George Alvin Wilson

GEORGE ALVIN WILSON, present sheriff of Lincoln County, is one of the strong, fearless and independent men developed by life on the plains and in contact with the ranching business. Mr. Wilson has spent many years as a practical stockman and so far as his official duties permit he still gives active superintendence to his farm in Lincoln County.

Mr. Wilson was born in this county March 10, 1877. His people were among the early settlers. A number of generations back the Wilsons claimed German ancestry, but the family was established in New York in colonial days and subsequently were pioneers in the state of Illinois. J. H. Wilson, father of Sheriff Wilson, was born near Allerton, Iowa, in 1849. He grew up and married in his native state, and in 1873 joined the pioneers of Ellsworth County, Kansas. His father, Isaac Wilson, came at the same time and was a man of prominence in Ellsworth County and the town of Wilson and the community known as Wilson Flats was named for him. The Town of Wilson was originally known as Bosland, and the name was changed to Wilson in 1878. Grandfather Isaac Wilson homesteaded land there and developed a very valuable and productive farm at Wilson Flats. Isaac Wilson was a veteran of the Civil War, having served four years in an Iowa regiment of infantry.

J. H. Wilson has spent his active career as a farmer and stockman. On coming to Kansas he also homesteaded 160 acres at Wilson Flats, and that was his home for a number of years. His prosperity enabled him to acquire a number of farms, but about 1897 he sold most of them and removed to Sylvan Grove, where he has since conducted business as a stock dealer and feeder and is owner of considerable town property. He is a democrat and a Mason. J. H. Wilson first married Caroline Humes. She was born in Iowa in 1851 and died in Ellsworth County, Kansas, in 1880. She was the mother of four children, Mrs. John Hall, the wife of a farmer in Ellsworth County; George A.; Sadie, wife of G. W. Kirtson, a carpenter and builder at Lincoln; and Nora, who married Golde Hulbert, and they reside on their farm along the Saline River west of Sylvan Grove. J. H. Wilson married for his second wife Belle Atkinson, who was born near Dorrance, Kansas. They have a family of six children: Ethel, wife of Preston Simpson, a painter living at Sylvan Grove; James, a stockman at Sylvan Grove; John, connected with a commission house at the Kansas City stockyards; Ollie, wife of George Taylor, a stockman at Sylvan Grove; Jennie, wife of Robert Perry, a commission agent at the stockyards in Kansas City, Kansas; and Alonzo, who is still in the family circle.

George A. Wilson acquired his early education in the rural schools of Ellsworth County. The first nineteen years of his life were spent on his father's farm and he then sought change of scene and adventure in cattle ranches in the vicinity of Higgins in the Texas Panhandle. He had an abundance of experience during the two years spent there and he afterwards lived on ranches in Colorado for a year. Returning to Kansas in 1899, Mr. Wilson was on a ranch at Sylvan Grove for eight years and in 1907 took up farming and the stock business for himself. His principal efforts are now confined to his farm and home near Lincoln.

Mr. Wilson was first elected sheriff of Lincoln County in 1914, and in 1916, when he was a candidate for re-election, he had no opposition, all parties being well satisfied that he was the man best fitted for the place. He now has his offices in the Court House and is regarded as one of the most efficient sheriffs the county has ever had. Politically his affiliations are with the democratic party. Mr. Wilson attends the Presbyterian Church, is a member of Sylvan Grove Lodge No. 359, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Center Lodge No. 111 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Lincoln, Sylvan Chapter of the Eastern Star and Sylvan Grove Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

In 1904, at Sylvan Grove, Sheriff Wilson married Miss Lydia Hulbert, daughter of Milton and Lydia (Keyes) Hulbert. Her mother lives at Sylvan Grove. Her father, who was a farmer, is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have three children: Melville, born in February, 1906; Orville, born in August, 1908; and Carroll, born in October, 1913.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Nicholas Robertson, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, December 1,1999.

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