Judith N. McArthur
Sarah C. Acheson
Sarah C. Acheson. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Woman's Christian Temperance Union
Woman's Christian Temperance Union Members in Denison, circa 1896. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

ACHESON, SARAH C. (1844–1899). Sarah Acheson, suffragist and temperance reformer, was born on February 20, 1844, in Washington, Pennsylvania, and was married there in 1863. She had four children, two of whom survived to adulthood. In 1872 she and her husband moved to Texas and settled in Denison. After serving as president of the Denison chapter of the state Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Mrs. Acheson was elected president of the state organization and held office from 1888 to 1891. She declined reelection because of ill health and afterward served as state vice president.

Acheson's Grave
Sarah C. Acheson's Grave. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

When the prohibition amendment failed at the polls in 1887, an equal-franchise department was added to the WCTU program in the conviction that enfranchised women would vote for prohibition. Mrs. Acheson helped organize and served as first president of the Denison Equal Rights Association, the first suffrage club in the state. She signed the call for a statewide suffrage convention that resulted in the formation of the Texas Equal Rights Association in 1893. She was elected fourth vice president at the organizing meeting and represented TERA at the National American Woman Suffrage Association conventions in 1894 and 1895. She became superintendent of educational opportunities for women and children in 1894 and served on the business committee in 1895. Sarah Acheson died on January 16, 1899, in Denison and was buried in Fairview Cemetery. See also WOMAN SUFFRAGE.


May Baines, A Story of Texas White Ribboners (1935?). Elizabeth Brooks, Prominent Women of Texas (Akron, Ohio: Werner, 1896). Denison Sunday Gazetteer, January 22, 1899. Grayson County Frontier Village, History of Grayson County, Texas (2 vols., Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1979, 1981). H. A. Ivy, Rum on the Run in Texas: A Brief History of Prohibition in the Lone Star State (Dallas, 1910). Texas Equal Suffrage Association Scrapbook, Austin History Center.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Judith N. McArthur, "ACHESON, SARAH C.," accessed August 19, 2019,

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on August 7, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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