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.