George H. Wilson

HON. GEORGE H. WILSON, judge of the Probate Court of Cherokee County, and one of the prominent and substantial citizens of Columbus, was born in Anderson County, Kansas, in December, 1866, and is a son of John and Pruda A. (Towsley) Wilson.

John Wilson was born in Steuben County, New York, of Scotch parentage on the paternal side, and of Irish, on the maternal. He settled in Johnson County, Kansas, in 1856, and necessarily was identified with the border troubles of those early days. He removed to Anderson County and later settled at Cherryvale, Montgomery County, where he died at the age of 74 years. His occupation was farming, but the exigencies of the times brought him, more or less, into the prominence of public life, although he never accepted political office. Judge Wilson's mother was born in Michigan, and was married there to John Wilson in 1859. Her parents died in her infancy and her only brother has also passed away, although she still survives, at the age of 74 years, a resident of Kansas City, Missouri. The half brothers and sisters of Judge Wilson reside in various parts of the country, his father having married thrice, but the three other members of his parents' family are: Albert L., who is an attorney at Kansas City; May, who is a stenographer in that city; and J. A., who is a resident of Cherryvale, and a traveling collector for the McCormick Harvester Company.

Judge Wilson was reared and mainly educated in Anderson County, Kansas, but has made his own way in the world since he reached the age of 15 years. He was 19 years old when he went to Montgomery County, and while studying law, he served a three year's apprenticeship in a newspaper office. He continued his law studies until 1889, when he was admitted to the bar at Independence, under Judge John N. Ritter, who was a resident of Cherokee County where he served as judge of the District Court from 1889 to 1891.

Judge Wilson practice at Cherryvale until 1895 when, dissolving partnership with his brother there, he moved to Cherokee County, and opened a law office himself at Empire City, Kansas, and practiced law there until December, 1899, when he moved to Columbus, and served as Probate judge 13 months, being appointed to succeed Judge Sapp. He then entered upon the law practice again with C. W. Smith, at Columbus, under the firm name of Smith & Wilson. This partnership continued one year, being dissolved in January, 1902. In 1900, when a candidate for Probate judge, he met defeat at the polls, but was elected in the fall of 1902. He served four years as city attorney of Empire City, and in 1901 was appointed city attorney of Columbus, and served as such until the November election of 1902. His present position as judge of Probate is one for which he is eminently qualified.

In 1900, Judge Wilson was married to a daughter of Rev. W. H. Mulvaney. Rev. Mr. Mulvaney is now presiding elder of the Emporia District. He was formerly pastor of the Columbus Methodist Episcopal Church for six years and is now a resident of Emporia. Mrs. Wilson graduated from Baker University at Baldwin, and later taught private classes of vocal and instrumental music at Columbus. She is a lady of great musical talent and intellectual strength. and is prominent in social circles. Judge and Mrs. Wilson have one son, Marion .M., born at Columbus in 1902.

Like his father, Judge Wilson is identified with the Republican party. Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic Blue Lodge at Galena; Lodge No. 3, Knights of Pythias, at Galena; and the camp of Modern Woodmen of America, at Columbus; while Mrs. Wilson belongs to the Order of the Eastern Star and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/11/97.


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