Posted By: Jeanie
Date: 5/18/2005 at 10:18:16
One of the oldest families in the County is that of the Wilkinsons – living in the south eastern part. Although none have ever occupied high official positions, they still have traits of character which distinguish them from others and are as highly respected as any living in the County. Anthony Wilkinson, with his parents, emigrated to this County in 1849, having left his native country in 1834. He was born in Ireland, Donegal County on July 28th, 1817. He resided with his parents until he was 14 years of age then left and went to Maryland. Here he obtained a situation as clerk in a dry goods store, serving a number of years and from there went to Coshocton County, Ohio, and was apprenticed to the carpenter trade which he learned and followed until the spring of 1845, when he went south and while there enlisted in the Mexican war, was taken prisoner by the Mexicans at Encornation, and lay in captivity eight months; was liberated at Frankford. In 1849 he came to this State, stopping at Iowa City. Anthony and two brothers purchased an ox team and wagon, laid in a supply of provisions and came to Tama County, and settled in Salt Creek township. Here they entered a tract of land in section 20, and immediately set to work making for themselves a home.
In 1851, he returned to Ohio, and was married to Miss Sarah A. Graham, by whom he had seven children. The members of the family all fill honorable positions in society.
Anthony Wilkinson is a self-made man in every respect. With a very limited education obtained, from a common school, but with a determined will and strong heart and hands, he has pressed forward overcoming every obstacle that arose in his way. However great the difficulties with which he may be surrounded, he knows no such word as fail, and his example is worthy of emulation by the young men of to-day without a cent of capital. Through his own individual exertions, he has amassed a sufficient amount of this world’s goods to enable him to live at ease until called away to join the loved ones that have gone before. He has always been a hard working, industrious man, having excellent physical powers and being capable of great endurance.
Farming has been the principal occupation of Mr. Wilkinson, and in this work he has been eminently successful. Through hard work and careful management he has from time to time added to his possession, until he now owns as nice a tract of land as can be found in Tama County. For many years he has devoted considerable attention to raising fine stock and in this has met with the same good success as in other operations of the farm. Although he may not have obtained the prominence of many others, Anthony Wilkinson is well known through out the County especially by the older settlers, while none know him but to respect the sterling worth of his character.
From the History of Tama County, Iowa. by Samuel D. Chapman. Printed at the Toledo Times Office. 1879. Page 164 and 165.
Tama Biographies maintained by Ann Selvig.
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