Axtell Family Organization Memorabilia
The AFO was incorporated in 1947 and was active until the early 1960's. Silas Blake Axtell, the successful New York lawyer, was the main driving force behind the organization.
Here is the 1947 AFO Christmas card mailing thanks to Bruce B. Axtell:
The First National Convention of the Axtell Family of America held since the 1643 Sudbury, Massachusetts landing of Thomas, brother of Col. Daniel Axtell, the Regicide, held at Camp Lake Bismark, Custer, South Dakota, August 3-10, 1947.
With the Season's Greetings to all Axtells.
Silas Blake Axtell
President, Axtell Family Organization
(The white text is not on the original photo.)
(See below for the names of the people in the photo. Can you help fill in the blanks?)
December 18, 1947
To All my Axtell Cousins:
Due to the industry of Carson Axtell and the co-operation of others, I am in possession of the names and addresses of 850 kinsmen to whom this Season's Greetings go.
You have heard about the Convention of the Axtell family referred to on the opposite page, where you can see the photograph of some of us who attended.
In due course you will receive a copy of the constitution and By-Laws we adopted. This reprint of our letterhead gives you the names and addresses of the Officers who were elected. The dues of one dollar a year will hardly defray the expense of printing.
Should you consider it an honor, as I do, to be a member of this family, perhaps you would like to send in some additional check to the Treasurer so that the general purposes of the organization can be carried out.
The Constitution and By-Laws require that the organization be divided into three parts: East, Central and West of the United States. There is to be a national convention every five years, and local meetings or conventions in the East, Center and West respectively once each year; time and place to be decided by the local officials or their constituents. The National Convention is to be fixed by the Executive Board which is composed of the officers above named.
As you may have learned, the objects of the Axtell Family Organization are to keep accurate records of births, marriages and deaths, some biographical records of the life, work and activities of various members of the family, and secondly, to perpetuate a fund to be used in the education of Axtell youths. The sum of $150.00 has been deposited with the Treasurer for the purpose of defraying expenses of studying the period 1620-1660, when Colonel Daniel Axtell made his great contribution to the political and economic progress of the people of the world.
Have you joined the A.F.O.? All Dues-Paying Members ($1.00 a year) will receive each year a Membership Card handsomely embossed with the Axtell Coat of Arms.
Should any of you care to contribute to this work, and assist publication of the work which is under the supervision of Dr. Harold Axtell of Moscow, Idaho, please do so.
Silas Blake Axtell
The second Quintennial Meeting was held at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Mass. Aug. 22-24, 1952. A booklet from that weekend was printed, called The Axtell Heritage. On the the otherwise-empty last page of that booklet is Article II of the AFO Constitution, adopted Aug. 7, 1947: "The purpose of this organization shall be social; the protection of the fair name of our family; to insure the keeping of accurate family records and the promotion of the educational interests of the the Axtell youth."
[Webkeeper editorial: This makes me wonder (in 1998) if the AFO may have been doomed to a short life because of the difficult-to-reconcile goals of "protection of the fair name" and "the keeping of accurate family records". I'm proud of the accomplishments of the Axtell side of my family, but they were very obviously human. Just as for silk and suede, the inconsistencies should not be construed as flaws, but part of the natural beauty.]
The original AFO By-Laws, adopted at the Axtell Family National Convention 7 August 1947 are reproduced here.
Legend for the 1947 Axtell Reunion photo ("Axtell" is omitted in the names given; other last names are in CAPITALS):
Row 1: #1-Raymond A. (10-402), #10-William Luther (9-579), #15-Halton (10-146) , #16-Silas (10-145)
Row 2: #8 D. Louise (Axtell) STRAYER (10-386), #10- Weir STRAYER
Row 3: #1-Aughelle, #7-Patricia L. STRAYER,
Row 4: #1-Forrest (11-288 supp), #6-Betty L. STRAYER, #7-Jackie D. STRAYER, #8-Raymond D. (11-287 supp), #9-William (11-286 supp), #10-Daniel (10-147)
Inset: Silas Blake (9-214)
Silas Blake (father); Silas, Halton, Daniel (children)
William Luther (grandfather); Raymond A. and Aughelle (parents); Forrest, Raymond D., William (children). Aughelle is pregnant with Silas Blake. Living in Kieler, Wisconsin at the time.
D. Louise (Axtell ) STRAYER (mother); Weir STRAYER (husband); Patricia L. STRAYER, Betty L. STRAYER, Jackie D. STRAYER (children). Amber Ann STRAYER did not attend.
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