Guide to the Reverend J. Norton Atkins Papers, 1895-2005, undated (bulk, 1900-1920)

Summary Information

Title: Reverend J. Norton Atkins Papers, 1895-2005, undated (bulk, 1900-1920)
Collection: AC.182
Extent: 4.5 linear feet (9 archival boxes)

The Reverend J. Norton Atkins Papers is a collection of Atkins' correspondence, sermons, mission records, and photographs generated while he was an Episcopal priest and teacher in Ashe and Watauga Counties of North Carolina.

Creator: Atkins, Reverend J. Norton

Biographical/Historical Note

John Norton Atkins was born in August 4, 1881 to George Washington Ely Atkins and Mary Chew Atkins in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was a vice president of Western Union. In letters, he was called both Norton and "Tommy", possibly after the British soldier nickname, "Tommy Atkins." Atkins studied at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee for three years (1898-1901) before finishing his undergraduate education at Columbia College (later Columbia University) in New York, graduating in 1902. He was a teacher at the Valle Crucis Mission School from November 1902 to June 1904. From 1904 to 1907, Atkins attended General Theological Seminary in New York and spent the summers in Valle Crucis Associate Missions. Atkins was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Junius M. Horner on December 22, 1907 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Gastonia, North Carolina. He worked as a mission priest in Ashe and Watauga Counties from 1907 to 1919. In 1910, Atkins worked as the priest in charge at Christ School of Arden, where he met his wife Katharine Moran. Atkins married Katharine Moran of Wisconsin on December 31, 1913 in the Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Tryon, North Carolina. They had four children: Mary Katharine (b. 6 April 1915), Joseph (b. June 1917), John Jr. (b. January 1919), and George Albert (b. 1920). Atkins died on September 11, 1962 in Blowing Rock Hospital. Atkins and his wife are buried at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Valle Crucis, North Carolina.

Scope and Contents

The Reverend J. Norton Atkins Papers is a collection of Atkins' correspondence, sermons, mission records, and photographs generated while he was an Episcopal priest and teacher in Ashe and Watauga Counties of North Carolina.


The collection is arranged into five series: Series I: Correspondence, Series II: Mission Records, Series III: Sermons, Series IV: Publications & Research, and Series V: Photographs & Negatives. Series III: Sermons is formed entirely from the latest donation, with the exception of the first folder, and is arranged in its original order.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

George Albert Atkins donated this collection to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection on 23 October 2002. The accession number is AC.2002.044. This collection was opened to the public on 5 November 2002. Atkins donated an addition on 21 October 2005. George Atkins Brine, grandson of J. Norton Atkins, donated an addition to the collection in 2010 (Accession number AC.2010.075).

Processing Information

Processed by Kathryn Staley, November 2002; Encoded by Kathryn Staley, January 2005; Reprocessed and updated by Cynthia Harbeson and Kelly Grimm, February 2011

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.182: Reverend J. Norton Atkins Papers, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Series I: Correspondence, 1902-1919, undated
Correspondence with multiple letters from a single individual is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. General correspondence is in chronological order.
Box Folder
1 1 Letters from Maud Adams 1910-1911
  2 Letters from Theodore Andrews 1907-1910
  3 Letters from Janet Bottum 1912-1913
  4 Letters from Mary Lucas Cantwell 1910-1913
  5 Letters from Rev. William E. Cox 1907-1917
  6 Letters from Margaret and Mary Dobbin 1907-1913
  7 Letters from Jennie R. Field 1913-1917
  8 Letters from and to Mrs. Eugene Frayer 1915-1916
  9 Letters from Ella Y. Hardin 1905-1918
  10 Letters from Marie Hardin 1907-1912
  10 Louise Harlow 1911-1913
  11 Letters from Rev. William H. Hardin 1904-1912, undated
  12 Letters from Louise Harlow 1910-1913
  13 Letters from and to Bishop Junius M. Horner 1902-1917
  14 Letters from Alfred Lawrence
  15 Letters from Sarah G. Marsh
  16 Letters from Donald and Cary MacRae
  17 Letters from Celestine "Cellie" McCullough 1910-1916
Box Folder
2 1 Letters from Virginia "Phyllis" Mitchell 1908-1913
  2 Letters from Rev. William R. Savage 1905-1912
  3 Letters from Susie Stringfellow 1912-1913, undated
  4 Letters from Malcolm S. Taylor 1906-1909, undated
  5 Letters from Letters from Floyd Tompkins 1907-1919
  6 Letters from Caleb B. K. Wood 1907-1913
  7 Letters from Irvin Wheeler 1907-1919
  8 Letters from Elizabeth E. Winegar 1908-1912
  9 General Correspondence 1900-1906
  10 General Correspondence 1907
  11 General Correspondence 1908
  12 General Correspondence 1909
  13 General Correspondence 1910
Box Folder
3 1 General Correspondence 1911
  2 General Correspondence 1912
  3 General Correspondence 1913
  4 General Correspondence 1914-1916
  5 General Correspondence 1917-1919
  6 General Correspondence undated
Series II: Mission Records, 1895-1918, undated
Mission records includes accounts, subscription cards, and mission reports for Episcopal missions in Ashe and Watauga counties. Also includes copies of Norton's periodical, Mission Quarterly, along with subscription lists.
Box Folder
3 7 Mission Account Books, 1907-1916
  8 Correspondence, re: Episcopal Missions, 1918
  9 Easter Chapel Mission Monthly Reports, 1910-1916
  10 Holy Trinity Mission Correspondence, 1910-1911
  11 Holy Trinity Mission, Monthly Mission Reports, 1910-1913
Box Folder
4 1 Mission Quarterly, Volumes I-VIII
  2 Mission Quarterly Subscription Cards
  3 Mission Quarterly Subscription Lists, 1908-1910
  4 Rev. Milnor Jones Subscription book and Correspondence, 1895-1899, 1905
  5 Notes re: Rev. Milnor Jones
  6 Missionary District of Asheville, NC Accounts, 1906-1915
  7 Southern Mission Study Class Instructional Notes, 1905
  8 Student Associate Mission Papers
  9 Valle Crucis Associate Mission Papers
  10 Valle Crucis Associate Mission Subscription Cards
  11 Wilkesboro Associate Mission Cash Account, Summer 1906
Series III: Sermons, 1905-circa 1950, undated
With the exception of the first folder, Series III is entirely composed of sermons from the 2010 donation and is arranged in its original order.
Box Folder
4 12 Mini Sermons, 1915 and Religious Essays
  13 Early Sermons, 1905
  14 Extra JNA Sermons
  15 Instructional Notes
  16 Societas Sancti Spiriti
Box Folder
5 1 Miscellaneous Sermons
  2 St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Enosburg Falls, VT
  3 Christ Episcopal Church, Warwick, NY
  4 Christ Episcopal Church, Warwick, NY Instructional Notes
  5 Sewanea Years
  6 1938 Miscellaneous Sermons
  7 St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Centerville, MD
  8 1939 Miscellaneous Sermons
  9 St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA
  10 1940 Miscellaneous Sermons
  11 St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Feb. 1941-Nov. 23, 1941
Box Folder
6 1 St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA, start of a new Church Year, Nov. 30, 1941-Nov. 22, 1942
  2 St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA, start of a new Church Year, Nov. 29, 1942-Mar. 7, 1943
  3 St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA, start of a new Church Year, Mar. 14, 1943-Nov. 21, 1943
  4 St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA, start of a new Church Year, Nov. 28, 1943-Nov. 26, 1944
  5 St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA, Dec. 3, 1944-Nov. 25, 1945
  6 St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA, start of a new Church Year, Dec. 2, 1941-Sept. 1946
  7 Instructional Notes
  8 Instructional Notes
  9 Sermons and Notes, Nov. 17, 1946-Apr. 15, 1949
Box Folder
7 1 Sermon Notes
  2 List of Atkins' Reused Sermons, 1940s-1950s
Series IV: Publications and Research, 1917-2005, undated
This series contains the research of George A. Atkins and George Atkins Brine as well as Reverend Atkins's publications, articles about Atkins, and other published materials. It is arranged in its original order.
Box Folder
7 3 George A. Atkins' Research on Elliot Dangerfield and St. Francis Statue
  4 St. Mary's of the Hills, Blowing Rock, NC, 1917-1919; 1986-1989
  5 George Atkins Brine Research Papers
  6 George A. Atkins' "A Tribute to John Norton Atkins, 2005
  7 Published Writings by Rev. J. Norton Atkins
  8 We Promise: A Book of Loyalty (2 copies)
  9 "Roughing It: Missionary Life in NC Hills" by Frank Grubbs
  10 Book of Common Prayer
Series V: Photographs and Negatives, 1910-circa 1919, undated
Photographs and negatives are arranged by individual, then by county or town with unidentified photographs at the end. Glass plate negatives and a slide are housed in a separate box.
Box Folder
8 1 Alfred Lawrence Photographs
  2 Floyd Tompkins Children, ca. 1919
  3 St. Francis Statue
  4 St. Mary's of the Hills Mission House, 1910
  5 Buncombe County, NC
  6 Gaston County, NC
  7 Watauga County, NC
  8 Beaver Creek, NC
  9 Blowing Rock, NC
  10 Foscoe, NC
  11 Hanging Rock, NC
  12 Jefferson, NC
  13 Lenoir, NC
  14 Linville, NC
  15 Morganton, NC
  16 Raleigh, NC
  17 Ronda, NC
  18 Sylva and Waynesville, NC
  19 Todd, NC
  20 Valle Crucis, NC
  21 Wilkesboro, NC
  22 Wilmington, NC
  23 Tennesse and Virginia
  24 Unidentified People and Negatives
  25 Unidentified People-Prints
  26 Unidentified Places, Landscapes, and Animals
Box Folder
9 1 Glass Slide: Map of Northwestern North Carolina
  2 Glass Plate Negative: Glen Marie Falls, Blowing Rock, NC
  3 Glass Plate Negative: Glen Burney Falls, Blowing Rock, NC
  4 Glass Plate Negative: Unidentified River
  5 Glass Plate Negative: Unidentified Man Sitting in a Chair
  6 Glass Plate Negative: 4 Unidentified People in House