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The Fairfield Weekly Ledger

April 27, 1881

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Fairfield Weekly Ledger
Jefferson County, Iowa
Transcribed by:  Joey Stark

Note:  Typographical errors (followed by [sic]) and spelling variations in names in this document are intentional and reflect the actual newspaper articles.   Transcriber’s notes are occasionally included and are indicated with [Ed. note:….].  Surnames shown here are in UPPER CASE for easy location; not rendered as such in the newspapers.

April 27, 1881

Marriages, Births and Deaths.

Marriages.--- April 20, 1881, in Fairfield, by Rev. A. J. WHITE, W. H. DAVIS and Mrs. Amelia McDONALD.

March 26, in Fairfield township, to Harlan DUNCAN and wife, a daughter.
April 11, in Fairfield, to N. B. GARRETT and wife, a son.
March 28, in Fairfield, to L. A. SHEWARD and wife, a son.
March 19, in Round Prairie township, to Andrew G. GROVES and wife, a son.
April 13, in Fairfield, to William P. CAMPBELL and wife, a daughter.

March 16, in Perlee, of pneumonia, Alice WESTENHAVER, aged 29 years, 4 months, 25 days.
April 12, in Lockridge township, Patrick RILEY, aged 56 years, 1 month.
April 16, in Round Prairie township, of pneumonia, I. P. LARSON, aged 43 years, 1 month, 16 days.
March 20, in Round Prairie township, of general debility, Mrs. Malinda S. LITTON, aged 87 years, 7 months, 7 days.

A Villain’s Work

Saturday last in this city occurred the death of the little fifteen-year-old girl whose seduction and confinement was mentioned a short time ago.  Thus to one man’s lust have already been sacrificed two lives – that of the young mother and her child.  The remains of the child were taken east for interment, the funeral services being conducted by Rev. James HAYNES, of Muscatine, Monday.  Charles STOESSIGER, the wretched, villainous author of this horrible work, now lies in jail in this city to await the action of the district court.  It is only to be hoped that the death of his victim still leaves proof sufficient upon which to base a conviction, and it is to be regretted that the laws of Iowa do not specify a more fitting punishment for a lustful wretch who deliberately ruins a young, innocent child.  The knife is the only proper treatment for such brutes.

Wedding Bells.

Yesterday afternoon at the residence of the bride’s parents, Mr. And Mrs. J. A. McKEMEY, in this city, occurred the marriage of their youngest daughter, Miss Flora C. McKEMEY to Dr. J. C. SUTTON, of Minneiska, Minnesota, the ceremony being performed by Rev. H. E. WING, formerly pastor of the First M. E. Church of this city, but now of Ottumwa.  The wedding was a very quiet affair, because of the deep affliction which had recently befallen the family by the death of Mr. ACHESON and none but the immediate family were present at the ceremony.  Miss Flora is well known as one of Fairfield’s own girls having been reared in this city where she has many friends that words of commendation are unnecessary here, but we can heartily recommend her as a valuable acquisition to the society of her new home and wish her the brightest possible welcome there.

Dr. SUTTON is a promising young physical who practiced his profession in this city for several years but recently removed to Minneiska.  Both were among Fairfield’s popular young people and many friends here will unite with us in felicitous congratulations.  Dr. and Mrs. SUTTON left for Burlington on Monday evening’s train where they will take the boat for their new home.

[Ed. note:  With thanks to Verda Baird, who filled in the missing part of this article;  she advises the bride, Flora SUTTON, died in 1905 at the Sac & Fox reservation in Oklahoma, and is buried in big Evergreen Cemetery, Fairfield, Iowa.]

Stricken Down by Death.

Frank W. ALEXANDER died at the home of his parents in this city Friday, from consumption, after a weary illness of many months.  Frank was the youngest of six children born to W. K. and E. ALEXANDER, of whom but two now survive, a brother and a sister.  He was born in this city Dec. 31, 1856, and in the identical room in which his death occurred.  Passing his earlier days as do most boys, in 1873 he entered the C., R. I. & P. office in this city and began the study of telegraphy;  during this same year he also held a clerkship in the office of the clerk of the district court.  Returning to the railroad in the spring of 1874, he perfected his training and remained with the company until the summer of 1878, serving both as operator and agent at Platte City, Mo., Allerton, and in this city.  Frank then entered the store of his elder brother here, and remained until the business was closed up, after the death of the latter in 1879, he aiding in all the work.  He again resumed his work at his profession and continued until failing health last summer compelled him to resign.  A trip to the Colorado mountains it was thought strengthened him, but on his return to Iowa disease again grasped him;  when he had decided to return to Colorado it was found too late.  Since then his decline has been steady, and death has finally claimed a young man of promise, who scarce a twelve month ago was the picture of health.  In his profession he was skillful and diligent, as in all other business relations.  Quick to see and act, honest and industrious he will be missed in his old home.  The remains were interred in this city Sunday, Rev. F. W. EVANS officiating, and the Knights of Pythias taking charge of the burial.

The Knights of Pythias, of this city, passed the following resolutions upon the death of their brother, F. W. ALEXANDER:

  Whereas, The judge of all has called our beloved brother to pass through the valley of death, thereby leaving his chair vacant in this lodge room and filling our hearts with sadness:  therefore,
  Resolved, That we have met with a sorrowful loss by the death of our young brother, Frank W. ALEXANDER, cut down in the morning of his manhood, whose sun had scarcely risen above the hilltops and whose usefulness was just beginning to be felt in the lodge and in society, and that as a proper tribute for his memory this lodge be draped in mourning for the period of thirty days.
  Resolved, That to the bereaved family of our deceased brother we tender our kindest sympathies.


Microscopic Club.

The Microscopic Club held its regular meeting at Prof. McCALLA’s Friday evening, and was well attended by the members and a number of visitors among whom were Messrs. TEMPLETON, RODGERS, ROSS, GALVIN, McELHINNY and PREWITT.  Prof. LIGHTON was appointed to prepare and read a paper on microscopic objectives at the next meeting.  Prof. McCALLA read an interesting paper on “The Laws of Light and their Relation to Microscopy.”  The topic was handled in a clear and comprehensive manner, illustrated by figures and drawings.  The arrangement of lenses in the construction of the microscope was fully explained, which was especially interesting and instructive.  After some questions and discussion on the lecture the Club spent the rest of the evening in an examination of the various objects of wonder and interest.  The next meeting is to be held at Dr. JAMES’ home, the thir [sic] Friday in May.        Secretary.

THE LEDGERhas heard of another old lady in this vicinity, and her friends think she is the oldest woman in the county.  Her name is Mrs. Elizabeth DAVIS, and she lives in this city.  She is a native of North Carolina and is now ninety-six years of age.  Seven children have been born to her, and five of them are now living.  One of the children is now seventy-one years old.  Mrs. DAVIS sees without glasses, is sprightly and agile for a woman of her age and enjoys good health.

An insane woman, Miss Elvira MACY, was examined by Commissioners CAMPBELL, LEGGETT and JAQUES Monday, and remanded to the asylum for treatment.  This is the fourth time she has been sent there.
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, 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,
  M. A. McCOID,
  Chas. O. LEGGETT.

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.

 M. A. McCOID,

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