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Dr. Alexander "Sandy" Wilson Acheson, Jr.
1842 - 1934

Following his military service he entered upon the study of medicine in Philadelphia and was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in the class of 1867. He then located for practice in Washington, Pennsylvania, where he remained until 1870, when he removed to Kansas City, Missouri, coming thence to Denison, Texas, in 1872. Here he has practiced continuously since, with a constantly growing patronage, and has also served as local surgeon for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad for over thirty years. He has kept in touch with modern scientific methods and advanced thought, and has thus continually promoted his efficiency, rendering his labors of signal value and service to his fellowmen. He is interested in all that tends to solve the complex problems of disease or physical injury and in his practice has ever maintained a high standard of professional ethics.

Dr. Acheson was married in 1864 to Miss Sarah Cooke, a daughter of John L. Cooke, who died in 1899, leaving two children: Jane, who was born in Pennsylvania; and Alice, who was born in Denison, Texas, and is the wife of I. F. Sproul, by whom he has a daughter, Jane; their only son died in 1880. 

The Sunday Gazetteer
Sunday, December 29, 1907
pg. 3

The Sunday Gazetteer
Sunday, March 29, 1885
pg. 5
Dr. A.W. Acheson has associated with him in the medical profession, his youngest brother, Dr. Harry M. Acheson, of Pittsbury, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Acheson arrived in our city the first of the week.  Doctor A.W. has three brothers but he usually speaks of two only - next to the eldest one he says has gone astray - he has become a newspaper man.

Dr. Alexander W. Acheson
1842 - 1934

Sarah Cooke Acheson
1844 - 1899

Dr. Acheson since 1869 has been a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and at the National Encampment in Washington, D. C., in 1902, was elected surgeon general. Prominent in public affairs in Denison since becoming a resident of this city, his public-spirited devotion to the general good and his practical ideas of citizenship well entitling him to a position as leader, he has been selected for public honors and office, having been chosen councilman of the second ward in 1873. He has ever advocated the principles of the Republican party but votes independently at national elections, and in 1904 was elected on the citizens' ticket to the office of mayor, so that he is the present chief executive of Denison. He is giving to the city a public-spirited and progressive administration, watchful of needed reforms and improvements and exercising his prerogatives in support of all plans and movements for the general good. Personally prominent and popular, the consensus of public opinion regarding his official and professional service is equally valuable, and Dr. Acheson is widely recognized as one of the foremost residents of Denison.

1419 West Gandy Street
ca. 1908
Dr. Acheson built this Italianate home an elevated block of land.

"Residence of Dr. Alex W. Acheson." Robinson, Frank M., comp. Industrial Denison. [N.p.]: Means-Moore Co., [ca. 1909]. Page 14.

Sherman Daily Democrat
August 13, 1939

Denison Landmarks
The Acheson house was built in the early seventies and contained the first electric lights, water service and telephones to be installed in Denison.

1419 West Woodard Street
ca. 1886
View looking to northwest.
This was the home of Dr. Alex W. "Sandy" Acheson & his wife Sarah Cooke Acheson.
This view taken from Henry Wellge's 1886 Birds-Eye Map of Denison, on website from the Amon Carter Museum.

Facebook Comments

Freddie Lessly wrote: Looks like the Achesons had the entire block (1400 West Woodard and Gandy), one that now contains four big houses. It was built on a high spot.

Brian Hander wrote: I wish this house was still standing. It looks so palatial; I'm sure it was the finest house in Denison.

Doug Hoover wrote: The house had a periscope that stuck up above the roof. In the house was a mirrored table that reflected the images as the periscope was aimed at various parts of young Denison from the hilltop. In the days before TV or radio, this was big entertainment. Rumor says that lightning struck this periscope, causing the fire that destroyed the house. From the tower, you could see out 360 degrees.

Mavis Anne Bryant wrote: The photographer C. D. Ansley took a 360-degree series of photographs of Denison from all sides of Dr. Acheson's tower.

Mavis Anne Bryant wrote: I had a good visit with Frances Johnson Bailey today. She used to live a block from this house when she was a girl. Said that kids would run up and look in the windows of Dr. Acheson's house because he had a laboratory in the basement. There was a skeleton in one corner, racks of test tubes, etc. The kids thought the house was haunted! Frances remembers that he always parked his buggy or, later, car on Gandy Street and used the back door to enter his home. Dr. Acheson had great parties, like Easter Egg hunts and tea parties for all the kids.

Brian Hander wrote: That is such a cool story. It's almost like something out of a movie, with the basement laboratory.

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