Main content

Wilmer Atkinson Family Papers


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

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.

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.

The collection is divided in two series:

  1. Journal and notebooks
  2. Scrapbooks

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

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.

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.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

War Journal of Wilmer Atkinson, 1917.
Box 1
Physical Description

typed mss.

2 notebooks on family matters, genealogy.
Box 1
Physical Description


Misc. genealogical correspondence and biography of Atkinson by his daughter, Emily Ellis.
Box 1

Scrapbook "W.A." on life and death of W. Atkinson.
Box 2
Loose items removed from scrapbook, condolences, etc.
Box 2
Family Records, 1893-1914.
Box 2
Family Records, 1914-1926.
Box 2
Family Records, 1925-1935.
Box 3
Family Records, 1932-1948.
Box 3
Samuel Allen Family Record Book.
Box 4
Historical clippings.
Box 4
Physical Description

2 scrapbooks

Print, Suggest