Lee County Biography

Paw Paw

Joseph Atherton, M. D., of Paw Paw, was trained for his profession in one of the best medical schools in the country, and has won for himself an honorable name among the intelligent and well-educated physicians of Lee County in the course of a successful practice. He is a native of the town of Scranton, Luzerne County, PA, May 16, 1858, being the date of his birth. His father, Boyd Atherton, was a native of the same place, and was of the pioneer stock of the State.

John Atherton, the grandfather of our subject, was also a native of Scranton, while his father, who bore the same name as himself, was born in Massachusetts in Colonial times. He was reared in the old Bay State, and in his youth learned the trade of a blacksmith. He migrated to Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War, and was an early settler of Luzerne County. He was living there at the time of the famous Wyoming massacre, and his brother Jonathan (Jabez) fell a victim to the cruelty of the Indians. He followed his trade as a blacksmith, and was a resident of Scranton until his death. The grandfather of our subject was also a blacksmith, and engaged in that calling his entire life, which was spent in the place of his birth. The maiden name of his wife was Catherine Ward, and her last years were passed in Scranton.

The father of our subject was reared in agricultural pursuits, and always followed farming. He was a line-long resident of Luzerne County, and died in 1876. The maiden name of his wife was Melana (actually Milinnea) Drake. She was born in Luzerne County, and is a daughter of Samuel and Parthenia (Dilno (actually Delano)) Drake. She now makes her home in Pittston, in her native county. Se reared but two children - Joseph and Parthenia, the latter of whom is the widow of Austin Hughes, and resides in Pittston.

Dr. Atherton laid the foundation of a liberal education in the public schools of his native county, and subsequently pursued an excellent classical course of study in the High School at Pittston, from which he was graduated in the Class of '76. He was thus well prepared to enter upon his medical studies, and became a student in the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, from which he was graduated in the Class of '79. The great Prairie State seemed to him to afford an excellent field of labor for an ambitious young physician, and coming to Lee County, he established himself at East Paw Paw. He remained there until 1886, when he removed to Paw Paw, where he has practiced continuously since. He is devoted to his profession, and had steadily gained in the favor of the people among whom he has settled, as one whose sound knowledge of medicines, and whose caution and wisdom in his treatment of serious cases, merit their confidence. The Doctor is a member of Anchor Lodge, No 510, I.O.O.F., and his pleasant personality makes him a favorite in social circles.

Dr. Atherton was married in 1880 to Miss Etta Card, a native of De Kalb County, and a daughter of Charles H. and Julia (Greenman) Card. They have a home that is attractive, not only in its cozy appointments, but for the courteous and pleasing hospitality of which it is the center. Two children complete their household, Boyd and Carl.

Source: Portraits & Biographical


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