January 17: Clyde Bruce Aitchison (1962)

Clyde Aitchison was born in Iowa, the son of a Baptist minister. After graduating from college, he became a newspaper reporter and eventually studied law and earned an M.A. at the University of Oregon. He got involved with the newly created Oregon Railroad Commission and was appointed its chair at age 32. Through this connection, he moved to Washington to advise the government on railroad issues. After earning his Ph.D. at American University, President Wilson appointed Aitchison to the Interstate Commerce Commission, where he would serve for the next 35 years under six presidents. He is depicted with President Truman in the accompanying photograph.

Aitchison was also an avid amateur musician. While at the ICC, he organized a 40-member employee chorus that performed concerts in Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Aitchison became associated with Epiphany at least as early as 1944, the date his first wife’s burial appears in parish records. Aitchison’s daughter Beatrice became Epiphany’s first female vestry member in 1959. Aitchison’s own burial took place from Epiphany in 1962. Aitchison is memorialized at the church in one of the interior etched glass windows. The window depicts two scenes of the Old Testament figure David – governing for the glory of the Lord and singing of God’s grace; themes very significant in Aitchison’s life as well.

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1 Comment

  1. Edward K Campbell

    Fri 26th May 2017 at 7:30 pm

    “After earning his Ph.D. at American University, President Wilson appointed Aitchison…” This grammatical structure means Wilson earned his Ph,D at AU and then appointed Aitchison …

    The sentence needs to begin: “After Aitchison earned his Ph.D at AU, President Wilson appointed him …”

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