My Genealogy Hound

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.

* * * *

JOHN WILLIAM ATKINSON is one of the enterprising and progressive farmers of Johnson County, now residing in township 47, range 27. He was born on the 31st of January, 1831, in Green County, Ky., and is the eighth in the family of twelve children born to John E. and Parthena (Williams) Atkinson, eight of whom are yet living. The father’s birth occurred in Amelia County, Va., in 1809. His parents removing to Kentucky, however, when he was but a child, there the days of his boyhood and youth were passed, and his marriage was celebrated. In 1852 he emigrated to Missouri, and after a two-years stay in Jackson County, removed to Lafayette County, locating eighteen miles southeast of Lexington, on the Lexington and Warrensburg road. Here he was destined to spend the remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1866. He was a public-spirited man and did much toward the development of his county. He was of a retiring, kindly nature, but gathered many friends around him, who felt when he died that they had indeed lost a valued citizen.

Mr. Atkinson, whose name introduces this review, acquired his literary education in the common schools, and spent his boyhood days under the parental roof. On nearing manhood he chose the trade of a blacksmith, and being unusually handy with tools his apprenticeship was a short one. That vocation he followed in the Blue Grass State for some three years, when he came to Missouri, and for two years worked at his trade for the firm of Russell & Waddle, at Lone Jack. During that period he began farming to a limited extent, but as the years rolled by he devoted more and more of his time to tilling the soil, until today he only does such work at his anvil as his own necessities require and an occasional accommodation for a neighbor.

An important event in the life of Mr. Atkinson occurred on the 24th of March, 1857, when he was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Ann Baker, a daughter of William C. and Nancy (McGinnis) Baker. She is the second in their family of six children, of whom four still survive. She was born in Tennessee, October 31, 1832, and was brought by her parents to this state when nine months old. Here she grew to womanhood, and by her marriage has become the mother of three children. Nannie E. and Warner S. are still with their parents; while John W. is attending a business college at Los Angeles, Cal., fitting himself for a business or professional career, as he is at present contemplating the study of medicine.

In August, 1862, Mr. Atkinson enlisted in the Confederate army, serving as regimental blacksmith. For three years he remained in the service, when he was mustered out at Shreveport, La. An accident occurred just prior to his reaching that place which nearly cost him his life. The steamer on which he had taken passage sank when within five miles of Shreveport, and some three hundred persons were drowned, but he managed to reach the land in safety.

Mr. Atkinson removed to a farm four miles east of Odessa in 1881, where he purchased land. For four years he made that his place of residence, when he sold out and removed to his present valuable farm, consisting of two hundred and forty acres. He is a thorough, practical farmer and his success in life is well merited. He uses his right of franchise in support of the Democracy and is a stanch advocate of the free and unlimited coinage of silver. In religion he is a member of the Methodist Church and is charitable and benevolent, giving his support to all worthy objects. He is a pleasant, genial man who has the respect and confidence of all with whom he conies in contact, and Johnson County numbers him among her most honored and influential citizens.

* * * *

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

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.