Dr. Jno. S. Apperson Passes Away
One of Marion’s Most Prominent Citizens Dies Suddenly
A sketch by Pastor Sutherland
Dr. John S. Apperson was born in Orange County, Virginia, August 1837, and had he lived till the 21st day of the present month would have been 74 years old.
He came to this county in 1859, being at that time in his 22nd year. There was in his father’s home a large family of children, so he came here with the purpose of making his own way in the world. How well he succeeded there are many who can testify.
He studied for the medical profession under Dr. Faris, of near Chilhowie, and to give an insight into the character of the man I am told he cut cord wood to pay his board.
When the war came on, in ’61 he was among the first to volunteer and went out with the “Smyth County Blues,” the first company organized in the county, and under the command of Major Pendleton. He was soon made hospital steward under Drs. Black and McGuire, and afterwards was made hospital steward in Jackson’s corps, and in this position, because of his willingness and energy, he did an immense amount of work, following Stonewall Jackson throughout the Valley of Virginia. After the close of the war, he practiced medicine for a time in Grayson County, and then went to the University of Virginia to better prepare himself for his chosen profession.
Returning from the University he entered more fully upon the career of one of the most popular and successful physicians of the county.
On the 29th of February, 1868, he was united in marriage with Miss Ellen Victoria Hull. To them were born seven children; all of whom are living except one, Miss Mary.
The daughters are Miss Nellie Apperson; Mrs. Carleton Gibbons, of Baltimore; Mrs. Ralph Dickenson, of Spokane, Washington; Mrs. Lacy Tynes, of Tazewell, Virginia. The sons are John Apperson, of New York, and Hull Apperson, of Richmond, Virginia.
In the month of November, 1887, Mrs. Ellen Victoria Apperson was called from his side to the Christian’s reward.
In February, 1889, he was happily married to Miss Lizzie Black, of Blacksburg, Va., who with four children today mourn the loss of a devoted husband and kind father.
The children are Harvey, Kent, Alex and Mary.
Dr. Apperson’s ability was well known to the people generally and hence he was called to a number of places of trust and honor.
He was selected as a member of the building committee of the Southwest Hospital and later on was elected as assistant physician of that institution, which place he filled acceptable well for a number of years.
He was chosen as Commissioner to the World’s Fair at Chicago, and had charge of the Virginia exhibit. His physicians told me the morning of his death that the hard work he did there together with that done while Superintendent of the Rye Valley Railroad had told materially against his health.
He was one of the promoters of the Bank of Marion, and has been during its entire history, one of its chief directors.
He was the general manager of the Marion Foundry, which he had reorganized and enlarged. He was also treasurer of the company.
It is useless for me to say that Dr. Apperson was a man of renowned energy, strong convictions and with a mind of extraordinary alertness.
In his speech in the quick motion of his body, you could read the character of the man. With all he was kind, hopeful, uncomplaining, and a man who made friends; and nowhere were they any closer than among the ministers of Christ.
Any community will feel keenly the loss of a man who makes upon it the impress that Dr. Apperson had upon this one. Hence, when one Sunday morning it was announced from home that he, during the hours of the night had passed away, many a heart felt the sting that comes with the loss of a long time and trusted friend. The funeral service was conducted from the Methodist Church Tuesday morning by the pastor Rev. R. K. Sutherland, assisted by Revs. Maiden, Long and Eskridge. The last named minister spoke in fitting words of the life and character of Dr. Apperson. The esteem in which he was held was attested by the very large and sympathetic audience present.The floral decorations were lavish and beautiful. One of the touching scenes of the occasion was the escort of eight of his old comrades in the war. They were W. P. Francis, Claiborn Oakes, Bedford Overbey, A. J. Harris, Jno. N. Hull, Alex. Campbell, G. H Fudge, and Judge Jno. A. Buchanan.