|This Family Story was transcribed by a granddaughter of George and Mary Wilson, |
from THE HISTORY OF UNION COUNTY, IA, 1908, written by George Ide,
Numbered among the pioneer settlers of Union county is G. W. Wilson, who occupies a valuable farm of two hundred and twenty acres situated on Section 29, Sand Creek Township, which has been his home for almost four decades, and he has resided in the state since 1856. Mr. Wilson was born in North Carolina, June 5, 1837, a son of James B. and Martha [Russom] Wilson, who were likewise natives of that state, where they were reared and married, subsequent to which time they made their way westward, settling in Randolph county, Indiana, where they made their home for nine years, during which time the father engaged in general agricultural pursuits. They then journeyed with ox-teams over the prairies to Union County, Iowa, casting in their lot with the pioneer settlers of this section of the state. They established their home in Pleasant Township, where the father opened up a farm, using a team of oxen to break the prairie and develop his land, which in due course of time was planted to the various cereals best adapted to soil and climate, and in due course of time, he gathered rich crops there from, so that each year his financial resources were greatly increased.
George Washington Wilson, the second member of his father's family, was reared to agricultural life, and was a youth of fourteen years when he accompanied his parents on their removal from North Carolina to this state. His education was acquired in the common schools during the winter months and in the summer seasons he was busily occupied with the duties of the home farm, remaining with his father until he had attained his majority, when he established a home of his own by his marriage in May, 1858, to Miss Elizabeth Wright, who was born and reared in Union County, a daughter of Levi Wright, a pioneer of this county.
Following his marriage, Mr. Wilson was engaged in breaking prairie for six years, after which he opened up a farm of one hundred and eighty acres in Pleasant Township. This was all wild prairie when it came into his possession but with characteristic energy he undertook the task of developing his new land and in due course of time made it a valuable property. He also erected a house on the place, together with substantial barns and outbuildings, and here he was engaged in general agricultural pursuits until 1870, when he sold that farm and purchased one hundred and sixty acres in Sand Creek Township, this also being raw prairie, for which he paid the sum of six dollars and a quarter per acre. He erected a dwelling, barns and sheds for the shelter of grain and stock and has since replaced his first dwelling with a more modern and commodious one, has erected two sets of farm buildings, has fenced the fields with woven wire and now has a valuable and up-to-date property. There is also considerable timber on the place, from which he recently sold eleven thousand feet of lumber. He has also planted three good orchards, which are now in excellent bearing. In addition to his agricultural pursuits, Mr. Wilson had also raised and fed stock, his specialties now being shorthorn and polled Angus cattle, Poland China hogs and Shropshire sheep, and this branch of his business is proving to him a very gratifying source of revenue.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson was blessed with seven children but Alice, who became the wife of M. F. Goodale, a farmer of Sand Creek Township, by whom she had four children, is now deceased, her death occurring in 1889, when she was twenty-nine years of age. Those living are: Walter, who wedded Cynthia Wilson and is engaged in farming in Sand Creek Township; Dora, the wife of J. Jackson, a real-estate dealer in Kansas City; Nina, who is the wife of J. B. Aikin, a farmer of Sand Creek Township, Perry, who married Jennie Henderson and is engaged in merchandising in Shannon City; Jasper who wedded May Carmichael, and carries on farming in Sand Creek Township; and Rosa, the wife of H. L. Bishop, editor of the Lorimor Journal. The wife and mother was called from this life in 1877 and on the 14th of November, 1881, Mr. Wilson was again married, his second union being with Mary E. Willis, a native of Marion County, Iowa, and a daughter of Shelby Willis, who settled in Union County in 1860. This marriage has been blessed with seven children: Lyman, who is engaged in farming in Sand Creek Township; Laura, the wife of Clarence Webb, a farmer of Ringgold County; Homer, Mattie J., Stella, Harry and Clarence, all of whom are still under the paternal roof. Mrs. Wilson also has eighteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Mr. Wilson was raised a Whig and after the formation of the new Republican Party gave his support thereto but for several years has voted an independent ticket. He has filled a number of public offices, having for several years served as township trustee, in which capacity he is still serving. He has also served as committeeman for both parties and has been sent as a delegate to several county conventions. He is not identified with any church organizations but attends and supports the various denominations. Not only has Mr. Wilson seen Union County develop from a wild country with only a few white inhabitants, to a rich agricultural country, containing thousands of good homes and acres of growing towns, inhabited by an industrious, prosperous, enlightened and progressive people, but he has participated in the work that has here been wrought along various lines. He came here prior to the time when Creston was known and this village and many others he has seen grow into thriving and prosperous centers and rejoices in the work that has been accomplished. He is well known over the entire county and no citizen of this section of the state is more deserving of prominent mention among its pioneer settlers.
Copyright 2017 by Union County Genealogical Society