...one of the men who make the solid fabric of a community's life. --Baltimore Sun







William Origen AtwoodWilliam Origen Atwood (1862-1931), a native of Chester County, Pennsylvania, was educated at Girard College, Philadelphia, and came to Baltimore in 1880. He was one of the principal assistants who purchased the assets of the firm from Martenet's widow in 1892 and continued the business.

Active in political and religious affairs, he was twice elected to the office of City Surveyor. He was heavily lobbied by prominent Republicans in 1915 to run for Mayor, the Baltimore Sun reporting "...if nominated, he will be a vote getter in the general election. They point to his rather remarkable triumph over Raleigh C. Thomas for the surveyorship some years ago as evidence of his general popularity and say that he would get staunch party support because each of the factions knows that he would not be controlled by the other." [Baltimore Sun, Feburary 25, 1915] Ultimately, Atwood decided against it. He ran for State Comptroller in 1917 (losing by a scant 0.5 percent of the vote) and was the Republican candidate for Maryland's Fourth Congressional District seat in 1920 and 1930. Later he headed the Municipal Bureau of Plans and Surveys and served as a Commissioner for Opening Streets.

He was for many years President of the Peabody Heights Improvement Association, where he resided.

The Baltimore Sun ran the following editorial upon his death:

"The death of William O. Atwood will be felt keenly by a large number of friends and will be sincerely regretted by a very much larger number who had only occasional association with him. He was one of the men who make the solid fabric of a community's life. He worked at his appointed tasks, and in the hours when he was not at his tasks he was giving himself to efforts for the common good. Very often many of those with whom he came into contact disagreed with his ideas and the object of his activities, but those disagreements seldom left anger or pain. Mr. Atwood was not the man to suspect the motives or to condemn the purposes of others. He had a very clearly defined path of his own, but that never left him intolerant of the many others about him who followed many other different paths. He was a gentle Puritan—much more concerned with the discipline of himself in all matters than with the discipline of others—and he spread wide the great and healing gift of simple kindness. He will be missed." [Baltimore Sun, November 12, 1931]

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