Atkinson, John H. 1906

Obituary – John H. Atkinson
East Liverpool Tribune


Lifeless Body Found in the Library of His Residence in New Cumberland


John H. Atkinson, one of the historic characters of Hancock county, West Virginia, was found dead in the library of his residence at New Cumberland at 6 o’clock Wednesday evening. (October 31, 1906) The deceased was 84 years of age, having been born in 1809, and was closely identified with the development of the county. He was a pioneer teacher, having taught the Holiday school 50 years ago.

The first brick kiln located at New Cumberland was established by Mr. Atkinson. He was also part owner of the steamboat “Great Republic,” which was built at New Cumberland, and was for several years employed as clerk on the boat. He was also one of the first attorneys to begin the practice of the profession at New Cumberland, and was the first clerk of the county. He was a delegate to the memorable convention which convened in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1855, and organized the Republican party. He was at one time possessed of considerable means, but lost nearly all his possessions by going security for friends.

The deceased was a prominent figure in church circles, and was an elder of the New Cumberland Presbyterian church at the time of his death. He took a great interest in Sunday school work, was always a delegate to the county conventions, and the one recently held in Chester was the first that he had missed since the Hancock County Sunday school association was organized.

No citizen of Hancock county was held in higher esteem than Mr. Atkinson. He was broad minded and charitable in discussing the faults of others and was ever ready with his talents and means to assist those in distress.

His wife died about three years ago. They had no children, their nearest relatives being second cousins. He displayed remarkable vigor for one of his age, and seemed to be in perfect health until Monday, when he complained of feeling bad. He continued ill and on Wednesday his housekeeper, Mrs. Marsh, telephoned for a physician. When the latter entered the library he found the old man seated in a chair his head resting on his hank. The doctor spoke to him twice, but received no reply and an examination revealed the fact that he was dead. He had just completed a letter to W. H. and Brown E. Herren regarding the settlement of an estate. Death was doubtless due to heart failure.

The funeral, which will be held at 1:30 o’clock Saturday afternoon from the Presbyterian church, will be in charge of the elders of that church. The Hancock County Bar association will attend the funeral in a body.