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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JAMES GILMER ATKINS is one of the early settlers of Johnson County, having arrived here in 1852. His first stopping-place was in Chilhowee Township, near the farm now owned by Mr. Carrington, and in the fall of the next year he entered eighty acres of land where his house now stands, and where he has since resided. His homestead is situated on section 6, township 44, range 27, and is considered one of the best in this portion of the county. The old log cabin of former days has been supplanted by a comfortable residence, and many other improvements, costing much time and money, have increased the desirability of the farm.

A native of Darke County, Ky., born September 22, 1828, our subject is a son of Jackson and Esther (Gilmer) Atkins, whose family comprised six children. The former’s father was a native of Virginia, but had moved to central Tennessee before the War of 1812 and was drafted for the service; but Jackson Atkins, who was then about seventeen years of age, went instead and fought valiantly at the battle of New Orleans. Returning home, he remained there for a few years, but afterwards went to Kentucky, where he married one of her fair daughters, a Miss Patterson, by whom he had two children, who with their mother have long since passed away. Grandfather Atkins died in Montgomery County, Tenn., and our subject’s father departed this life in Darke County, Ky., about 1847. His plantation was used for raising corn and tobacco principally, and numbered some three hundred acres. The owner had no slaves, with the exception of one woman, but when he needed help in the farm work hired
those belonging to his neighbors.

On the farm in Kentucky the boyhood of our subject was passed pleasantly, his education being obtained in the old-fashioned schoolhouse of the day. On reaching man’s estate he married Elizabeth Elliott, the ceremony being performed July 28, 1850. The lady was born November 21, 1832, in Darke County, Ky., her parents being Capt. George C. and Patty (Hughes) Elliott. The fall after their marriage the young couple left Kentucky, and with a team and wagon drove to Missouri. For a short time they resided in Moniteau County, where Mr. Atkins raised a crop in the summer of 1851, and in March, 1852, they proceeded onward to this county. Soon after entering his homestead in the fall of 1853, Mr. Atkins had ten acres planted in corn and wheat, spending his spare time in preparing material for a double hewn-log house, which he finally put up in the fall of 1854. For that period the house was a very comfortable one, and at one end there was an immense chimney, constructed of stone. In the fall of 1860 Mr. Atkins erected a part of his present dwelling, which he afterward enlarged. From time to time, as he could spare the money, he entered more land, until his broad fields now number some five hundred acres.

During the Civil War Mr. Atkins did not take any part in the struggle, though his sympathies were with the South. Aside from having three or four horses confiscated, and a few slaves freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, he suffered no losses, his property being left alone. For three generations his ancestors were adherents of the Democracy, and his first ballot was cast for Pierce in 1852. In 1860 he voted for Bell and Everett, since which time he has voted the straight Democratic ticket.

Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Atkins. Patty J., born February 17, 1854, in Rose Hill Township, married Richard M. Raker, by whom she has eight children, and is a resident of this vicinity. George W., born September 12, 1855, and a resident of this township, is married and has three children. William Jackson, born September 3, 1857, died November 7, 1884, leaving a wife and three children. James Carey, born December 26, 1859, and a resident of Chilhowee Township, is married and has one child. Robert Oliver, born February 22, 1862, is the father of four children and is now living in Henry County, this state. Charles C., born April 7, 1864, and a resident of Rose Hill Township, is married and has one child. Richard T., born March 27, 1866, is married and has one child. Sallie S., born December 7, 1868, and the wife of Benjamin Gill, makes her home in this locality. John H., whose birth occurred January 24, 1870, has a wife and two children. Samuel E., born March 18, 1872, married Maude J. Wall February 13, 1895; and Porter H. was born September 15, 1875. With the exception of the eldest, they are all natives of Chilhowee Township. For many years Mr. Atkins and his household have been members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and for a long period the former has served as an Elder in the congregation. He is beloved and respected by a large circle of friends and acquaintances, and his upright and honorable life is above reproach.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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