George W. Atkinson

For other people named George Atkinson, see George Atkinson (disambiguation).
George W. Atkinson
10th Governor of West Virginia
In office
March 4, 1897  March 4, 1901
Preceded by William A. MacCorkle
Succeeded by Albert B. White
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 1st district
In office
February 26, 1890  March 3, 1891
Preceded by John O. Pendleton
Succeeded by John O. Pendleton
Personal details
Born (1845-06-29)June 29, 1845
Charleston, West Virginia
Died April 4, 1925(1925-04-04) (aged 79)
Charleston, West Virginia
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ellen Eagan, Myra Horner Camden Atkinson
Profession Politician
Religion Methodist

George Wesley Atkinson (June 29, 1845 – April 4, 1925) of Ohio County was the tenth Governor of West Virginia. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives and was a judge on the Court of Claims.


In 1870, Atkinson graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with an A.B.. He received an M.A. there in 1873, and an LL.B. from Howard University in 1874. He served as toll collector on the Kanawha River Board from 1869 to 1871 and was appointed postmaster of Charleston in 1871. He was defeated for election to the West Virginia Legislature in 1876. He was an Internal Revenue agent from 1879 to 1881; his success at interfering with moonshiners lead to his appointment as a United States Marshall, serving until 1885. In 1888, he ran for Congress as a Republican against John O. Pendleton. The election was contested, and although Pendleton had presented his credentials and served in the seat for nearly a year, Atkinson was eventually declared the winner and seated.

Atkinson defeated Democratic party candidate Cornelius Clarkson Watts in the 1896 election for Governor of West Virginia and served until 1901. He was later appointed United States District Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him associate judge of the Court of Claims. He served from April 15, 1905, until his retirement on April 16, 1916.

Atkinson was married twice and had four children. His first marriage was in 1868 to Ellen Eagan; following her death, he married Mrs. Myra (Horner) Camden, in 1897.

Atkinson died in Charleston, West Virginia on April 4, 1925 and was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John O. Pendleton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
John O. Pendleton
Political offices
Preceded by
William A. MacCorkle
Governor of West Virginia
Succeeded by
Albert B. White
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