(Nov. 27, 1868-June 15, 1944). Atkins was born in Atlanta, Idaho Territory, and moved to Indianapolis with his family at age two. He was one of the original pupils of the Indianapolis Classical School for Boys and graduated with honors. At 16, he entered Yale University and graduated in 1889 as one of the youngest in the class. He then became superintendent of E. C. Atkins and Company, a saw factory begun by his father in 1856. Upon his father’s death in 1901 Atkins succeeded to the presidency of the company, which was reputed to be one of the nation’s largest saw manufacturers.

Pen and ink rendering of a sprawling series of connected, industrial-looking buildings. The buildings are two to four stories high and three have smokestacks.
E. C. Atkins and Company, 1917 Credit: Bass Photo Co Collection, Indiana Historical Society View Source

A Republican, Atkins was involved in numerous business and charitable organizations in Indianapolis. He served on the board of directors of the Ymca for 36 years, and as president of the Indianapolis Community Fund. He was an early member of the Indianapolis Board Of Trade, the Indiana Manufacturers’ Association, the Commercial Club (later the Chamber Of Commerce), and the Associated Employers Of Indianapolis. Atkins also served as a director of the National Association of Manufacturers and the Fletcher Trust Company.

Revised February 2021

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