Atherton One Name Study

George Washington ATHERTON

George Washington ATHERTON

Male 1837 - 1906  (69 years)

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  • Name George Washington ATHERTON 
    Born 20 Jun 1837  Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 24 Jul 1906  Centre, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I27352  Atherton One Name Study
    Last Modified 28 Dec 2014 

    Father Hiram ATHERTON,   b. 1 Oct 1812, Mansfield, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1849, Bridgewater, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years) 
    Mother Almira GARDNER,   b. 1813, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 7 Apr 1833  Attleboro, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F8605  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Frances Wright Darusmont WASHBURN,   b. 28 May 1836, Plympton, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jul 1913, Centre, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Married 1865 
     1. Franklin P ATHERTON,   b. 1868, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jun 1911, Delaware, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 43 years)
     2. Anna H ATHERTON,   b. 1869, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Dec 1870, New Brunswick, Middlesex, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 1 years)
     3. George E ATHERTON,   b. 1872, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Charles Morgan Herbert ATHERTON,   b. 19 Nov 1873, New Brunswick, Middlesex, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Dec 1935, Vienna, Austria Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
     5. Harriet C ATHERTON,   b. 1877, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Helen H ATHERTON,   b. 26 Sep 1878, New Brunswick, Middlesex, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1976, Centre, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 97 years)
    Last Modified 7 Nov 2014 
    Family ID F8607  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 20 Jun 1837 - Massachusetts, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 24 Jul 1906 - Centre, Pennsylvania, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    George Washington Atherton 1837-1906(2)
    George Washington Atherton 1837-1906(2)
    George Washington Atherton 1837-1906(3)
    George Washington Atherton 1837-1906(3)
    George Washington Atherton 1837-1906(4)
    George Washington Atherton 1837-1906(4)

    George Washington Atherton 1837-1906
    George Washington Atherton 1837-1906

  • Notes 
    • In the 1850 US Census living at Boxford, Essex, Massachusetts was Elmira Atherton 37 b. Mass, Julia A Atherton 15 b. Mass, Geo W Atherton 12 b. Mass, Harriet A Atherton 9 b. Mass.
    • 1860?
    • U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 about George Washington Atherton
      Name: George Washington Atherton
      Residence: Connecticut
      Age at Enlistment: 24
      Enlistment Date: 4 Dec 1861
      Rank at enlistment: 1st Lieutenant
      State Served: Connecticut
      Survived the War?: Yes
      Service Record: Commissioned an officer in Company K, Connecticut 10th Infantry Regiment on 04 Dec 1861.Promoted to Full Captain on 05 Jan 1862.Mustered out on 15 Aug 1862.Promoted to Full Captain on 14 Mar 1863.Commissioned an officer in Company C, Connecticut 10th Infantry Regiment on 10 Feb 1863.Mustered out on 10 Jun 1863.
      Birth Date: 20 Jun 1837
      Sources: Connecticut: Record of Service of Men during War of RebellionNational Archives: Index to Federal Pension RecordsInformation provided by HDS subscribers
      Biography: Attached is a picture of George Washington Atherton, 10th Conn Volunteers, in his Civil War uniform. Inscription on the reverse reads: "Captain Geo Washington Atherton, 10th Regt Conn Vols 1862. Enlarged from small photo found in Atherton Alcove, Penn State Library." Please give credit to Pennsylvania State University Archives for this photograph. The following is taken from materials copied from the Pennsylvania State University Archives ============================== Contemporary American Biography pgs 218 - 221, possibly written in 1892 or 1893 Collected from the Archives of Penn State University, April 1999 Four loose pages, unbound, found in a folder along with other pertinent biographical papers. ============================== George W. Atherton, LL.D., President of the Pennsylvania State College, was born in Boxford, Essex County, Mass., June 20th, 1837. The Atherton family came to New England between 1620 and 1630. The name was One of the most honorable in the early history of Massachusetts, one of its members, Major General Humphrey Atherton, being to the Massachusetts Colony what Miles Standish was to the Plymouth Colony. This family was a branch of the old English stock whose seat is still at Leigh, near Manchester, England. At the age of twelve years, the subject of this sketch was left, by the loss of his father, to earn his own living and to contribute in part to the support of a mother and two sisters. Circumstances thus early developed the indomitable will and tenacity of purpose which have been his leading characteristics in later life. By work in a cotton mill, on a farm, and, later, by teaching, he made his way through Phillips Exeter Academy, and in the fall of 1860 entered the Sophomore class of Yale College, from which he was graduated in 1863. Meantime the War of the Rebellion [Civil War] had temporarily diverted him from his single and absorbing purpose of obtaining a collegiate education. On the recommendation of President Woolsey and other friends, he was appointed to a first lieutenancy in the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers, which formed a part of the Burnside expedition against North Carolina. He was constantly on duty in all the preliminary operations of the expedition, and was in command of his company through the battles of Roanoke Island and Newbern, his captain having been wounded at the very beginning of the former engagement. After the battle of Newbern, he was promoted to a captaincy, was engaged for some months in camp and outpost duty at Newbern, afterward took part in the movement under Du Pont and Hunter from Hilton Head, South Carolina (to which his regiment had been transferred) against Charleston. The part assigned to the land forces in the movement was to take possession of Seabrook's Island, for the purpose of holding the mouth of the Edisto River as a rendezvous for the ironclads. The immediate landing was effected without resistance. The confidence of his superior officers was shown at this time by the fact that Captain Atherton with his company was detached from the main body and ordered to make an independent reconnaissance up the western side of the island, without guides, in a strange country known to be occupied by the enemy, with instructions to rejoin the main body at the upper end. This duty he performed in a way that secured the warm approval of his superior officers. The next four or five months were passed in camp and outpost duty in the constant presence of the enemy, but with no particular incident except occasional reconnaissances and skirmishes. He was repeatedly detailed as Judge Advocate of regimental and brigade courts-martial. Meanwhile Captain Atherton had passed through one period of protracted, and nearly fatal illness, and found his health, in the summer of 1863, so much impaired that this consideration, coupled with the apparent prospect of a long period of useless inactivity, led him to offer his resignation. The step was taken with the greatest reluctance, and only after consultation with his Colonel and Chaplain and other trusted friends in the regiment, and notwithstanding the assured prospect of early promotion. After several months of recuperation, he was appointed to a professorship in the Albany Boys' Academy, one of the best fitting schools in the country, in which he had taught before entering college. During the succeeding year, while continuing his teaching, he completed the branches of study which he had omitted during his absence in the army. In June, 1864, he returned to New Haven, passed examination in those subjects, and, as a special recognition of his standing in college and the occasion of his absence, received his degree (B.A.) to date back with his own class of 1863. During the next three years he continued teaching in Albany, and then accepted a professorship in St. John's College, Annapolis, Md., where he also acted as Principal nearly the entire year, in the absence of Dr. Henry Barnard. The following year be left Annapolis and became a member of the first Faculty of the Illinois State University, which was opened for students in 1868, with the Hon. John M. Gregory as Regent. Here his work and relations were of the most congenial kind, but before the close of his first year of service he accepted a very flattering and urgently repeated offer of the newly established chair of History, Political Economy, and Constitutional Law in Rutgers College, New Brunswick, N. J. He occupied this chair nearly fourteen years. His first and difficult problem was, without encroaching too much upon ground already occupied by existing departments, to secure recognized standing for a new department in an old and conservative but vigorous institution, whose traditions and methods were then somewhat rigidly fixed in a single four years' curriculum. This result was so successfully accomplished, within the first few months, as to secure unquestioned recognition. An alumnus of the college, personally unacquainted with Dr. Atherton, recently said that the work of that department was then outlined with so comprehensive a view that no important variation from the original plan had since been found desirable. The location and surroundings of this institution, with easy access to the great eastern centers of literary and political life, furnished a wide field for his versatility of mind. During the fourteen years passed at Rutgers, he not only vigorously maintained the professional work of the classroom, but was active in all matters pertaining to the general work and interests of the institution, as well as in a great variety of other and more public duties, such as lectures, addresses, newspaper work, etc. Social and political questions were always of absorbing interest to him, and every measure for promoting the advancement of the community in which he lived, or the larger public beyond, found in him an ardent advocate. In 1873, he was a member of the Board of Visitors to the USA Naval Academy. In 1875, he was appointed by President Grant a member of the Commission to investigate charges of mismanagement and fraud at the Red Cloud Indian Agency. The charges were, at the time, a matter of great public notoriety, but the work of investigation was so thoroughly done and the report submitted to the President so conclusive, that the House of Representatives, which, during the succeeding winter, made a point of investigating every branch of the government service, made no attempt to traverse the conclusions of this Commission. In 1876, greatly against his wishes, but in obedience to what seemed a call of duty from many who were interested in promoting purer politics, he accepted the Republican nomination for Congress in a district having a very large majority for the opposite party. His defeat followed as a matter of course, though he ran ahead of the Presidential ticket at almost every polling place, and his vigorous canvass of the district elicited the highest praise on account of his uncompromising advocacy of honest money as against the greenback folly then prevalent; of civil service reform as against the spoils system, and of the purity of the ballot as against corruption in the North, and fraud and violence in the South. In 1878, he was chairman of a Commission composed of five citizens appointed by the Governor of New Jersey, to prepare and propose to the Legislature a digest and revision of the State system of taxation. During this period, the nature of his professional studies and his widening interest in public questions led him to take up the study of law. He was admitted to the New Jersey Bar and practiced for some time as a consulting attorney, but without relinquishing his College professorship. All these varied activities he regarded as subsidiary, to his principal work as a teacher and guide of young men. Himself an ardent believer in one school of political opinion, he scrupulously avoided everything like partisanship in the teachings of the lecture room, endeavoring only to instill a high sense of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, and especially of the public duties of educated men; and there can be no doubt that it was his practical experience of affairs which gave that force and effectiveness to his influence in the classroom, of which his students speak with warmth and gratitude. The scientific department of Rutgers College had received from the Legislature of New Jersey the benefits of the USA Land Grant Act of 1862, and his connection with the institution naturally led him to an examination of the provisions and the underlying principles of that legislation. He became thoroughly convinced that it was not only a measure of far-reaching wisdom as a provision for higher public education, but that it was peculiarly in keeping with the genius of our system of institutions. An unsuccessful effort made in Congress in the winter of 187273, by Senator Morrill, of Vermont, the author of the original measure, to increase the endowment of the colleges established under that act, led Professor Atherton to make a careful study of the results already accomplished by it. These results he presented in a paper read before National Education Association at its meeting in Elmira, N. Y., in the summer of 1873. There had been no previous attempt to make so systematic an inquiry, and the array of facts showing what the colleges had already accomplished in the short time since their establishment was a surprise to friends and opponents alike. It was shown that the proceeds of the Land Grant had, on the whole, been wisely managed, and that the spirit of the Act of Congress had been promptly met by the action of States, counties, towns, and private individuals, from which sources nearly five millions of dollars had been already received in grants and gifts, for the purpose of supplementing the funds set apart by the USA. This address was the beginning of an active interest in the subject of government support for higher education which has given direction to all his subsequent work, and there has since been no Congressional legislation in the shaping and securing of which he has not taken an active and influential part. The well-known Act of 1887, providing for the establishment of Agricultural Experiment Stations in connection with the Land Grant Colleges in every State in the Union, and under which fifty principal and several subordinate stations are now in operation, is probably more largely indebted to him for its passage than to any other single individual outside of Congress. While he would be the last to detract from the credit due to the efforts of others, it is the simple truth to say that, in the midst of the numerous and widespread agencies which were set in operation in behalf of that important measure, his leadership was freely recognized by all who had part in securing it. The passage of this Act was followed by the organization of an association, including in its membership all these Colleges and Experiment Stations, which at once took rank as one of the most influential bodies of educational and scientific workers in the USA. This Association, known as The American Association of Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations, chose Dr. Atherton as its first President. In 1890, congress passed a third Act intended to strengthen the educational work of the Land Grant Colleges, In distinction from the work of experiment and research which had been especially provided for by the Act of 1887. In promoting the passage of this measure also, Dr. Atherton rendered important service. Meantime in the summer of 1882, he received, and finally accepted, a call to the Presidency of The Pennsylvania State College, one of the Land Grant Institutions. After having received the income of the Laud Grant Act for fifteen years, the institution had less than one hundred students, a meager equipment, with a public sentiment either hostile or indifferent, and this, notwithstanding the fact that its Faculty and Board of Trustees had never been without strong and able men. The task of building it up and making it worthy of so rich and powerful a Commonwealth as Pennsylvania seemed almost a hopeless one, but to this task Dr. Atherton devoted himself with a courage and enthusiasm which astonished even his friends, and the spirit of which was in itself an inspiration to others. At the end of ten years the results have been far greater than the most sanguine friends of the college had dared to anticipate. [this sentence leads me to believe that the document was written in 1892-ed] A total change in public sentiment has shown itself in a steady increase in the number of students, and the appropriation of nearly four hundred thousand dollars by the Legislature has given the college a substantial equipment of the buildings and apparatus required for its work. The foundations of future growth have been laid on so broad and comprehensive lines that it is rapidly taking a place among the leading technical institutions of the country. In 1883, the degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by Franklin and Marshall College. This sketch would not be complete without the mention of one other public service during the last period. In 1887, he was appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania Chairman of a Commission created by authority of the Legislature of the State to make inquiry and report upon the practicability of introducing manual training into the public-school system. The report of this commission has been widely recognized in this country and in Europe as the most complete single presentation of the subject yet published. From many favorable comments, the two following may be quoted: Monsieur Van Kalken, in the Revue Pedagogique Belge of June 15, 1890, in an extended review of the work, characterizes it as "un rapport remarquable," and the USA Bureau of Education in its annual report for 188889 says: "The amount of information contained in this report is unprecedented. No volume has so exhausted the field of technical instruction." At fifty-six years of age [this puts publication of the document in 1893 - MAK], after a life filled to an unusual degree with exacting labors, it may still be said of the subject of this sketch, as Cecil said of Sir Walter Raleigh, "He can toil terribly," and, like Raleigh, he possesses the extraordinary mental grasp and breadth of intellectual interests and sympathies which render him an equally congenial companion to men of letters and men of affairs. The saying of Terence can be truthfully applied to him: Homo sum, et nihil humani a me alienum puto.
    • In the 1870 US Census living at New Brunswick, Middlesex, New Jersey was George W Atherton 33 Proff in ? Coll b. Mass, Frances W Atherton 34 Keeping House b. Mass, Franklin P Atherton 2 b. Illinois, Anna H Atherton 6m b. New Jersey.
    • In the 1880 US Census living at District 158, Franklin, Somerset, New Jersey was Geo W Atherton Head M 42 Professor at Rutgers b. Mass (as were parents), Frances W Atherton Wife M 43 Keeping House b. Mass (as were parents), Franklin P Atherton Son 12 b. Illinois (parents b. Mass), George E Atherton Son 8 b. New Jersey (parents b. Mass), Charles M H Atherton Son 6 b. New Jersey (parents b. Mass), Harriet C Atherton Dau 3 b. New Jersey (parents b. Mass), Hellen H Atherton Dau 1 b. New Jersey (parents b. Mass). Also at home was Harriet Washburne Mother in Law Wid 71 Boarder b. Mass (as were parents), Harriet C Washburne Sister in Law S 41 Boarder b. Mass (as were parents).
    • In the 1900 US Census living at District 0012, State College, Centre, Pennsylvania was George W Atherton Head M 62 College President b. Mass (as were parents), Frances W Atherton Wife M (35 yrs) 64 (8 ch b. alive, 4 still living) Keeping House b. Mass (as was Father, Mother b. Maine), Charles M H Atherton Son S 25 Assayer b. New Jersey (parents b. Mass), Helen H Atherton Dau S 21 At College b. New Jersey (parents b. Mass).
    • From Find a Grave:
      George Washington Atherton
      Birth: Jun. 20, 1837
      Massachusetts, USA
      Death: Jul. 24, 1906
      State College
      Centre County
      Pennsylvania, USA

      Educator. The seventh president of the Pennsylvania State University, he served from 1882 until his death in 1906. During the Civil War, Atherton fought in the Union army, reaching the rank of captain before he was released for health reasons. In 1863 he graduated from Yale and began his teaching career at The Albany Academy in Albany, New York. He also served on the faculties of the University of Illinois and Rutgers prior to his tenure at Penn State. During his administration, Atherton's numerous accomplishments included improved public relations, numerous curricular changes, increased enrollment, and expanded student activities. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was to secure support and recognition from the state of Pennsylvania for its only land-grant institution. This helped to transform Penn State from an agricultural institution to a school of technology. So numerous and vital were his contributions to the college that he is often referred to as "Penn State's second founder."

      Pennsylvania State University Campus Grounds
      State College
      Centre County
      Pennsylvania, USA

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      Created by: Melanie
      Record added: Jul 24, 2008
      Find A Grave Memorial# 28499211