Sunday, February 4, 2018

Who is J. Allen Axson?

This is a series New Jax Witty is undertaking in order to learn more about local history through the names used in public places around town. Today's mystery name is J. Allen Axson. There's an elementary school named after this individual, but I can find very little about him (I assume) online. 

Besides the typical school websites, which do not mention the history behind the naming, I only found an entry that says J. Allen was born in 1894 to parents Yancy E. Axson and Lillie Axson (Williams). That website also says J. Allen Axson married Agnes Perritt. This seems to be confirmed by another website that says Agnes was born in 1905 and died in 1998 in Jacksonville. 

I learned that there's an Axson Street over by the 295 and 10 on the west side, but I am not sure the street is named after J. Allen. I could not find any reason that Yancy Axson was important in Jacksonville, so I assume J. Allen made his way to prominence on his own. 

Based on J. Allen's date of birth, I can determine he was not a Confederate soldier. However, he could have fought in WWI. I assume the school probably has information about its namesake that is not shared online. 

I am not sure if this Axson family is related to the Axsons of Georgia, but Ellen Axson was Woodrow Wilson's first wife. 

Since Agnes passed away fairly recently, I assume someone in Jacksonville knows more about the family and why there's a school named after J. Allen. Go ahead and send me a message if you know more.