Atkinson is located in Holt County, west of Norfolk, between O'Neill and Stuart on US Hwy 20, along the Elkhorn River.
The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 1,276, a decrease of 104 since 1990.
The Atkinson area was first settled in 1873 when several families settled along the Elkhorn River in Holt County. When another party led by Colonel Atkinson arrived some years later, land was purchased southwest of the original site and Atkinson took form. Around 1877, the first store opened for business and the first mail arrived a few days later. The village of Atkinson was incorporated on May 1, 1884.
Today, Atkinson is an outdoorsman paradise, offering many recreation opportunities.