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Jessie Glennie (Glen) Atkinson (1879–1955)

A woman who was a unique figure in the pastoral life of North Queensland, Mrs. Jessie Glennie Godschall Atkinson, of Gunnawarra Station, Mt. Garnet, died at Atherton on the 18th February at the age of 75. Known to her many friends all over the State as "Glen" Atkinson, the late Mrs. Atkinson was a daughter of the late William Godschall Johnston, manager of Stoneleigh Station, near Ingham, and other properties in the north. She was born at Fernleigh Station, near Gladstone, on 29th April 1879, and from her earliest years spent her life in the cattle industry. It was while helping her father in mustering cattle at Stoneleigh that she met her future husband, Mr. Thomas Joseph Good Atkinson, who was manager of the Valley of Lagoons Station at the time. The marriage took place at Stoneleigh in 1901, and they made their first home at Kangaroo Hills, in the Ingham district.

Three years later Mr. Atkinson acquired Gunnawarra, a holding of some 1400 square miles, carrying up to 10,000 head of cattle. This he worked successfully until 1930, when he died from injuries sustained while drafting cattle. Mrs. Atkinson decided to carry on the station herself, and the present success of Gunnawarra is due mainly to her personal direction and management. Apart from the various activities of the station itself, Mrs. Atkinson found time to mete out hospitality for which she was widely known. The visitors' book at Gunnawarra contains the names of many distinguished guests and servicemen who were stationed in the district during the war years. For many years Mrs. Atkinson was president of the Mt. Garnet branch of the Country Women's Association, and she did much towards alleviating the difficulties of women in the outback. She was also actively interested in the welfare of the aborigines and trained many of them to become useful citizens.

Mrs. Atkinson is survived by three sons, Messrs. William, Geoffrey, and Vernon Atkinson, and three daughters, Mesdames W. Westcott, S. Collins, and A. C. Hassall, as well as 20 grandchildren.

Original publication

Citation details

'Atkinson, Jessie Glennie (Glen) (1879–1955)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Johnston, Jessie Glennie

29 April, 1879
Gladstone, Queensland, Australia


18 February, 1955 (aged 75)
Atherton, Queensland, Australia

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