Rev. George H. Atkinson was not a settler of Forest Grove, but he certainly played a big part in its history. He originally came to Oregon as a missionary, but quickly pivoted to doing what he did best: getting people organized towards big goals. In Forest Grove, it was Atkinson who pushed other early settlers to get a charter for Tualatin Academy, which eventually became Pacific University.
Atkinson is credited with creating the Oregon public school system. He was also involved in the creation of railroads and the Oregon State Penitentiary, among other projects.