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George Acheson
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Birth: Jun. 16, 1821
Washington County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Apr. 24, 1881
Jefferson County
Iowa, USA

Husband of Mary H Hemphill Acheson.

"Fairfield Ledger", Apr. 27, 1881

DEATH OF GEO. ACHESON... Born Washington Co., Pa., June 16, 1821, sixth child among five brothers and four sisters, six of whom are now living, three brothers and three sisters. Read law with his brother, A. W. ACHESON of that place -- Washington, Pa.... He was one of the holders of the deed for Fairfield's first cemetery, which was afterwards assigned to the city....


"Fairfield Tribune", Apr. 28, 1881, Pg. 3, Col. 4

AN OLD CITIZEN DEAD -- Mr. Geo. ACHESON.... while diligently pursuing his legal studies his father visited the home of his ancestors at Glassdrummond where he was cordially received by Lord GOSFORD, the head of the ACHESON family. For a time Mr. ACHESON entertained the idea of securing the old family homestead, so long held by his ancestors, by a perpetual lease to his son George, and resuscitating the collateral branch of the family in Ireland.....

"Fairfield Ledger Weekly", April 27, 1881

A Pioneer and a Worthy Citizen Gone to His Home.

The announcement of the death of Mr. George ACHESON, which occurred in this city Sunday evening at 10 o'clock, is one that has created universal sorrow throughout the city, a grief which extends far beyond the usual limit for a good man is gone. An active, energetic man in all the walks of life, in 1874 he suffered severe misfortune by the breaking of a limb, from which, really, he never recovered. Following this came a severe illness, one which impaired his activity, although he was able to attend to his ordinary duties, and in December, 1879, while at Sparta, Wis., with his wife, who was in ill health, he was stricken with paralysis. From this attack he partially recovered.

April 2d, 1880, death visited the home circle and his beloved wife, a woman universally loved and respected, was taken away. From this time on Mr. ACHESON's health was somewhat improved, but his condition was still such as to excite constant alarm and fear for the worst in those who were intimate with him. On the 10th inst., he was stricken with apoplexy and has since lain in an unconscious condition until death relieved his sufferings.

George ACHESON was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, June 16, 1821, and hence was in his sixtieth year at the time of his death. He was the sixth child among five brothers and four sisters, six of whom are now living, three brothers and three sisters. He was educated at Washington College, Washington, Pa., and read law with his brother, A. W. ACHESON, in that place. In the spring of 1843 he and C. W. SLAGLE (sic. Christian Wolff Slagle, who still survives, started west in search of a location. They crossed the Mississippi river thirty-eight years ago April 6th, and located here soon afterwards, and have been in steady practice in this city ever since the oldest law firm in Iowa, and we know of none older in the United States.

December 23d, 1847, Mr. ACHESON was married to Miss Mary HEMPHILL, daughter of Adley HEMPHILL, Esq., one of the early settlers of Jefferson county. From this happy marriage six children were born, two of whom are now dead. Two sons, John and George, are living in this city; one of the daughters is the wife of Lieut. C. A. CLARKE, of the U. S. navy, the other the wife of D. F. GARRETTSON, of Kansas City. With a kind husband, a dutiful, affectionate wife and mother, no happier home was ever known. In their more than usual devotion to each other and children and friends their home was one of peace and contentment a model for all who gained entrance to it, and the death of the loving wife so soon followed by that of the husband, and the destruction of the sweet home life, mars one of the prettiest pictures of earth and illustrates the swift passing away of earthly things. To those who mourn this deep affliction, however, are left as consolation the fond recollections of those who had lived life nobly and well, whose kindly feelings were appreciated on every hand, whose deeds of charity were those of pleasure rather than obligation. The damp earth hides them from our sight, but the knowledge of those sweet, well spent lives gives blessed promise of the great future, and the two souls so beloved by each other on earth are surely united in heaven now. Of them still remain the sweet recollections of a pure and happy life, and the two mounds, covered by the bright green turf, which mark their final resting place, will pass away long ere the dead faces will fade in our memories.

Of George ACHESON's life his friends cherish many pleasant recollections. During all his busy years he never swerved from the path of justice and of right. Honest and upright, his bright career as an attorney and a business man was never marred by a wrongful deed. He was devoted to his profession, and although many places of profit and trust were within his reach, in other directions he never availed himself of circumstances which might present themselves. His devotion to home and loved ones, so marked through life, perhaps stood in the way of his political advancement, and his aspirations for honors of that kind were put aside for the happiness and enjoyment of home life, with its quieter and sweeter pleasures.

In early life Mr. ACHESON was a democrat and as such was elected county prosecutor in 1846, succeeding Cyrus OLNEY, our first prosecuting attorney.--- He held this office one term, or it may be one term before his election in 1846, as the records are in such condition it is impossible to fix on more than the date of one term certainly. When Fairfield was incorporated, in 1847, he was the first city recorder, and afterwards, in 1862, we think, he was elected mayor, and held that office a term or two. He was for many years a trustee of the Mt. Pleasant asylum. He was also one of the holders of the deed for Fairfield's first cemetery, which was afterwards assigned to the city.

Although a democrat in his earlier years the firing on Fort Sumter aroused the patriotism within his heart and he cast his lot with the Union, and changed his allegiance to the republican party, with which he has been identified ever since, though never an active politician. His patriotic words and noble deeds during the dark days of rebellion were those of a lover of his country, and had vast influence in the direction of affairs in trying times. Ever with the cause of humanity and right and justice, Mr. ACHESON was positive in his convictions and earnest in his advocacy of humanity. This was shown in a matter which was brought before him during his occupancy of the county attorneyship, and the first colored man in Jefferson county found in him a friend and defender. Under an old law all black and mulatto persons coming into the state were required to produce a certificate of actual freedom. One Charles FORRESTER came here from Agency without the certificate, and the democratic board of commissioners brought the matter to the prosecutor's attention with instructions to enforce the law. ACHESON declined and a considerable excitement was occasioned over the affair, which finally ended in FORRESTER locating and living in Fairfield for many years, conducting himself in a gentlemanly manner and prospering.

This was not Mr. ACHESON's only stand in favor of freedom and human rights, but it serves to illustrate his character.

In all matters of public interest and for the advantage of Fairfield he was always at the fore. With others of our citizens he labored hard for our first railroad, and, perhaps, his connection with the Southwestern was more beneficial to Jefferson county than that of any other one man, for in addition to aiding our citizens in all the usual work, his efforts more than those of any one else secured the right of way through the county. He was one of the founders of the Jefferson County Coal Co., the First National Bank, a friend of the Parsons College enterprise, our Library and one of the owners of the handsome brick block on the north side, and his name was connected with every enterprise which would aid us as a thriving young city.

As a husband he was loving and devoted, as a parent kind and indulgent, as a friend faithful and true. As a man he was possessed of many virtues and few faults. Few men Jefferson county has ever had who so readily gained public esteem and always retained it. As a fellow citizen, a brave, public spirited man, we will all miss him. His taking away is a public calamity, but his years of usefulness will live as long as Fairfield exists, and the town itself will be a monument to his worth and usefulness as one of its pioneers.

Mr. ACHESON was the first Mason ever initiated in Jefferson county and was one of the charter members of Clinton Lodge. He had held many positions in this order, and was of high standing in it. The remains were interred by the side of those of his wife in the Evergreen Cemetery near this city yesterday afternoon, with appropriate Masonic cermonies [sic], and the funeral was one of the largest ever seen in the city. President EWING and Rev. M. E. DWIGHT officiated at the funeral, the latter delivering a beautiful and appropriate eulogy.

A meeting of the bar of Fairfield was held at the office of McCOID & WEST, Monday afternoon, to take the customary action on the death of a fellow practitioner. James F. WILSON was made chairman and I. D. JONES secretary. A committee of five, consisting of Messrs. James F. WILSON, W. B. CULBERTSON, J. J. CUMMINGS, M. A McCOID and C. D. LEGGETT, was appointed to draft fitting resolutions, and reported as follows:

Resolved, That the members of the bar of Fairfield have with profound regret learned of the death of George ACHESON, for many years a member of our bar and an able and courteous practitioner.

Resolved, That while we remember Mr. ACHESON as a most worthy member of our profession, we also bear testimony to his worth as a member of this community, ever ready with deeds for the promotion of its best interests and always alive to proper means for the advancement of its prosperity.

Resolved, That James F. WILSON be requested to present these resolutions to the district and circuit courts for the county, at the next terms thereof, and request that they be entered on the records respectively.

Resolved, That a copy of those resolutions be communicated to the family of Mr. ACHESON with the heartfelt condolence of the bar, and that as a further mark of respect we will attend the funeral of our deceased brother in a body.

Respectfully submitted,
James F. WILSON,

Upon notification of the death of Mr. ACHESON, the following resolutions were adopted by Clinton Lodge, No. 15, A. F. and A. M.:
Your committee, in the discharge of the sad and solemn duty assigned to them, find themselves led away from the ordinary thoughts suggested by such an occasion.

Brother George ACHESON was the first Mason made in this lodge. He was again and again elected as master, and brought to that high and responsible office a fervor and zeal, a brightness in its work, a learning and ability for which he has had no equal. On almost all the occasions of our public ceremonies he has officiated. He has stood at the head of the grave of almost every Mason borne by us to that last resting place to which we have just carried all that remained of him.

He was one whom we all loved and delighted to honor. These memories of him, filling our minds and hearts, tell in stronger terms than we can indite [sic] the incurable loss his death has brought upon us. His seat is vacant, his light extinguished, and in this desolated place we feel his loss can never be forgotten or filled.

Hear in lodge echoes upon our ears his tones familiar for a score of years, saying, "Brethren, we are about to quit this sacred retreat of virtue." Before many of us be seems to stand clothed and in form, as when he first approached to receive us into this ancient order; on our walls hangs his portrait, and our hearts are thrilled with hallowed and ennobling memories of him. Therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is fitting that these sentiments and recollections of our beloved brother be thus informally written, as suggested to each of us at this moment when his departure has called us together, and be, and the same are hereby, ordered spread upon our records.

2. That to the friends of our departed brother more directly stricken and more deeply bereaved than we, as his home was dearer than his lodge, we can give no better token of our inexpressible sorrow and our tender sympathy than our silent conveyance with them of his body to the waiting tomb has done, bidding them, with us, look beyond in the well founded hope of his glorious resurrection.

3. That our lodge be draped in mourning for thirty days.

4. That a copy of these resolutions be delivered to the friends of the deceased and furnished to the city papers for publication.


Emma Acheson
Ella (a/k/a Ellen) Acheson Clarke
Mary W "Minnie" Acheson Garretson
John H Acheson
George B Acheson
Jennie Carey Acheson

Family links: 
  Mary H Hemphill Acheson (1824 - 1880)*
  Emma Acheson (1848 - 1851)*
  Ella Acheson Clarke (1851 - 1895)*
  George B Acheson (1860 - 1931)*
  Jennie Carey Acheson (1864 - 1877)*
*Calculated relationship
Evergreen Cemetery
Jefferson County
Iowa, USA
Plot: Old.P.319
Created by: Richard K Thompson
Record added: Sep 15, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41993311
George Acheson
Added by: Richard K Thompson
George Acheson
Added by: Richard K Thompson
George Acheson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Richard K Thompson
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