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Atkinson, H. B.
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Atkinson, H. B.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 484-487


Captain H. B. Atkinson, who has passed the greater part of his life in Pike county and has been a resident of New Canton since June, 1876, closely identified with its business interests and commercial development, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, July 29, 1842, the second son of B. H. and Harriet (Morgan) Atkinson, natives of New Jersey and Pennsylvania respectively. In the year 1846 he came with his parents to Pike county, the family home being established in Pittsfield, where most of his youth was passed. He was a student in the public schools, and at the age of twenty years he joined the Pike county regiment which was raised in August, 1862, and became the Ninety-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted for three years' service and although he joined the army as a private his soldierly qualities soon won for him a commission and toward the close of the war he was given a captain's commission, after which he commanded his company until the close of hostilities. With his regiment he returned home at the close of the war in August, 1865, and soon afterward joined his father in business in the city of Pittsfield.

On the 12th day of May, 1868, Captain Atkinson was united in marriage to Miss Orphie M. Witt. Their wedded life was very happy, and for thirty-one years they traveled down the slope of time, enjoying life and its surroundings, but in 1899 Mrs. Atkinson was called to her final rest. She had been a devoted wife and mother, a faithful friend, and was recognized by all as a most estimable lady, so that her death was deeply deplored in the community where she had long resided. There had been four children born to this union: Fannie M., now the wife of J. L. Dutton; Laura E., the wife of S. T. Donohoe; Richard M., who is associated with his father; and Henry, who died in infancy.

Captain Atkinson continued a resident of Pittsfield until June, 1876, when he removed to New Canton, where he has since been successfully engaged in business. He is conducting a drug store which is well equipped with everything found in a first-class establishment of that character, and his patronage is extensive because of his honorable business methods and his earnest desire to please his patrons. He has also extended his efforts to other lines of business activity, for in 1903 he assisted in establishing the Bank of New Canton, a much-needed institution in his home town. He has been president of the bank since its organization and is one of the leading spirits in the very successful management of its affairs. He has also been active in matters of public moment, and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have frequently called him to public office. He was supervisor from Pleasant Vale township from 1884 until 1889, and during that period acted as chairman of the board for two years. He was also treasurer of the Sny levee commission for twelve years, and in September, 1901, he was appointed one of its commissioners, and for three years has been president of the board. Captain Atkinson, while not a native son of the county, has spent the greater part of his life here, and has always taken a great interest in its affairs, tending to the good of the community. He has so directed his efforts that his labors have proved of direct benefit to the county, and at the same time has so capably managed his business affairs that his labors have been crowned with success.

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