William C. Atkinson is a native of Rockingham county North Carolina, born April 25, 1809. His parents, William and Mary Atkinson, nee Clark, were both born in Maryland; his father forty miles east of Baltimore and his mother in Annapolis. His grandfather, Royal Clark, was the founder of Clarksville, Maryland. The parents of our subject moved to North Carolina and both died in Rockingham county, his mother in 1835 and his father in 1843. His half brother, Thomas Atkinson, was one of the first settlers in Daviess county and died near Gallatin in 1837.
At the age of twenty-two years William C. Atkinson left his Kentucky home to do for himself, and January 10, 1832, was united in marriage to Miss Mary F. Shores, a native of North Carolina, born October 27, 1811. By this union sixteen children were born; namely, Melinda, wife of Seth Macy; Martha, wife of W. S. Boyce; Bianca, wife of William F. Boyce; Mary J., wife of R. Shores; John H., in Nebraska; Elzena, wife. of S. Atkinson; Nancy A., wife of John Heath; Emily A., wife of H. N. Elam; and William Monroe Atkinson, died January 22, 1864, while a member of the Twelfth Missouri Cavalry; the others died in infancy. Mrs. Atkinson died March 23, 1861.
He married, October 2. 1861, Miss Susan Deering, a native of Bedford county, Virginia, born April 24, 1821. Her father, John Deering, and his wife and family, moved to Missouri in 1836 and settled in Callaway county. Her mother died February 3, 1838. Her father is still a resident of Daviess county in the eighty-fifth year of his age. By the second marriage one daughter was born; namely, Sarah M., February 9, 1863.
In 1834 Mr. Atkinson and family left North Carolina and moved to Henry county, Tennessee, and after living there three years they came to Missouri and located in Daviess county. After remaining three years they settled in Harrison county and lived there till 1865 and then permanently took up their abode upon. their beautiful farm in Benton township, Daviess county. Here he owns one hundred and fifty-seven acres in the home farm besides lands in Gentry county. The first two years of his life spent in Missouri he had to depend upon his gun for the support of himself and family. He made a contract with Jacob Stollings, the hotel-keeper in Gallatin, to furnish him wild turkeys for the use of his hotel during the winter and before the following March he had delivered to him one hundred and eighty wild turkeys. besides a lot of venison and fish. In all, since living in Missouri, he has killed three hundred and thirty-six deer, sixty-two wild cats, one panther and a large number of wolves. He was a great bee-tree hunter and at one time sold in Trenton seventy-seven gallons of wild honey at twenty-five cents per gallon, and in one fall found fifty-two bee-trees.
When the first court was held in Gallatin he was employed to carry live coals into the room to keep the court warm. He was a member of the second jury and they met on the open prairie near where the court-honse square now is. He and his wife are members of the Baptist Church and although having passed through all the rough scenes of a pioneer life, still they are people of refined tastes and noted for their kind and genial manners and quiet peaceful lives and hospitable and social qualities. He is known as the great sugar man, having made and sold $1,600 worth of maple sugar.