Hardesty's History of Monroe County, Ohio

Hardesty's History of Monroe County, Ohio

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Stephen A. Atkinson

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Hardesty's History of Monroe County, Ohio
Published about 1882
Page 31

(Note: Some additional paragraph breaks added by Dick Henthorn, who typed this document, in an attempt to improve readability. Words in square brackets, "[]" were added by the typist. Capitalization of surnames also added by the typist.)

Stephen A. ATKINSON was born February 13, 1840, at the residence of his father on the south side of Sunfish creek, in the town of Cameron (formerly Jamestown), Adams township, Monroe county, Ohio. The first school which he attended, at the age of five, was taught in an old hewed log meeting-house, situated in the cemetery west of Cameron, by James Myers, the present recorder of the county, and the next school which he attended was taught by Eliel HEADLEY in a new frame school-house, the first erected in Cameron (then Jamestown), and the first taught therein.

He labored upon his father's farm, attending school during the winter season only, until he was twenty years of age, at which time, and on the day of his twentieth anniversary, he commenced his first term at Cameron, as a teacher in the public schools, and continuously thereafter made teaching his chief occupation for nearly twenty years. He taught most of the time in Cameron, having taught only in six other places, each one term, and all these in adjoining districts to Cameron, save one, and that in the township in which he lived. He was the principal of the Cameron school for the last ten years in which he taught, teaching winter and summer.

While living in Adams township he served seven years as township clerk, one year as trustee, two years as assessor, and seven years as justice of the peace. Mr. ATKINSON was appointed school examiner of the county by James R. MORRIS, probate judge, April 16, 1874, and served two years, when he was reappointed, served three years, and was again reappointed by R.K. WALTON, probate judge, and served until November 1879, at which time, having been elected county auditor for the term of three years, the office which he is now holding, he resigned the position as school examiner, and also the office as justice of the peace.

He was married September 16, 1865, to Melissa WARD, who was born February 18, 1844, in Belmont county, Ohio, and a daughter of James and Phebe WARD. They lived in Cameron from the time of their marriage till November 1879, when they moved to the county seat, Woodsfield, Centre township, where they now reside.

Their children living are two in number: Clarence M., born February 4, 1868; Bertha Pearl, April 19, 1875. Bennie Arthur, their first child, died January 20, 1867, aged eight months. All the children were born at Cameron.

Stephen A. ATKINSON, is the son of Stephen ATKINSON and Elizabeth (ROSS) ATKINSON.

Stephen, the father, was born June 17, 1793, at Waynesburg, Greene county, Pennsylvania, and died of cancer at Cameron, Monroe county, Ohio, March 24, 1874, and was buried in the Cameron cemetery. He was twice married; his first wife was Margaret JONES, daughter of John JONES, died August 23, 1824, in the twenty-eighth year of her age. His last wife was Elizabeth ROSS, daughter of Robinson and Mary (DAVIS) ROSS, born on Sunfish creek, about four miles from Clarington, March 23, 1809, and died May 25, 1864. His first wife died at Woodsfield, having been taken sick while on her way there to attend a religious meeting. His last wife died of consumption, at Cameron, and both are buried in the Cameron cemetery. At the time of his death he owned 243 acres of land on the south side of the creek at Cameron, having purchased the most of it from the government, and there he continuously lived from the time he was first married until his decease. His first dwelling was a two-story, built of hewed logs, with a one-story kitchen attached, but was torn down and replaced with a frame. He and his father and family, emigrated to this county near the close of the eighteenth century. The first school which he attended was about two miles above Clarington, on the Ohio river, taught by Mitchel ATKINSON, who was then about nineteen years old, and was a brother to his father. This school, probably without doubt, and from reliable information received from the earliest settlers, was the first one taught in the county. In the early part of his life, he held to the doctrine of Universalism, but afterward became a consistent member of the Disciple or Christian Church, and was for about fifty years and until his death, a preacher in that church.

[Stephen, the elder,] was the father of fifteen children, seven sons and eight daughters. The children in order of their ages are: Charles J., Isaac, Lily, Rebecca A., Benjamin, Samuel S., Margaret, Louisa, Martha, Stephen A., John J., Abel M., Mary E., Maria J., and Julia A.; those dead are, Charles J., born March 21, 1817, and died June 9, 1847, was married to Isabelle FERRILL; Benjamin was born February 13, 1830, and died December 28, 1851; Margaret was born December 20, 1833, and died May 16, 1856; Abel M., was born April 19, 1844, and died February 29, 1872; Mary E. was born August 7, 1846, and died August 12, 1847; Maria J., was born may 29, 1848, died January 3, 1852; Julia A. was married to Michael SCHAFER, and died December 1879, in the thirtieth year of her age - all buried in Cameron cemetery, in a row, together with their father and his two wives; those living are Isaac, married to Hannah LIPPINCOTT, and resides at Marietta, Ohio; Lily married to Richard ANGUS, living in Wood county, Ohio; Samuel S., married to Emma D. HARTLINE, living near Cameron of this county; Louisa married to Dr. W.G. WEBB, John J., married to Ella J. CLARK, daughter of Dr. John CLARK, and Rebecca A., the only one single, all live at Cameron; Martha, married to Stephen BEARD, resides in Jefferson, Green county, Iowa, and Stephen A., at Woodsfield; Samuel S., John J. and Abel M., enlisted in Company E., 116th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, August 1862, and served until the close of the late rebellion.

Charles ATKINSON, father of Stephen [the elder], was born, probably in Ireland [should read, "was born, in Northumberland Co., PA,"] in 1760, and died April 23, 1834, aged 74, at the residence now owned by Michael BOUGHNER, about two miles below Cameron, on Sunfish Creek, and buried at Cameron. His parents, Cornelius ATKINSON and Mary (CROSS) ATKINSON, emigrated from Ireland to America a few years before the revolutionary war, and settled in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. [The previous sentence is in error, it should read, "His father, Corneluis ATKINSON was born in Ireland in 1732 and emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1850 and his mother, Mary (CROSS) ATKINSON, was born in Pennsylvania."]

James and Charles were the two oldest children of Cornelius [and Mary] and they and their father enlisted in the American army, and served the entire time of the revolutionary war; Cornelius was a lieutenant; Charles was about sixteen years old at the time of his enlistment.

Charles was the father of fourteen children, six sons and eight daughters; the oldest son, [Henry S. Atkinson] known in history as General ATKINSON [Note: According to Atkinson researcher, Robert Guilinger, this statement, "known in history as General Atkinson," is not true. He was not General Henry S. Atkinson of Black Hawk War fame. There was another person by that name.], was born in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania; his mother died when he was an infant; afterward Charles married Elizabeth STEPHENS, and their two oldest children, Keziah, who was married to Mitchel MC COY, and Mary, who married Gilbert MC COY, both having lived and died in this county, and buried at Cameron, where born in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania; they then moved from there to Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, at the mouth of the Juniatta river, at which place their son James was born, who came with his father to this county, lived here for many years, married here, moved to the State of Indiana, and there died at an advanced age. Charles owned part of an island in Dauphin county, known as Duncan's Island, and from there he was sent to guard the western part of the State of Pennsylvania against Indian hostilities, and was held for that purpose for the term of three years, and during that time, and while stationed at Waynesburg, Greene county, Pennsylvania, Stephen and Margaret, twins, were born in the fort at that place [Fort Jackson], June 17, 1793; Margaret was married after they moved to this county to Elias CONGER, and died June 20, 1872, and was buried at Cameron by the side of her husband, whom she survived. From Waynesburg he was sent, taking his family with him, to the fort at Wheeling, and, after staying there for a short time, moved to Ohio, settling near the mouth of Captina creek, and, living there a while, again moved on the river, about two miles above Clarington, and there remained a few years, having built a house and cleared some land, but was "entered out," as it was called, and from there moved on Sunfish creek, about two miles from the mouth, on the Cochran farm; but, after living there a short time, building a house and clearing some land, was again "entered out," and then made his last move, to the farm on which he died, having purchased of the government a quarter section of land, which he owned at the time of his death. His wife Elizabeth, died December 14, 1841, aged 72 years, 3 months, and 2 days, at the residence of Sarsfield CLARK, her son-in-law, and was buried by the side of her husband.

The remainder of Charles' children were all born after he moved to this State. Julia A. was married to Samuel STEPHENS, now deceased; she is now living where she has always lived since her marriage, in Seneca township of this county, and is 86 years old; James, called "Blue head," to distinguish him from another James, was married to Rhoda CONGER, lived for many years on Sunfish creek, on the farm now known as the Maury farm, but moved from there to the State of Indiana, where he died at an old age; Cornelius was married to Nancy HENTHORN, lived for many years about one mile below Cameron, on the creek, moved to Indiana, lived there a few years, then moved to Illinois, and after a short stay there moved to Clark creek, Morris county, Kansas, where he died December 14, 1879, aged 74 years; Jane married Sarsfield CLARK, and they lived on the Ohio river, two miles below Clarington, where they owned a large and beautiful river farm, which they sold and moved to Illinois, at Ridge farm, about eighteen miles from Paris, Edgar county, in the spring of 1859; Mrs. CLARK died October 4, 1881 - her husband Sarsfield, is still living; Rebecca married John B. WATSON, and having lived in this county for many years, and raised a large family of children, moved to West Virginia in the year 1856, where they are now living; Elizabeth was married to John CONGER, lived in Adams township of this county, on what is now known as the Pfalzgraf farm, and, after selling their farm there, moved to Iowa, where they still live; Ruth, the youngest daughter, was married to Ebenezer HENTHORN, and soon after marriage moved to Illinois, where he died in 1878; Elijah was married in this county and moved to Missouri, where he died in a few years after moving there; Abel, the youngest son, was married to Mary ARCHER, and after living together a few years he went to Missouri, leaving his wife in this county, and some time afterward took sick and died there, at the residence of this brother Elijah.

James, the son of Cornelius, was engaged with his brother Charles in protecting the frontier at that time against Indian hostilities and both emigrated to this State at the same time. James was a single man at the time he came to this State, but soon afterward married Mary BROWN (usually called Aunt Polly ATKINSON by the young people in earlier times) and shortly after their union, moved to Licking county in this State among the Indians, but remained there but a short time when they moved back to this county and settled on Sunfish creek near the mouth of Atkinson's run, bought a quarter section of land from the government, erected a house thereon, and laid out the town of Jamestown (now called Cameron), and having lived there for many years, and raised a large family of children, he died at a good old age, and his remains were interred in the Cameron cemetery; his relict (Aunt Polly) lived in this county several years after his death, and moved with one of her sons to Wood county, West Virginia, and there died at a very old age.

Mitchell, Isaac and William ATKINSON, the other sons of Cornelius ATKINSON and Mary (CROSS) ATKINSON, and brothers of James and Charles, were born in Pennsylvania, and were among the earliest settlers of this county. William served as commissioner of the county, and died at Clarington; Mitchell taught the first school in the county, and was elected county surveyor; Isaac was the first representative elected in the county, and the second senator. Cornelius was the father of three daughters, one of whom emigrated to this State and died in this county; the other daughters remained in Pennsylvania, in Dauphin county, one of them marrying a man by the name of MARTIN. Cornelius and his wife died in Dauphin county. But little is known concerning the father of Cornelius, only that his name was Robert, and that he was a native of Ireland.

Address, Centre township, Monroe county, Ohio.

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Extracted by Richard Henthorn
Posted: 29 Mar 2011