.

He was the son of William M. Evarts, the grandson of Jeremiah Evarts and Allen Wardner, and the great-grandson of Roger Sherman.


  1. ^ Obituary Record of Yale Graduates, 1913-1914, p. 629-30.
  2. ^ Robbins, Alexandra (2002). Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-72091-7. 

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