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Hugh Wilson

WILSON, Hugh, one of the oldest living residents of McDonough County, was born in Industry Township, McDonough County, Ill., April 4, 1832, and in his boyhood here obtained what education was afforded by the primitive schools of that period. He is a son of John and Martha V. (Vance) Wilson, natives of Jackson County, Tenn. They came to McDonough County in 1826, and were the first settlers in the county, which then constituted a part of Schuyler County. They were married in 1828, being the first white people wedded in the county. After marriage they settled on a farm where they spent the remainder of their lives. Hugh Wilson was one of a family of twelve children, six boys and six girls, of whom all the boys and one girl are still living. He is living on the quarter-section of land on which he was born and reared, and has never had any other residence, with the exception of one year, when he lived in the village of Industry. He has, however, made three trips to California, spending a year on each trip. Mr. Wilson has been afflicted with rheumatism since 1885, but aside from this is well preserved and hearty, as is also the companion who has shared his joys and sorrows for half a century. Two noble types of the hardy pioneers, who have together confronted many dangers and together endured untold privations, still together they abide in the old homestead environed by the affectionate care of a son and a daughter, who count it among their chief pleasures to minister to the comfort of their parents.

Mr. Wilson was married January 14, 1855, to Harriet Hobart, a native of Oneida County, N. Y., where she received her early education. The children resulting from their union are as follows: Nancy Ann (Mrs. W. P. Skiles), of Nebraska; Milo, at home; Traverse, also of Nebraska; Marilla B. (Mrs. J. P. Young), who died at the age of thirty-eight years; Mortimer, of Industry, Ill.; Carr, of California; Edward, of Colorado; Minnie (Mrs. C. E. Burnham), of Industry; Carrie, who is at home; Guy, of Industry; Roy, a resident of Alma, Neb.; and William, of Headrick, Okla. Politically, the subject of this sketch upholds the doctrines of the Prohibition party. He has held the office of constable for three terms. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the A. F. & A. M.

The parents of Mrs. Hugh Wilson were William Hobart, a native of Ireland, and Achsah Ingraham, of New York. They came to Industry Township, McDonough County, in 1850, removed to Iowa in the fall of 1859, and both died in that State. They were the parents of eleven children, Mrs. Hugh Wilson being the third. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson celebrated their golden wedding anniversary January 14, 1905. It is the devout prayer, not only of the children of this worthy father and mother spared from the pioneer period, but of their hosts of friends throughout McDonough County, that they may long survive as exemplars of those virtues which distinguished the early settlers of this region.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 1045, extracted 26 Oct 2020 by Norma Hass.

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