|Birth: ||Feb., 1833|
|Death: ||Oct. 17, 1899|
Alonzo Melville Atkinson was one of Indiana's best gifts to the movement for the Restoration of Apostolic Christianity, to which cause he gave himself very early in life, and in which he exercised a very large influence.
He was born near Columbus, Indiana, in February 1833. When but a lad he went to Indianapolis and learned the trade of bookbinder. In 1803 he married Mrs. N. E. Burns, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
At the breaking out of the Civil War he enlisted in the Sixteenth Indiana Infantry. Within ten days after entering the service he was wounded and taken prisoner, and within a week thereafter he was paroled. While this was but a glance at army life (and some men see things at a glance), he was greatly impressed with the needs of his soldier comrades, and it once sought and received from Governor Morton a sanitary officer's commission, and went to work gathering supplies for soldiers, in hospital and field, taking the same direct to these places to meet emergencies. He took the first boatload of supplies to Indiana soldiers and personally directed the delivery of the same. He continued this line of service during the war, doing untold good.
Soon after the close of the war he became solicitor for the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Orphans' Home, at Kingstown. For two years worked under the American Missionary Society, as solicitor for the freedmen of the South. In 1867 he entered the ministry of the gospel, and served the churches at Wabash and Delphi, Indiana, for about two years, when he decided on a business course in life, and became General Agent for the Aetna Life Insurance Company. In 1874 he engaged in the mortgage and loan business, which he successfully carried on for a number of years. While he had chosen the business world as the sphere of his activity, he never let go his interest in the work of the church, and for thirty of the thirty-five years of his residence in Wabash, Indiana, he served the church as one of its elders. While A. M. Atkinson was well and favorably known by the brotherhood as a successful business man and liberal supporter of every good work, at the time of his death, in 1899, he was, perhaps best known as the founder and Corresponding Secretary of the Board of Ministerial Relief, and had he lived for no other purpose, or did no other good thing than inaugurate this work, he lived not in vain, for even then his life would have been a blessing to many. He gave four years of consecrated devotion to this work without financial remuneration, traveling much over the country, and the first year paid his own expenses. It was at the General Convention at Cincinnati, in a business men's meeting at the Grand Hotel, that he laid the claims of the old preachers upon the hearts of the brethren for the last time. He made an eloquent and impassioned plea before this meeting for consecration, devotion, and liberality, urging his brethren to untiring steadfastness, and closing his address with the apostolic injunction, "quit you like men," he sank into a nearby seat, supported by those near him, and expired within a few moments.
He died as he had lived, in the work of the Master. His life was laid upon the altar of what he always loved to call, "a loving and tender ministry." One of his peculiar characteristics was that he could always put himself into whatever he undertook to do. In the work of Ministerial Relief, it was said that he was a living illustration of the idea possessing the man. This work is a living monument to his memory. As one of the founders, heavy stockholders and financial supporters of the Bethany Assembly Association, he had large influence. His counsel, being regarded as wise and safe, was always sought and appreciated. Bethany Assembly, originally organized in the interest of the work in Indiana, but which has now developed into the National Chautauqua of the Church, is one of the monuments to the wisdom, zeal, and progressive spirit of Indiana disciples, marked by the business enterprise of this man of God.
On the occasion of his funeral, held in his home town, Wabash, Indiana, the business houses and public schools of the town were closed to give to the general public the privilege of doing honor to one of its most influential and respected citizens. He was always a liberal supporter of the church in all the departments of her work, and during his later and more prosperous years, he gave thousands annually. Almost with the beginning of his business life he adopted the tithing system of giving. He used to say that his prosperity began with his giving a tenth to the Lord. In later years his gifts far exceeded that amount. He gave liberally not only to the general enterprises of the church, but in his own quiet way, individuals, struggling churches and overburdened ministers were generously remembered. Young men and young women, ambitious for education and without funds, others in serious financial straits, the sick, or any one needing assistance, found in him a willing helper. He was the appreciated friend of all who were in trouble, financially, as well as sympathetically. None ever went from his door empty. His pleasure was his privilege to help others.
Source: Churches of Christ: A Historical, Biographical, And Pictorial History
of Churches of Christ In The United States, Australasia,
England And Canada, by John T. Brown, 1904. (Provided by Tom Childers)
BODY ARRIVES IN WABASH.
Funeral of Capt. Atkinson Will Be Attended by Nearly All the City.
WABASH Ind., Oct. 16.—The body of Capt. A. M. Atkinson, whose sudden death occurred Saturday night at Cincinnati, arrived in Wabash this morning at 10 o'clock in a special car over the Big Four line, accompanied by Mrs. Atkinson, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Atkinson and Mr. and Mrs. Charles & Howe. On arrival here the remains were transferred to the beautiful new home which Captain Atkinson had just completed at the corner of Maple and Wabash streets, and which he had occupied less than two weeks. Large numbers of Intimate friends of the family called this afternoon to express the sympathy and sorrow felt in the community. The funeral will be tomorrow from the home at 10:45 a. m., Rev. W T Groom, pastor of the Christian Church conducting the service. The pallbearers will be Mayor McKenry, M. R. Gardner, R. F. Blount, J. W. G. Stewart. Thad Hoke, James Early and C. J. Hubbard.- The pubic schools will be dismissed and every business house In the city will close from 10 to 12 o'clock, while many of the manufactories will shut down for several hours.
Nancy E Atkinson (1837 - 1924)*
Howard M. Atkinson (1867 - 1907)*
Burgess Atkinson (1871 - 1872)*
Mary Katherine Atkinson Howe (1874 - 1907)*
Plot: Sec E, lot 196, sp 6
Maintained by: Friends of Falls Cemeter...
Originally Created by: v f
Record added: Sep 14, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41938853