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RG2962.AM:  Joseph Armitage Paxson, 1842-1888

Diary; research materials:  1869-1871

Bucks County, Penn.; Winnebago Indian Reservation, Neb.:  Physician

Size:  0.25 cu.ft. and 1 reel of microfilm


Joseph A. Paxson was born in 1842 in Solebury Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on a farm which had been in the family since 1682. Paxson, rejected for military service in the Civil War, taught country school and studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his medical degree in 1869 and was appointed physician to the Winnebago Indian Reservation. The assignment was in the area which had been allocated to the Society of Friends under President Grant’s short-lived Indian policy. After a year on the reservation, Paxson returned to Pennsylvania, took over a country medical practice, moved his family to Philadelphia in 1876 and engaged in business until his death in 1888.


This collection consists of materials relating to Dr. Joseph A. Paxson and his work at the Winnebago Indian Reservation. The collection is arranged in two series: 1) Diary, 1869-1870; and 2) Research materials gathered by Nebraska State Historical Society staff relating to Paxson.

The diary is a significant document relating to the history of the Winnebago Indians in Nebraska. Dr. Paxson was a discerning observer, and his diary furnishes important information regarding both the Indian service and life in northeastern Nebraska. The original diary is held by the Wisconsin Historical Society, donated by his son, Professor Frederick Logan Paxson, once curator of collections there. The microfilm was made for the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1939 with permission of his son. The diary was published in Nebraska History magazine, Vol. 27, No. 3, pg. 143+ and Vol. 27, No. 4, pg. 244+, edited by James L. Sellers.

The research materials contain transcripts of newspaper articles, mostly from the Bucks County Intelligencer, 1869-1871, relating to the Native Americans in Nebraska, the Winnebago in particular.


Series 1 – Diary, 1869-1870

Reel 1

Diary, 1869-1870

Box 1


  1. Diary (photocopy), with letter and notes by editor James L Sellers

  2. Nebraska History magazine, parts I and II of the diary, with pencil notes by NSHS staff researcher, Eli Paul

Series 2 – Research materials

  1. Research materials

  2. Bucks County Intelligencer




Indians of North America — Nebraska

Indians of North America — Reservations

Paxson, Joseph Armitage, 1842-1888

Physicians — Nebraska — Winnebago reservation

Winnebago Indians


DDS/pmc   01-12-1972

KFK   11-17-2000

Encoded TMM   02-15-2011