Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all McPhersons in:
 • Evergreen Cemetery
 • Gettysburg
 • Adams County
 • Pennsylvania
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Donald Paxton McPherson
Birth: Aug. 10, 1870
Adams County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Mar. 16, 1937
Adams County
Pennsylvania, USA


Death of Adams Bar Association President Cause by Coronary Thrombosis; Was Elected to Bench in 1915 and 1925; Native of Gettysburg.


Donald Paxton McPherson, for 20 years president judge of the courts of Adams and Fulton counties and member of one of the oldest families of Adams county, died suddenly this morning at his home, 250 Carlisle street.

Death was caused by coronary thrombosis and is believed to have taken place about 5:30 o'clock. He was found in his bed about 7 o'clock by his only son, Donald P. McPherson, Jr. He was aged 66 years.

Word of the death was received as a district shock by his community and news of the passing brought real sorrow to residents of Gettysburg and the county.

Mr. McPherson was in his office Monday in the McClean building, Baltimore street, where he and his son opened offices following the former's retirement from the bench in January 1936. Shortly after noon he suffered a light heart attack and was taken to his home by his son. About 4 o'clock he was examined by a physician and ordered to bed.


Again at 11 o'clock Monday evening, he was visited by a medical doctor who found the patient's condition greatly improved, with every indication that the former jurist had recovered "very nicely" from the attack.

At that time it was planned that today the former judge should go to Philadelphia for an electrocardiogram, or complete heart study.
A native of Gettysburg, Mr. McPherson was born August 10 1870. He was the youngest son of the late Edward and Annie D. (Crawford) McPherson.

He attended Gettysburg college and graduated in 1889 with the degree of bachelor of arts. He was a member of Sigma Chi, social fraternity and of Phi Beta Kappa, honorary scholastic fraternity. In 1895, he graduated from the Harvard law school.


The following year he was admitted to practice before the Adams county bar.

From 1890 to 1892 he served as an office clerk in the house of representatives in Washington, D.C.

His first election to a public office came in 1900 when he was chosen representative in the general assembly from Adams county. Taking office in 1901 he served for two years. Then he was elected State Senator for a four-year term which concluded in 1907.

On November 26, 1902 he married Miss Elizabeth McLanahan, of Chambersburg,. Mrs. McPherson survives with their younger son. Their first child, Edward Johnston McPherson, died July 23, 1917.


For a time he practiced law with his late brother, John B. McPherson, the first firm being known as McPherson and McPherson. Later John McPherson removed to Boston and the younger member of the firm continued in law practice.

In a three-cornered "non-partisan" campaign in the fall of 1915, the deceased was elected president judge of the fifty-first judicial district, defeating the late J.L. Butt, Esq., and the late William McSherry Esq. The "dry" forces of the county turned their support to McPherson.

Prior to the time Judge McPherson took the bench, there had been much remonstration from the "dry" organizations in the county on the method of granting liquor licenses to hotels here and after taking office in 1916, the lat jurist placed the burden of proof of necessity for a license and good character upon the applicant, with the result that the north end of the county became dry and the number of licensed hotels in the county was greatly reduced.


In his second campaign in 1925, Judge McPherson defeated the late George Benner, Esq.

Members of the county bar today paid tribute to the deceased jurist and voiced their "unrestricted respect" for him. "He was dignified, fair, honest and sincere, and his actions in court were always beyond question."


About a month ago, the former judge was elected to the presidency of the Adams county bar association succeeding the late J.L. Williams, Esq. he had been treasurer of the Gettysburg Presbyterian church. He was a former director of the old Gettysburg water company and since 1907 had been a director of the Reaser furniture company.

Always a friend of charitable and philanthropic organization and movements here. Mr. McPherson assisted in the organization of the Red Cross in Adams county and during the world war days made many speaking excursions through the county to help the Red Cross raise funds.

He was an honorary member of the Adams county firemans association.

Surviving are his widow, his son; a brother, Norman C. McPherson, Short Hills, New Jersey, and a sister, Mrs. David Dale, Bellefonte, Pa.

The funeral service will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the McPherson home, Carlisle street. The Rev. Frederick B. Crane, pastor of the Presbyterian church will officiate. Internment will be private in Evergreen cemetery.

The family has requested that flowers be omitted.


The McPherson family has had an important part in Adams county history. The father of the deceased, Edward McPherson, died in 1895, at the age of 65 years after an active public life. Valedictorian of his class at Gettysburg College in 1848, Mr. McPherson studied law under Thaddeus Stevens. He was a former editor of the Harrisburg American, the Lancaster Independent Whig, the Pittsburgh Daily Times, the Philadelphia Press, and the Tribune Almanac. He was a member of congress, a deputy commissioner of internal revenue: a clerk in the house of representatives. chief of the bureau of printing and engraving in the U.S. treasury department, served in prominent party political posts and was a writer of political papers, having several books published.

The Gettysburg Times
{Gettysburg, Pennsylvania}
March 16 1937

Rev. F.H. Crane Conducts Funeral Services; Bar Group Passes Resolution.
Friends and relatives of former judge Donald P. McPherson, who Tuesday died of coronary thrombosis early Tuesday morning at his home, 250 Carlisle street, gathered this afternoon at the McPherson home at 2 o'clock when simple funeral services were conducted.

The Rev. Frederick B. Crane, pastor of the Presbyterian church, which Mr. McPherson had served for many years as treasurer, conducted the service. The prayer was offered by the Rev. D.W. Woods, pastor of the Lower Marsh Creek Presbyterian church here.
Members of the Adams county bar association served as honorary pallbearers. The active bearers were Edwards Buehler, William Van Cleve, John W. Woods, Dr. R.W. Gufford, Leroy H. Winebrenner and Hugh C. McIlhenny. Internment was private in Evergreen cemetery.

Following the invocation the Rev. Mr. Crane read the hymn "We Bless Thee for Thy Peace" and a poem of tribute by William Wordsworth, "The Character of the Happy Warrior." Passages of scripture were read from the first and fifteenth Psalms, Matthew and II Corinthians. After the reading of the hymn "Lead Kindly Light," prayer was offered by the Rev. D.W. Woods. Before the benediction, a poem by Robert Browning was read by the Rev. Mr. Crane.

Members of the Adams county bar association convened this morning in the law library at the court house at 10 o'clock to honor their deceased president. S.S. Neely, Esq., was chosen acting chairman. Each member of the bar in attendance spoke in eulogy of the former judge with John D. Keith, Esq., and Mr. Neely speaking at some length of the career character and reputation of Mr. McPherson.

Members of the group adopted resolutions and then adjourned to gather at the Keith home. They attended the funeral in a body.

The Gettysburg Times
{Gettysburg, Pennsylvania}
March 18 1937

Family links: 
  Edward McPherson (1830 - 1895)
  Annie Dods Crawford McPherson (1834 - 1906)
  Elizabeth McLanahan McPherson (1873 - 1952)
  Edward J Mcpherson (1903 - 1917)*
  Donald P. McPherson (1906 - 1984)*
  John Bruce McPherson (1863 - 1934)*
  William Lenhart McPherson (1865 - 1930)*
  Norman Crawford McPherson (1869 - 1939)*
  Donald Paxton McPherson (1870 - 1937)
  Anna Dunlop McPherson Dale (1874 - 1958)*
*Calculated relationship
Evergreen Cemetery
Adams County
Pennsylvania, USA
Maintained by: angel searcher
Originally Created by: pat callahan
Record added: Jul 05, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14827533
Donald Paxton McPherson
Added by: pat callahan
Donald Paxton McPherson
Added by: pat callahan
Donald Paxton McPherson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Just another taphophile
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- angel searcher
 Added: Aug. 5, 2016

- angel searcher
 Added: Mar. 22, 2016

- angel searcher
 Added: Jan. 1, 2016
There are 3 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
This page is sponsored by: angel searcher

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service