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Gibson Atherton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gibson Atherton
Gibson Atherton.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 14th district
In office
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1881
Preceded byEbenezer B. Finley
Succeeded byGeorge W. Geddes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 13th district
In office
March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1883
Preceded byAdoniram J. Warner
Succeeded byGeorge L. Converse
Associate Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
August 20, 1885 – December 16, 1885
Appointed byGeorge Hoadly
Preceded byJohn W. Okey
Succeeded byWilliam T. Spear
Personal details
Born(1831-01-19)January 19, 1831
Newark, Ohio, US
DiedNovember 10, 1887(1887-11-10) (aged 56)
Newark, Ohio, US
Resting placeCedar Hill Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Margaret A. E. Kumler
Alma materDenison University
Miami University

Gibson Atherton (January 19, 1831 – November 10, 1887) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio.[1]

Early life

He was the son of John Trueman Atherton (1799-1882) and Clarissa Ackley (1796-1883).[2] He attended Denison University, Granville, Ohio.

He graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1853. He served as Principal of the local academy at Osceola, Missouri, in 1853 and 1854.

Later he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1855 and commenced practice in Newark, Ohio where he also served as president of the board of education of Newark for fifteen years.


Atherton was elected prosecuting attorney of Licking County in 1857 and reelected in 1859 and 1861. While serving as mayor of Newark 1860–1864, he was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the State senate in 1863. He ran for judge of the court of common pleas in 1866, but was unsuccessful. Other local and national political service included time as member of the city council of Newark for two years and a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at St. Louis in 1876.

Atherton was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1883), but afterwards chose not to seek renomination.[3]

Gibson Atherton-cwpbh.04050.jpg

Atherton was appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court by Governor Hoadly August 20, 1885 to fill a vacancy created by the death of John W. Okey. He lost election for the remaining two years of Okey's term that autumn to his Republican opponent, and resigned December 16 of that year.[4]

After retiring from the bench, he resumed the practice of law until his death in Newark, Ohio.


Atherton married Margaret A. E. Kumler in Butler County, Ohio on November 18, 1856. They had four children and all were born in Ohio.[4]

His eldest daughter, Clara B. Atherton (1858-1939) [5] was an accomplished linguist who worked for the War Department in Washington DC. In 1885 she toured Europe with her parents. It was in Italy where she met her future husband, Emil Reidel. They married in Malta on Mar 17, 1886 and had 2 children.[6]

His other three children were Charles E Atherton (born 1860), Della M Atherton (born 1865) and Anna V Atherton (born 1867).

He died on November 10, 1887. He was interred in Cedar Hill Cemetery.


His grandfather, Thomas Atherton (1765-1848) moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio.

He descended from Quakers; his great grandfather Caleb Atherton (1736-1776), being a Quaker who was “outed” on Oct 4, 1764 at the Uwchlan Monthly Quaker Meeting for not following their principles and for marrying "out of their Society. Caleb died in the revolutionary war at the Battle of Wyoming.

The next generation back had emigrated to Pennsylvania from Farnworth, Lancashire in the 1700’s.[7]


  1. ^ Herringshaw, Thomas William (1909). Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography. p. 165.
  2. ^ "Atherton One Name Study - Entry for Gibson Atherton".
  3. ^ "Voting record for Gibson Atherton".
  4. ^ a b The Supreme Court of Ohio and The Ohio Judicial System - Gibson Atherton
  5. ^ "Clara B Atherton, daughter of Ohio politician Gibson Atherton".
  6. ^ "Atherton's daughter Clara married a German, Emil Reidel. He moved to Virginia with his elderly mother who was attacked in her home. Her attacker, James Lewis, was subsequently tried for the crime and executed" (PDF). p. 6.
  7. ^ "Atherton One Name Study - Entry for Quaker migrant Henry Atherton".

External Sources

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ebenezer B. Finley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 14th congressional district

Succeeded by
George W. Geddes
Preceded by
Adoniram J. Warner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 13th congressional district

Succeeded by
George L. Converse
This page was last edited on 7 April 2021, at 22:08
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