|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
James M. Wilson, who for about six decades has made his home in Livingston county, receives well merited honor as one of the pioneers of this section, to which be came when frontier conditions still prevailed. Owning a valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 11, Sampsell township, he has in the course of years become one of the substantial men of this region and in no mean way has contributed to bring about the general prosperous conditions that now prevail. Coming from Brown county, Illinois, he was there born August 1, 1840, and is a son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Harvie) Wilson, both of whom have passed away, the father dying in 1853 but the mother surviving him for fifty-seven years, passing away at the remarkable age of ninety-six years in 1910, both finding their last resting place in Missouri. The parents were highly esteemed and enjoyed the friendship of many, the mother being especially venerated in her high old age as one of the few pioneer women of the county who at that time survived.
James M. Wilson received his education in Illinois and Livingston county, coming to the latter when a young boy and leaving school when he had passed his fourteenth birthday. Early he began to make his own way in the world, for shortly after laying aside his text-books he began to earn his support by hiring out as a farm hand, making his living in that way for the next twelve years. Thrift, frugality, industry and energy combined in pushing him toward the goal for which he strove, to become an independent agriculturist; and at the end of the period he had acquired the means to set himself up on his own land. He subsequently acquired the property which he now owns and to the cultivation and development thereof he gave his assiduous and undivided attention. As the years passed and his financial resources increased he erected a handsome residence upon his farm and built substantial barns and outbuildings, instituting new equipment, implements and machinery and generally improving his property in such a way as to make it one of the most valuable in this section.
In April, 1866, in Livingston county, Mr. Wilson was united in marriage to Miss Mary Lyons, a daughter of Granberry and Lucinda Lyons, both of whom have passed away and are buried in Sampsell township. On January 5, 1900, after thirty-four years of happy domestic life, Mrs. Wilson passed away, finding her last resting place in a cemetery in Sampsell township. Mr. Wilson subsequently married, in this county, Mrs. Amanda (Jones) Gann, a daughter of John H. and Nancy E. Jones, both deceased. The humane quality in the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson stands forth in an act of kindness that evidences the high perception both have of their obligation toward humanity, for, having no children of their own, they took care of thirteen orphans, five of whom have passed away, but eight they have reared to useful members of society, they in turn repaying their benefactors by the honorable lives which they lead. One of these children, Ola Stewart, is now attending Chillicothe high school at the expense of Mr. Wilson.
James M. Wilson is a faithful member of the Baptist church, to the work of which he gives his helpful cooperation. His fraternal connections extend to the Masonic order, in which he is a member of the blue lodge, while his political affiliations are with the progressive party, in the ideals of which he steadfastly believes and which he thinks will bring about freedom from corrupt political practices. A man of worthy principles, a farmer of progressive methods, Mr. Wilson is highly regarded for the many substantial qualities which he has displayed in the many years of his residence in Sampsell township and, while he has attained to prosperity, has done great service in this section as a forceful element and constructive factor in upbuilding and developing.