Susan Cobb Milton Atkinson

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Susan Milton Atkinson, in an 1896 publication.

Susan Cobb Milton Atkinson (1860—1942) was influential in promoting education to women in Georgia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As the wife of William Yates Atkinson, the Governor of Georgia from 1894 to 1898, she used her position as the state First Lady to advocate for state funding for women to attend college.[1] In her later life, Atkinson served as the postmistress in Newnan—a title bestowed upon her by President Theodore Roosevelt himself.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Susan was born in Greenwood, Florida.[3] Her grandfather had been Governor of Florida, so Susan was exposed at a young age to the life of politics.[1]

She attended the Lucy Cobb Institute for college, where she also met her husband.[1]

Georgia College & State University[edit]

In 1889, Atkinson created a petition for the state of Georgia to open a college, so her husband presented a bill to the House of Representatives that finally passed.[2] After Milledgeville was selected as the site for the college, it was founded in 1890 as Georgia Normal and Industrial College. The school's name was later changed to Georgia State College for Women and then finally to Georgia College & State University.[1] When the college was founded, William was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Susan became the President of the Board of Visitors.[1]


Georgia Normal and Industrial College honored the Atkinsons by naming a building in their honor.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Susan Cobb Milton Atkinson". Georgia Women of Achievement. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Arnold, Edwin T. (2009). What Virtue There is in Fire. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. p. 207. ISBN 0820336165. 
  3. ^ "Susan Cobb Milton Atkinson". Lineage Book - National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. 24: 43. 1907. Retrieved 3 January 2014.