Russell County, Virginia in the Civil War Support this site!
Home | Letters | Pictures | Soldiers | Pensions | Obituaries | Newspapers | Union Soldiers | Search
Obituaries Obituaries and Death Notices of Russell County

Clinch Valley News, Jeffersonville, VA
Obituary of Henry C. Alderson

November 15, 1912

     Mr. Henry C. Alderson, the well known lawyer, died at his home here Saturday evening last, about 8:30 o'clock, aged 65 years. He was confined to his room and bed only a few days. His health had not been satisfactory for sometime, and his death was no surprise to those who were most familiar with his condition. He leaves a widow and one son, Mr. Chapman Alderson, of New York, and one daughter, Mrs. V. L. Sexton, of Graham, Va. The funeral ceremonies were conducted at the home on Monday afternoon, by Rev. Mr. Wiley, pastor of the Methodist church, in the presence of a large crowd of people. The remains were laid to rest in the Jeffersonville cemetery beside those of his son, William Henry Alderson, who died several years ago. The pall bearers were: Wm. H. Werth, R. O. Crockett, W. T. Gillespie, H. R. Hawthorne and H. P. Brittain. The honorary pall bearers were leading lawyers and citizens of the town. Beautiful floral tributes were borne by several ladies, offereings of respect from admiring friends and sympathizers here and elsewhere. Few men have lived here who had more or stronger friends than H. C. Alderson, both in town and in the country, among all classes. He came to Tazewell from Washington conty, whither his father's family had moved from Russell county, about 43 years ago, a young man. He taught school in Smythe county the year before coming to Tazewell. As a young lawyer he was popular, and succeeded in the practice of his profession all through the years. He entered the Confederate service at about sixteen years of age, serving about two years before the close. In September, 1871, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Chapman, in this town, one of Tazewell's best young women. She, with her mother, two brothers, J. W. and R. C. Chapman, and sisters, Mrs. J. B. Boyer, and Mrs. A. B. Buchanan are honored citizens of this town. Two brothers, Messrs. Charles and Joseph Alderson, and one sister, Mrs. Preston, survive, residents of Washington county.
     It is remarked on every side that Mr. Alderson had perhaps more warm friends all over the country than most men can claim. He made a friend of every man he met. He was particularly careful to notice and entertain visitors and strangers in town. His house was always open to his friends and acquaintances. He loved the world and its gifts. He appreciated books and his mind was well stored with interesting and useful information. He had his failings, his serious weaknesses, but these will be overlooked if not forgotten, when his many virtues and generosity of soul is remembered as the years go by. Peace to his ashes! May the sod of his native land, which he so much loved and admired, rest lightly upon him!


     The familiar figure and kindly face of Henry Clay Alderson have dropped from the procession, and his genial spirit, wise with a knowledge of the infinite, is with the majority. What passed at the final moment of dissolution is beyond our ken. We can only hope that the balance was in favor of the parting soul-that a life full of good deeds, of kindly service to his fellows may make the "dream of death" a pleasant one.
     All of us know of his generosity, his hospitality, his ministration to the sick and his gifts to God's poor, and few of us have emulated and none have surpassed him in these shining qualities. His charity was not only the vulgar charity of giving-it covered like a mantle the foibles and faults of his fellows.
I never heard his speak ill of a man or woman, and of a dead man whose faults were being discussed, in his presence, he repeated the latin phrase, which means: "Of the dead say nothing but good." As a boy he was a soldier and played his part in the greatest drama of centuries. Later on, and until his death, he was a conscientious and painstaking attorney. He liked the best literature and had a lively sense of the humorous and the pathetic. One of his favorite quotations was the quatrain recessional of Goldsmith:
Teach me to feel another's woe,
And hide the faults I see;
The mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.
H. M. S.

Except where indicated all material on this site is copyrighted by Gregory Lepore. © 1997.