John Babington Macaulay Baxter (1868-1948) was born in Carleton (now West Saint John), New Brunswick, son of William S. and Margaret (Macaulay) Baxter. He married Grace W. Coster in 1924 and had four children: John B.M. Jr.; Frederick Coster Noel; Eleanor Crowden; and Mary Faith.
He was educated in the public schools and entered the law office of John Kerr. In 1890 he was admitted as an attorney and became a barrister in 1891. In 1896 he was a lecturer in King's college Law School and was awarded his B.C.L. degree in 1900. He was created a King's Counsel in 1909.
He was a member of the Common Council of Saint John almost continuously from 1892 to 1910 when he became Recorder. He had been deputy mayor and warden of the City and County of Saint John. In 1911 he entered politics as a representative from Saint John in the Provincial Legislature. In 1914 he was appointed Attorney-General for New Brunswick. Re-elected in 1917 and 1920, he became leader of the Conservative opposition in the New Brunswick legislature. He resigned in September 1921, when he was sworn in as federal Minister of Customs in the Meighen government until the defeat of the Meighen government in December 1921.
Returning to the provincial field in 1925, he was became Premier and Attorney-General of New Brunswick . Re-elected in 1930 he remained Premier until 1931, when he resigned to become judge of the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick. On the retirement of Chief Justice Sir Douglas Hazen in 1935, he was appointed Chief Justice of New Brunswick. In 1945 when a Montreal newspaper published an article claiming maltreatment of patients at the provincial insane asylum, he was appointed head of the royal commission of inquiry.
Baxter served the Canadian militia from 1888 to 1912 in the 3rd Regiment, Canadian Artillery, rising to command the regiment as lieutenant-colonel from 1907 to 1912. In 1896 he published the "Historical Records of the New Brunswick Regiment, Canadian Artillery".
He was also a strong advocate of Maritime Legislative union and presented the case for New Brunswick before the Duncan Commission in 1926.
Prominent People of New Brunswick, 1937.