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Artist Lily Irene Jackson (September 17, 1848-December 9, 1928) was born in Parkersburg. She was the daughter of attorney John Jay Jackson Jr., who was a member of the prominent Jackson family and later an important federal judge. During the Civil War, Lily at the age of 12 assisted federal troops in Parkersburg by guiding them to land belonging to her grandfather Jackson, where they were to bivouac.

Jackson was best-known as a painter of animal portraits and floral arrangements, and as an advocate for the arts. On February 21, 1887, she organized the Parkersburg Art Society and was elected its president. In 1892, she called upon West Virginia women to contribute to the state’s exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. She herself exhibited two large oil paintings at the fair. One depicted two of her dogs and was titled Watching and Waiting. The other, titled Anticipation, was of two St. Bernard dogs. Jackson was at the fair for the opening of the West Virginia exhibit, June 20, 1893.

Today, some of Jackson’s paintings are owned by the Daughters of American Pioneers, an organization which she helped found in 1899, and are housed in the Cooper Cabin in Parkersburg’s City Park. Other paintings are owned by the state of West Virginia and are to be found in the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History in Parkersburg and in the State Museum in Charleston.

Upon her father’s death in 1907, Jackson inherited the family estate. She died in Parkersburg, and was buried in a shroud of her own making.

This Article was written by Bernard L. Allen

Last Revised on December 07, 2015

Related Articles


Cuthbert, John A. Early Art and Artists in West Virginia. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2000.

Matheny, H. E. Wood County W. Va. in Civil War Times. Parkersburg: Trans-Allegheny Books, 1987.

Parkersburg State Journal, 2/22/1887, 1/10 & 6/17/1891, 6/12/1897.

Parkersburg Sentinel, 12/10/1928.

Will Book. Wood County Courthouse, Parkersburg .

Cite This Article

Allen, Bernard L. "Lily Irene Jackson." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 07 December 2015. Web. 14 June 2024.


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