W. J. WILSON, a member of the firm of W. J. Wilson & Brother, dealers in coal and farming implements, is one of Mound Valley's most progressive citizens. He was born in Portage county, Ohio, in 1846, and is a son of William and Letitia (Glendenning) Wilson.
William Wilson was a native of Scotland, and came to America at the age of ten years. He located in Labette county, Kansas, in 1883, and died there in 1899, aged ninety years. His wife, whose name was Letitia Glendenning, died ten years before her husband's decease. They were the parents of six children, namely: Mrs. Allison Savage, of Mound Valley, Kansas; Rebecca (Moncrief), of Nevada, Missouri; Isabel, who was married in Indiana, and died in Mound Valley; William J.; Judson, who is in business with his brother William; and Joseph, who settled, on a farm in Labette county, in 1883.
William J. Wilson obtained his early schooling in Portage county, Ohio, and at the age of nine years moved with his parents to Jennings county, Indiana, where he attended the common schools. In 1866 he went to Illinois, where he remained three years, after which he returned to Indiana. In 1870, Mr. Wilson moved to Kansas, and, took up the northeast quarter of section 22, township 33, range 18, in Mound Valley township, Labette county. At that time there were about two dozen settlers in Mound Valley township. He traded his farm for one owned by H. W. Savage, his brother-in-law, who now cultivates a farm south of Mound Valley. In 1872, Judson Wilson bought the northwest quarter of section 22, township 33, range 18, and the brothers farmed together. They also lived some years with Mr. Savage, conducting the farm in partnership. Then Mr. Wilson traded 80 acres of the claim he originally filed on, and Mr. Savage built on the corner 80 acres. Mr. Wilson, later bought 80 acres more, and still owns the farm. In 1884, he moved to Altamont, where he ran a lumber yard for a short time, and, one year later, sold out the lumber yard to S. A. Brown & Company. Mr. Wilson entered the coal business, in Mound Valley, with his brother Judson, in 1885, and they have continued in that line ever since. In 1890, they added implements and grain to their stock, and three years later, erected a building, the under-roof portion of which is 80 by 48 feet, in dimensions. They handle Rock Island goods largely, and also the Emerson & Company, Moline Plow Company and Robinson & Company wares. They have a well stocked store, and their business is very large and is increasing each year. Mr. Wilson and his brother are men of good business principles, and are honest and upright in all their dealings.
Mr. Wilson married Huldah Moyer, who was reared in Pennsylvania. She has a sister, - Mrs. Sarah Hildreth, - who lives at Altamont. Mr. Wilson and his wife have one daughter, Delia G., who was born in 1884. Mr. Wilson is a Prohibitionist, although he was formerly a Republican. He and his brother have served in the council, and as township officers. They are loyal citizens, and actively interested in all public enterprises, which are for the good of the community. Mr. Wilson is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. Religiously, he belongs to the Baptist church, in which he is a deacon.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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