Samuel ATKINS MD, was born in Grainger County, September 1, 1831, son of Morris and Lucinda (Peak) Atkins. They were natives of Virginia; the father of Wythe County, and the mother of Roanoke. The father was born in 1801, and died in Claiborne County in 1858. They came when young with their parents to East Tennessee, and were married in Claiborne County about the year 1828, and settled after their marriage on a farm in Grainger County, on the waters of Williams Creek, where they resided for some four years, then moved to Lee County, Va.; and after living in that State two years they returned to Tennessee and settled in Claiborne County; and after living at different places in Claiborne and Grainger Counties, in March, 1846; they immigrated to Missouri, and settled in Gasconade County, where the father died of congestion in a few months after arriving in that county. He was by trade a gunsmith, with which at different times he associated the farming interest; the mother returned to Tennessee the same year, and never remarried, but spent the remainder of her days with her children.
Our subject is the second of six children. At the age of fourteen he lost his father, and the care of a widowed mother and four orphan children were left principally to his charge. The estate had suffered financially by the move to Missouri, but in a few years our subject was able to see the family in comfortable circumstances. He remained with the family until the death of his mother and the marriage of all the children, except one sister. By pine knot torches our subject secured the rudiments of an English education in his youth, and rather early commenced the study of medicine, and commenced to practice in 1853. In 1856 and 1859 he attended, (each year), a preliminary course of lectures at Nashville, Tenn.
On March 3, 1859, he married Miss Melissa WALKER, and settled, after his marriage, on a farm in Union County on Clinch River, where he engaged in the practice of medicine, and in farming some thirteen years, though he virtually quit the practice the medicine in 1865.
In 1872 he came to Claiborne County and settled at his present location, and continued to engage in farming. From 1865 to 1871 he was engaged in the mercantile business at Walker’s Ford, on the Clinch River, and during the time controlled a large interest in the produce trade on Clinch River. He is now engaged in the mercantile interest at Walker’s Ford; date of commencement February, 1886. He represented Claiborne County in the Forty-Third General Assembly of the State Legislature. He was elected on the Republican ticket, though at that time Claiborne County was Democratic. His election was due to his popularity and his opposition to repudiating the State debt and to the railroad commission. He is an advocate of prohibition. He has had six children – four sons and two daughters, four of whom are dead – three sons and one daughter.
Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of from Twenty-Five to Thirty Counties of East Tennessee. Chicago: Goodspeed, 1887.