Early Western Virginia leader John George Jackson died on March 28, 1825, at age 47. He was born near Buckhannon in 1777. He represented Harrison County in the Virginia House of Delegates and promoted the 1816 Staunton Convention—which led to some of the first political reforms benefiting Western Virginia.
While serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Jackson was a staunch Jeffersonian Republican, states’ rights advocate, and fiery spokesman for his brother-in-law, President James Madison. In 1819, President James Monroe named Jackson a federal judge for Western Virginia, a position Jackson held until his death.
He owned vast landholdings, had a successful legal practice, and was a leading businessman in the upper Monongahela Valley. Near Jackson’s Clarksburg residence, he developed the Miles End community, featuring gristmills, a woolen and cotton factory, ironworks, and salt works. He helped organize the Virginia Saline Bank at Clarksburg and was president and chief stockholder of a company that built locks and dams on the West Fork River.
John George Jackson is regarded as one of the first leaders to stand up for the political and economic rights of Western Virginia.