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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Foremost in the city of his adoption, and prominent in the state's educational history, stands the name of Edmund Clement Atkinson, who for half a century devoted his lifetime efforts to the instruction and character building of youth.

In a farmhouse in the far-off state of Maine, in the year 1837, the subject of this sketch was born, the youngest of a family of eight children. In his early youth he labored in the logging camps of the Pine Tree state and acquired the means wherewith to secure an education at Waterville college, now Colby university, from which he later received the degree of A. M. He entered Comer's Commercial college in Boston in the early '60s, and after graduation was offered a position as instructor in that institution. In 1866, in company with a fellow teacher, A. L. Reed, now of Suisun, he immigrated to Wisconsin and established a chain of commercial colleges in Janesville and Oshkosh in that state, and in Rockford, Ill.

Coming to California and settling in Sacramento early in 1873, he established Atkinson's Sacramento Business college, the first commercial school in the Sacramento valley, which was successfully conducted by him up to the time of his death, March 21, 1911, and is still in successful operation. During his nearly forty years of educational work in Sacramento he stamped the indelible impress of his powerful and upright character upon the minds of thousands of pupils, many of whom are prominent in the business world of today. He attained to great and state-wide eminence in the Masonic fraternity, where his rare qualities of mind were admired and beloved by tlie members of that order, by whom he was selected to be the grand master of the grand lodge of the state of California, and elevated to the thirty-third degree of the Scottish Rite. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011