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Biographical Sketch
O. L. Vinyard
Brown County, Kansas


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The following transcription is from a 750 page book titled "Genealogical and Biographical Record of North-Eastern Kansas, dated 1900.  These have been diligently transcribed and generously contributed by Penny R. Harrell, please give her a very big Thank You for her hard work!

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William J. Wilson resides upon a well developed farm in Powhattan
township, Brown county, and is numbered among the honored veterans of
the late war, who at the call for troops joined the boys in blue and
with undaunted bravery fought for the preservation of the Union until
supremacy was established and the flag was planted in the capital of
the Southern confederacy. Mr. Wilson was born in Lawrence county,
Ohio, June 27, 1846, on a farm which his grandfather secured as a claim
from the government. It was located on Syms Run, in Union township,
that county. His father, Samuel S. Wilson, was born on the same farm
and was a son of William Wilson, a native of Virginia, who served as a
soldier in the War of 1812. In recognition of his services he received
a land warrant, which he located in Ohio, thus becoming the owner of
the farm upon which our subject was born. Samuel S. Wilson, having
arrived at years of maturity, married Malinda Hefner, who was born in
Virginia and was reared in Ohio, her father, Jacob Hefner, being a
resident of the former state. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were born nine
children, namely: William J., Catherine, Sarah F., Samuel L., Ira (de-
ceased), Isaac, a minister of the Christian Church and a well known
lecturer; and the rest died in infancy. The mother of these children
died at the age of forty-seven years, and their father passed away when
fifty-three years of age. He made farming his life work, following
that pursuit throughout his entire career. In politics he was first a
Whig and afterward a Republican, and in religious belief both he and
his wife were Methodists. Mr. Wilson, of this review, was reared upon
the old home farm in Ohio, aiding in the labors of the field and meadow
through the summer months, while in the winter season he pursued his
education in the public schools. He was married in Lawrence county,
Ohio on the 8th of April, 1867, to Miss Sarah C. Chapin, a capable
teacher and a representative of a good family. Her parents were Nathan
and Zela (Booth) Chapin, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter
of Ohio. They had five children, namely: Mrs. Sarah Wilson; John, of
Muncie, Indiana; David and James, now deceased; and Oliver, who is
living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Their father carried on agricultural pur-
suits and was an enterprising business man. He voted with the Repub-
lican party and his religious views were in harmony with the doctrines
of the Methodist Epsicopal Church. William J. Wilson, the subject of
this review, resided in Ohio until 1869, when he removed to Delaware
county, Indiana, locating near Muncie. There he lived for seven years,
when he went to Champaign county, Illinois, and in 1882 came to Kansas,
locating in Brown county. In 1886 he took up his abode in Nemaha
county, where he continued for nine years, when he located in Powhattan
township, this county. Here he has since engaged in general farming
and his well improved fields have brought to him a golden tribute in
return for the care and labor he has bestowed upon them. He has made a
good home for himself and family and now has one of the desirable pro-
perties of the neighborhood. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have been born
five children, namely: Samuel Nathan, who is married and lives near his
father; Ed K.; Mattie, of Horton, Kansas, who is a graduate of Wetmore
High School and a successful teacher; Chester and Sarah C. The family
is one of prominence in the community, the members of the household
occupying a high position in social circles. During the Civil War Mr.
Wilson enlisted twice and served in three different companies. He
joined the army in May, 1862, as a member of Company D, Ninety-first
Ohio Infantry, with which he served until the 3rd of July following,
when he suffered an attack of typhoid fever and was sent home, being
afterward discharged from the service. On the 14th of July, 1863,
however, he enlisted in the Forty-fifth Mounted Infantry, from which he
was discharged on the 24th of November, 1864. He then joined the
Sharpshooters and did duty in Kentucky. He served as guard at General
Thomas' headquarters and at one time also acted as an escort guard for
General Thomas at Nashville, Tennessee. He was finally discharged from
the service on the 19th of July, 1865, with a most honorable military
record. He is now a member of Goff Post, No. 411, G. A. R. He also
belongs to the Methodsit Church and is a man of sterling purpose whose
life has been honorable, upright and commendable.

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Last update: Friday, July 18, 2003 20:22:19

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