BiographyJoseph Albert Atkins was born 24 April 1846 in Bandon Grove, New South Wales, Australia to Joseph Joshua Atkins (c1814-1905) and Margaret Agnes Allman (1830-1865) and died 12 July 1931 in Hooke Street, Dungog, New South Wales, Australia of unspecified causes. He married Jane Mary Cox (c1846-1941) 29 August 1868 in Dungog, New South Wales, Australia.
Death occurred at his late residence in Hooke Street, Dungog, on Sunday afternoon of one of the best known and most highly respected residents of Dungog, in the person of Joseph Atkins. Deceased had reached the grand age of 85 years and had been ailing for about 10 weeks. He was born at Bendolba and was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Atkins, both of whom came from England, though they did not meet until they had arrived in New South Wales. They were married in Clarence Town.
Deceased married Miss Jane Cox, at Main Creek, 63 years ago, and they lived the intervening years in happiness and honour. After marriage the couple settled at Canningalla and pioneered the virgin brush on the rich flats of that estate. For about 35 years they toiled on the land and then they came to Dungog, where they opened a boarding house at the cross-roads to Fosterton and Stroud. Here they remained for 10 years after, which they went into retirement and lived quietly for the last 18 years until Father Time mowed down the grand old man referred to.
Essentially a family man and one who was proud of his children, the late Mr. Joseph Atkins and his good wife boasted of a record that is difficult to beat. Their descendants number 143, comprising 12 children, 88 grand-children and 43 great grandchildren. Surely this is unique. The district and the State of New South Wales owe a great debt to the late Joseph Atkins and his wife. And the record is all the greater because the name of Atkins has always been an honoured one.
Deceased in his early days was a noted cricketer and he maintained his interest in the sport until the end. He was also a patron of horse-racing and was the owner of several good horses.
There were hardly any sports gatherings in the early days at which he was not a prominent figure. He also took a keen interest in the A. and H. Association and was a member of the committee at the time of his death.
Keenly interested in political matters, he was for over 33 years an ardent supporter of the Hon. W. Bennett, M.L.A. Deceased was a member of the Parochial Council and worked throughout his life for his church.
Upright, honest, honourable, staunch and true as the old pioneers knew how to be, the late Joseph Atkins passes to his final reward, a model of christion manhood and patriotic citizenship.
Deceased is survived by his sorrowing widow, who is one of Nature's sweet old ladies. Only a few weeks separated their ages and they were wonderful partners in life. The sons and daughters are as follows:—Joseph (Forbesdale), Alice (Mrs. Ruse, Tamworth), Herbert (deceased, Dungog), Robert (Main Creek), Albert (Raymond Terrace), Maud (Mrs. W. Marsh of Stroud), Elizabeth (Mrs. John Moore, Tamworth, deceased), Ethel (Mrs. J. Davies, Sydney), Eadith (Mrs Newton, Dungog), Stanley (Dungog), James (Sydney) and Alfred (Queensland).
Mr. George Atkins (Wyong) is a brother and the surviving sisters are Mesdames Samuel Cox (Gloucester), J. Garrett (Kyogle) and M. Tipping (Sydney). Mrs. H. M. Baker (Dungog) is a step-sister.
The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon and was one of the largest week-day funerals seen in Dungog for many years. Service was held in Christ Church by Rev. D. T. Rees, who afterwards read the prayers at the graveside. The pall-bearers were four sons, Robert, Albert, Stanley and James.