Andrew S. Wilson, of Galena, one of the ablest lawyers and jurists of Kansas, was born at Mount Zion, Macon county, Illinois, March 23, 1847, a son of James J. and Mary Ann (Stickel) Wilson. The father was born near Greeneville, Tenn., and the mother near York, Pa. His paternal grandfather, Andrew Wilson, was a Tennesseean and one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Three of his sonsThomas, Alexander M. and James J.were Cumberland Presbyterian preachers. Thomas labored in Texas and the other two came north with their father. James J., the father of Judge Wilson, was but eight years old when his father went from Tennessee to Illinois, where he grew to manhood and entered the ministry. He married in Illinois, and was stationed at Princeton, Ky., when he died, at the age of thirty-three. His widow later married Jacob Morgan, a farmer residing neat Springfield, Ill., on whose farm Judge Wilson was raised.
Andrew S. Wilson received his preliminary education in the common schools and in 1868 graduated in the Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, Ill. There were seven members in his graduating class, among whom were ex-Gov. Joseph Fifer of Illinois; Rev. Joseph Hartzell, one of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Hon. L. W. Keplinger, the well known lawyer of Kansas City, Kan. He then became a law student in the law office of Stuart, Edwards & Brown at Springfield, Ill.; was admitted to the bar before the supreme court of Illinois in 1869; went the same year to Washington county, Kansas, where he began his professional career, and where he remained until 1889, a period of twenty years. In 1870-71 he represented his county in the lower house of the Kansas legislature, when he was but twenty-two and twenty-three years of age. In March, 1871, when the Twelfth judicial district court was established, he was appointed judge of the district by Governor Harvey. By elections to the position he served as district judge for thirteen years, and then, in 1884, resigned to engage in the practice of law. Five years later, Judge Wilson removed to Sioux City, Iowa, where he practiced law and resided until 1899, when he located at Galena, Kan., where he has since resided. Here he has practiced law and been engaged in mining. In his profession he has achieved an enviable reputation as a profound lawyer, and as judge of the district court his rulings and decisions gained for him the reputation of being one of the ablest district judges of Kansas. He went on the bench when only twenty-four years of age and displayed rare ability from the very beginning. For thirteen years he presided over the Twelfth judicial district court with a dignity, wisdom and clearness that won for him the highest esteem of all lawyers who pleaded before his court.
Politically, Judge Wilson is a Republican; fraternally he is a Knight Templar Mason, and religiously he is a member of the Episcopal church. During the Civil war he served as a private in Company K, One Hundred and Forty-filth Illinois volunteer infantry, and is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
He has been twice married, first, in 1869, to Miss Mary Hamilton, of Bloomington, Ill., who died in 1878, leaving him two daughters: Mary (Douglas) and Elizabeth (Coppock), both of whom reside at Council Bluffs, Iowa. His second marriage took place at St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 19, 1881, Miss Georgia Jackson becoming his second wife.Pages 418-419 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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