Writer Mary Meek Atkeson (February 23, 1884-May 20, 1971) was born on the family farm at Buffalo, Putnam County. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at West Virginia University. Her master’s thesis, titled West Virginia Writers 1669–1913, cataloged the work of 87 individuals. Further graduate study followed at the University of Missouri, where she also taught English during the academic year 1914–15. Returning to her home state, she taught at WVU and in 1919 completed a Ph.D. in Literature at Ohio State University. She was married to Blaine Free Moore.
Atkeson was the daughter of Thomas Clark Atkeson, first dean of the School of Agriculture at West Virginia University. Inheriting her interest in country life and agriculture from her father, Atkeson wrote, with him, Pioneering in Agriculture (1937). Other books included The Woman on the Farm (1924) and The Shining Hours (1927). Four of Atkeson’s plays were published in a 1922 collection: ‘‘The Cross Roads Meetin’ House,’’ ‘‘Don’t,’’ ‘‘Will,’’ and ‘‘The Good Old Days.’’ Various stories, poems, and articles appeared in such publications as Ladies’ Home Journal, McCall’s, The Country Gentleman, Good Housekeeping, The English Journal, The Penwoman, and The Farmer’s Wife. Mary Meek Atkeson was well known throughout the region as educator, author, and authority on country life and agriculture. Atkeson died in Bethesda, Maryland, and was buried in Milan, Ohio.
This Article was written by Barbara Smith
Last Revised on September 24, 2012
Comstock, Jim, ed. West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia vols. 10 & 11. Richwood: Jim Comstock, 1974.
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