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Biographical Sketch
William J. Wilson
Brown County, Kansas


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The following transcription is from a 750 page book titled "Genealogical and Biographical Record of North-Eastern Kansas, dated 1900.  These have been diligently transcribed and generously contributed by Penny R. Harrell, please give her a very big Thank You for her hard work!

Gold Bar

William J. Wilson resides upon a well developed farm in Powhattan township, Brown county, and is numbered among the honored veterans of the late war, who at the call for troops joined the boys in blue and with undaunted bravery fought for the preservation of the Union until supremacy was established and the flag was planted in the capital of the Southern confederacy.

Mr. Wilson was born in Lawrence county, Ohio, June 27, 1846, on a farm which his grandfather secured as a claim from the government.  It was located on Syms Run, in Union township, that county.  His father, Samuel S. Wilson, was born on the same farm and was a son of William Wilson, a native of Virginia, who served as a soldier in the War of 1812.

In recognition of his services he received a land warrant, which he located in Ohio, thus becoming the owner of the farm upon which our subject was born.  Samuel S. Wilson, having arrived at years of maturity, married Malinda Hefner, who was born in Virginia and was reared in Ohio, her father, Jacob Hefner, being a resident of the former state.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were born nine children, namely: William J., Catherine, Sarah F., Samuel L., Ira (deceased), Isaac, a minister of the Christian Church and a well known lecturer; and the rest died in infancy.  The mother of these children died at the age of forty-seven years, and their father passed away when fifty-three years of age.

He made farming his life work, following that pursuit throughout his entire career.  In politics he was first a Whig and afterward a Republican, and in religious belief both he and his wife were Methodists.

Mr. Wilson, of this review, was reared upon the old home farm in Ohio, aiding in the labors of the field and meadow through the summer months, while in the winter season he pursued his education in the public schools.

He was married in Lawrence county, Ohio on the 8th of April, 1867, to Miss Sarah C. Chapin, a capable teacher and a representative of a good family.  Her parents were Nathan and Zela (Booth) Chapin, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Ohio.  They had five children, namely: Mrs. Sarah Wilson; John, of Muncie, Indiana; David and James, now deceased; and Oliver, who is living in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Their father carried on agricultural pursuits and was an enterprising business man.  He voted with the Republican party and his religious views were in harmony with the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

William J. Wilson, the subject of this review, resided in Ohio until 1869, when he removed to Delaware county, Indiana, locating near Muncie.  There he lived for seven years, when he went to Champaign county, Illinois, and in 1882 came to Kansas, locating in Brown county.  In 1886 he took up his abode in Nemaha county, where he continued for nine years, when he located in Powhattan township, this county.

Here he has since engaged in general farming and his well improved fields have brought to him a golden tribute in return for the care and labor he has bestowed upon them.  He has made a good home for himself and family and now has one of the desirable properties of the neighborhood.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have been born five children, namely: Samuel Nathan, who is married and lives near his father; Ed K.; Mattie, of Horton, Kansas, who is a graduate of Wetmore High School and a successful teacher; Chester and Sarah C.  The family is one of prominence in the community, the members of the household occupying a high position in social circles.

During the Civil War Mr. Wilson enlisted twice and served in three different companies.  He joined the army in May, 1862, as a member of Company D, Ninety-first Ohio Infantry, with which he served until the 3rd of July following, when he suffered an attack of typhoid fever and was sent home, being afterward discharged from the service.  On the 14th of July, 1863, however, he enlisted in the Forty-fifth Mounted Infantry, from which he was discharged on the 24th of November, 1864.  He then joined the Sharpshooters and did duty in Kentucky.

He served as guard at General Thomas' headquarters and at one time also acted as an escort guard for General Thomas at Nashville, Tennessee.  He was finally discharged from the service on the 19th of July, 1865, with a most honorable military record.  He is now a member of Goff Post, No. 411, G. A. R.  He also belongs to the Methodist Church and is a man of sterling purpose whose life has been honorable, upright and commendable.

  Gold Bar

Last update: Friday, July 18, 2003 20:22:22

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