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Acker, Ernest D.



  • Existence: 1913 - 1983

Ernest D. Acker was the youngest of three sons born to Martha B. and Dave C. Acker on October 1913 in Rockingham County, Virginia.

In 1939, with only a high school education, Acker established a walnut buying and processing business that in its first year did an estimated $100,000.00 in transactions.

Acker volunteered for military service in August of 1943. He was shipped overseas on October 1, 1944 and eventually saw action at Iwo Jima in February of 1945. The pressures of war and a failing business at home led to a mental breakdown and subsequently to a discharge for Acker on October 6, 1945.

When Acker returned home he began to rebuild his floundering business, and by the early fifties his company was doing as much as a half million dollars in business in good seasons. But then he began to have health and financial problems and was forced to sell his business at a loss. He moved to Florida where he supported himself by driving a cab.

Acker's father died in December 1959 and in his will left him only $100.00. Acker's attempt to break his parents' will led to a confrontation between Acker and his oldest brother, Ike. At one point Acker was arrested on a complaint sworn out by Ike. In November 1960 after spending one week in a Virginia jail, Acker was sent to a mental institution in Virginia; and on April 17, 1961 Acker was transferred to the main mental hospital at Chattahoochee, Florida. It was only through the intervention of the then governor of Florida, Ferris Bryant, that Acker was discharged on February 10, 1962. The deplorable conditions and inhuman treatment at these mental institutions remained in Acker's memories for the rest of his life. The manner in which he was committed with no one to represent him also plagued him through his life.


Information about Acker may be found in the February 1938 issue of Nations Business and in Who's Who in the South and Southwest in 1956.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Ernest D. Acker Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-161
Scope and Contents The Acker collection contains correspondence, newsclippings, medical records, service records and related materials, manuscripts and notes, Republican mailing lists and related materials, petitions and appeals, personal reference letters, photographs, disabled veteran materials, Roosevelt speeches, certificates of gratitude, materials related to atheism, sales brochures regarding invention protection, a canceled check from Reader's Digest, resumes, household bills, legal documents, survey maps,...
Dates: 1934-1983