David WILSON, after the labors of a long
and busy life, is spending his later years in ease and
retirement in Wenona. He belongs to an honored old
family, members of the Society of Friends, its founder in America
belonging to William Penn’s colony. There the great-grandfather
of our subject, Samuel WILSON, and the grandfather, Daniel
WILSON, were both born.
The birth of Amos WILSON, the father,
occurred in Chester county, Pennsylvania, in 1794, and he there
married Hannah BROWN, who was born in the same county in 1800,
and was a daughter of David BROWN, a native of Ireland, who came
to America when a boy. The parents left
Pennsylvania, in 1826, locating upon a farm in
Belmont county, Ohio, where the mother died the following
year, at the age of twenty-six. To them had been born five
children: Joshua B., now deceased, who was married and had ten
children; Mrs. Margaret MERRITT, of Lostant, Illinois, who has
eight children; David, of this sketch; Thomas, of Corning, Iowa,
who has fourteen children, and Mrs. Hannah B. HOGE, of Wenona,
who has six children.
After the death of his first wife, Amos
WILSON married Anna MORRIS, and in 1851, with his family,
removed to Illinois, locating upon a new farm of prairie land in
Putnam county, two miles north of Magnolia, which he placed
under a high state of cultivation. He there made his home until
his death about twelve years ago, at the age of eighty-seven
years. His second wife, who survived him, died in 1895, at the
age of ninety-one years. Nine children graced their union,
namely: Ruth Anna, deceased; Mrs. Rebecca HOWARD, of
Nebraska, who has seven children;
Sarah, deceased, who was married and had two children; Mrs.
Elizabeth MILLS, of Putnam county, Illinois, who has four sons;
Morris, of the same county, who has four children; Mrs. Mary
SMITH, also of Putnam county, who has seven children; Amos, of
Putnam county, who has two daughters; Oliver, of Putnam county,
who has one child, and Laura, deceased. The father followed
farming exclusively, was a quiet, unobtrusive man of temperate
habits, and in politics was first a whig and later a republican.
Both parents of our subject were members of the Society of
Friends, belonging to a liberal church, of which the father
served as elder, and he was a strong friend of the cause of
Mr. WILSON, whose name introduces this
sketch, was born in Chester
county, Pennsylvania, May 24, 1822, and was reared by his
stepmother in Belmont county, Ohio, where he attended the district schools.
He learned the trade of a harness maker, but also engaged in
farming. In 1846 he was joined in wedlock with Eliza P.
GREENLEAF, who was born in Pennsylvania, in 1825, and was the daughter of John and
Ann (EVANS) GEENLEAF, the former a native of
Rhode Island, and the latter of
Pennsylvania. Her father was a distant
relative of the well beloved poet, John Greenleaf WHITTIER.
Mrs. WILSON died in 1873. By her union with
our subject she became the mother of eleven children, ten still
living; Mrs. Mary A. McCARTY, living in
Iowa, has six children; Mrs. Anna B. GANTS, of
Wenona, has four daughters; Mrs. Sarah SPARGROVE, of
Normal, Illinois, has one daughter; Mrs. Ruth Ella
GRIFFITH, of Sonoma county, California, has four children; Alice
is at home; John N., of La Salle county, Illinois, has three
sons; David is deceased; Mrs. Jennette McLAUGHLIN, living in
Clay county, Nebraska, has five children; Amos lives at Wenona;
Mrs. Bessie NEWBURN, of Marshall county, has three children, and
Mrs. Laura E. CARRITHERS also makes her home in Marshall county.
For a time after his marriage, Mr. WILSON
worked at his trade in Ohio, but in the fall of 1851 came to
Illinois, locating first in Magnolia township, Putnam county,
where he remained a few years, and then removed to a farm in
Evans township, Marshall county, three miles west of Wenona,
which he improved and cultivated. Going to Evans Station he
there made his home for twenty years, but since 1889, he has
lived quietly at Wenona, resting after years of ceaseless toil.
His political support is unswervingly given the republican
party, and both himself and wife are devoted members of the
Society of Friends.
On the 21st of November, 1881, Mr. WILSON
was untied in marriage with Lydia A. FOULKE, a native of Pennsylvania, and a
daughter of John and Ann (SINCLAIR) FOULKE. She was educated at Sharon seminary, a Friends school near Philadelphia, and has had much experience as a
teacher. For three years and a half she served as an army nurse
during the civil war, entering a hospital in
as a volunteer in 1862, and there remained for four months
without pay, while a friend boarded her for nothing, as a
contribution to the soldiers. The nurses were formed into an
organized band and were distributed among the different wards.
At Baltimore, Maryland, a warehouse on the wharf near the
railroad depot was used, and there Mrs. WILSON was next on duty.
After the battle of
they had both rebel and union soldiers to care for. At length
she returned to her home for two weeks and while there received
a note from Annie WITTENYER, who had established special diet
kitchens in all the western hospitals, asking Mrs. WILSON to
meet her at Louisville, Kentucky, which she did and was placed
in charge of special diet kitchen, No. 1, at Chattanooga, where
she was assisted by Miss Anna MILLER, of Iowa. They received
their supplies from the general field agent of the Christian
commission, and furnished
meals to nine convalescent soldiers who were unable to go
to the general dining room. She also visited wards daily and
tried to supply any extras she could. In January, 1865, Mrs.
WILSON was transferred to Cumberland
hospital at Nashville, Tennessee,
but was only there two weeks when she was taken ill and was
cared for at the Christian Commission Home about three weeks. As
soon as able she went to Decatur, Illinois, on a
thirty days leave of absence, after which she went to
hospital at Washington,
D. C., where she remained until the close of the war in August,
1865. She was in that city at the time of the grand review and
when President Lincoln was assassinated. She now receives a well
deserved pension from the United States
government for her unselfish and faithful devotion to the
wounded soldiers. She has often addressed public meetings, and
is now an honored member of the Woman’s Relief corps.
Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from
The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.
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