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Archives & Manuscripts

Wilmer Atkinson Family Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-005
Wilmer Atkinson (1840-1920) was a Philadelphia, Pa., Quaker journalist and publisher of the Farm Journal. The collection includes scrapbooks containing clippings and memorabilia concerning the Atkinson, Allen, and related families, and a typed journal which Atkinson kept in 1917 concerning the War. The family was involved with Ursinus College, women's suffrage, and Buck Hill Falls.


  • 1881-1948


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.


1.75 Linear Feet (4 boxes)


Wilmer Atkinson (1840-1920) of Philadelphia, Pa., was a Quaker journalist and editor and publisher of the Farm Journal. He was active in social concerns, especially suffrage for women. The scrapbooks in this collection were compiled by his daughter, Gertrude Atkinson (1874-1948). The collection includes scrapbooks containing clippings and memorabilia concerning the Atkinson, Allen, and related families, and a typed copy of a journal which Wilmer Atkinson kept in 1917 concerning the War.

Biographical / Historical

Wilmer Atkinson was born June 13, 1840, the son of Thomas and Hannah (Quimby) Atkinson of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was a birthright and lifelong member of the Society of Friends. Atkinson was educated at the Foulke Boarding School at Gwynedd and then at Freeland Seminary, which became Ursinus College. He served briefly in the Civil War, and in 1866 he married Anna Allen, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Allen of Philadelphia. His sister, Mary Anna Atkinson, married Howard M. Jenkins, who became a business partner. Wilmer and Anna had three daughters, Elizabeth Allen, Emily Quimby, and Gertrude. The youngest daughter, Gertrude (1874-1948) never married and compiled the scrapbooks in this collection.

Wilmer Atkinson was an editor of newspapers in Wilmington, Delaware, and Norristown, Pa., with his brother-in-law, Howard Jenkins. In 1877 he founded the Farm Journal, a monthly farm journal published in Philadelphia, Pa. His nephew, Charles Francis Jenkins, longtime member of the Swarthmore Board of Managers, succeeded him as editor of the Farm Journal. Atkinson was a journalist and active in social concerns, especially women's suffrage. He died May 10, 1920.


The collection is divided in two series:
  1. Journal and notebooks
  2. Scrapbooks

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession information

Donor: Edward Jenkins, 1956

The collection was given to Edward Jenkins by Gertrude Atkinson. Gertrude was the daughter of Wilmer Atkinson, and Edward was her cousin.

Related Materials

See also:
  1. Howard M. (Howard Malcolm) Jenkins Papers, RG 5/074
  2. Charles F. Jenkins Autograph Collection, MSS 031
  3. Farm Journal


  1. PG7, Friends Historical Library Biographical/Genealogical reference files Atkinson, Wilmer, An Autobiography. Philadelphia: 1920.

Processing Information

The collection was boxed and inventoried in the 1950s. In 2001, it was reprocessed and a new finding aid created. Related items which had been stored in PG 7 reference file were transferred to the collection, including: Two small notebooks on the Atkinson family, apparently compiled by Gertrude Atkinson, genealogical correspondence dated 1881 of Wilmer Atkinson, and a typed biographical sketch of Wilmer Atkinson by his daughter, Emily Q. Atkinson Ellis.


Wilmer Atkinson Family Papers, 1881-1948
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2016: This electronic finding aid was updated in Summer 2016 by Abdulrezak Kemal in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace, to conform to current markup standards and the ArchivesSpace data model.

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