Theodore Ellis Atkinson was the son of John Pepper Atkinson (1804-1873) of Brunswick County, Virginia, and his second wife, Theodora Phelps Ellis (1820-1905) of Putnam County, Georgia. (Phelps) One of Theodore’s brothers was William Yates Atkinson, who served two terms as governor of Georgia, 1894-1898.
Theodore first attended Emory College, graduating in 1871, and attended the University of Virginia in session 48 (1871-1872). He was first employed as a teacher and principal of a high school, then went into business. In the Emory College alumni register of 1910, Atkinson is listed as a merchant whose business—Atkinson Bros.—was located in Newnan, Georgia. (Connally)
Theodore married Mary Lou Cook (1863-1953) in 1879. They had ten children: Louise, Roswell, Theodora, Margarett, Mary, Harold, Mallory, Frank, Ellis (d. young), and Virginia Atkinson (d. young). All the children had the middle name “Cook.” Theodore and Mary Lou Atkinson are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, in Newnan, Georgia.
- Ancestry.com. 1860-1940 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc.
- Atkinson tombstones, Oak Hill Cemetery, Newnan, Georgia & Cokes Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery, Sharpsburg, Georgia. Findagrave.com.
- Connally, Thomas W., comp. Occupation and address register of the graduates of Emory College, Oxford, Georgia. Atlanta, GA, 1910, p.73.
- Phelps, Oliver Seymour. The Phelps family of America, and their English ancestors. Pittsfield, MA, 1899, v. 1, p. 824-825.