Henry Budd Atkinson was born in St Louis, Missouri on July 29, 1842. He was the son of Budd Hilliard and Harriet Morgan Atkinson. Budd H. Atkinson had been born in Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey in 1806. Harriet Morgan was born in Pennsylvania in 1812.
Budd H. Atkinson moved the family from St Louis, Missouri to Pike County in 1846. He settled in Pittsfield where he entered into business as a tailor. When the Civil War began Budd had formed a business partnership with James B. Landrum in Pittsfield.
Henry Budd Atkinson attended private schools before entering the public schools. After school he worked on a farm before entering into business with his father where he learned the mercantile business and the occupation of druggist.
In 1861 Henry enlisted in Company K 16th Illinois Infantry for a short time. The following year in August of 1862 he enlisted in Company G of the 99th Illinois Infantry as a 2nd sergeant. He quickly rose through the ranks. On January 31, 1863 he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant commanding Company G. Later a promotion to Captain was applied for and granted but Henry was never officially sworn in as Captain. He was discharged on July 31, 1865 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
After the war Henry returned to his home and his career as a store owner specializing in hardware, stoves and furniture. In May of 1868 Henry married Orpha M. Dewitt. Orpha had been born in Vermont on February 26, 1845 and had come to Pike County in 1860.
In the spring of 1876 Henry moved his business west to the town of New Canton, Illinois. Henry was well liked in the community for his business practices and the way he treated people honestly and fairly. Over the course of his life he served his community in many different ways.
He served as the Treasurer of the Sny Island Levee District because he and his father owned over 2,000 acres within the district. From 1844 – 1890 he served on the Board of Supervisors, the last two years as Chairman. He served one year as Town Clerk in Pittsfield and Clerk of Pleasant Vale Township.
He belonged to the Modern Woodsmen of America and the Grand Army of the Republic. Henry’s spouse Orpha M. Atkinson died on August 23, 1899 she was laid to rest here in Saint Stephens Episcopal Cemetery. On September 9, 1904 Henry applied for and was granted a Civil War Veterans Pension. Henry died on July 18, 1913 in New Canton. He was laid to rest beside his wife here in Saint Stephens Episcopal Cemetery.