JESSE WILSON. This gentleman is very well known throughout Northern Calhoun County, being identified with the farming and stock-raising interests of Hamburg Precinct. His comfortable and pleasant home is favorably located on section 5, where he owns nearly two hundred acres of land, which he has acquired by dint of industry, perseverance and good management. The land is intelligently handled and so produces crops equal in quality and quantity to any in the vicinity, and has furthermore been supplied with all needed improvements.
Our subject is a native of this county, in which his parents, Silas and Nancy (Crader) Wilson, were pioneers. On coming hither they made a settlement in the woods in Hamburg Precinct, and in clearing and developing their farm endured many hardships usual in pioneer times and displayed the sturdy virtues so characteristic of the class to which they belonged. They reared a large family, of whom the survivors are: Elizabeth, Samuel, Jesse, Caroline, Mary J., Silas and William. The father, although in his youth denied educational advantages, was possessed of natural intelligence and his character was such that his death was regretted as a loss to the entire community. The widowed mother is still living at an advanced age, respected as her virtues merit.
The natal day of our subject was May 27, 1844. He grew to maturity amid the primitive scenes of a country which was still far from being well settled, and as he grew toward manhood did considerable of the pioneer work by means of which the county has reached its present condition. His education was obtained in the early subscription and public schools and although his advantages were not equal to those afforded to the boys and girls of today, he acquired a fair share of practical knowledge. He has made farming his life work and has endeavored to carry on his estate according to the best methods, making use of advanced ideas and modern appliances as fast as they were proven feasible or wise.
Mr. Wilson has been twice married, his first companion having been Mary A. Lawson, a native of Missouri, who became the mother of three children — William, Charles and Lilly M. The first named only is living. The lady whom Mr. Wilson won for his second wife bore the maiden name of Mary E. Gordon, She is a daughter of John R. and Mary (McDonald) Gordon, of Calhoun County, and is not only an industrious and kindly woman, but is much esteemed for her Christian character. This marriage has been blest by the birth of eight children, the survivors being Sarah, John, Dona J., Stella and Martha.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Wilson belong to the Christian Church and earnestly endeavor to mold their lives according to the precepts of the Gospel. Mr. Wilson is now serving as Deacon in the church. In politics he is a Democrat. In the spring of 1888 he was elected Road Commissioner of Hamburg Precinct for a term of three years and he is also serving as School Director of his district. He commands the respect of the business community and is recognized as an intelligent, liberal and public-spirited citizen.
Extracted 13 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, page 300.
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