Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

Return to table of contents | Return to Index | Return to Biography Index

James L. Wilson

J. L. WILSON, who lives in section 23, township 18, range 31, in Osage township, Labette county, Kansas, has been identified with the county's development for the past twenty-two years. He was born in Illinois March 26, 1852, and is a son of James and Hannah (Heaton) Wilson.

James Wilson was barn in Uniontown, Kentucky, in 1813, and followed farming all his active life. He died at the age of seventy-three years. His wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Heaton, was born in Ohio, and died at, the age of thirty-six years, in April, 1852. They reared six children, namely: Ambrose, who lives in Illinois; William H., who lives at Long Beach, California; Samuel R., who lives in Princeton, Illinois; Parthena E., who lives at Lincoln, Nebraska; Cyrus E., of Humboldt, Iowa; and James L., the subject of this sketch.

After remaining at home for a number of years, James L. Wilson moved to Idenbro, Kansas, where he bought a farm. He then went back to his home in Illinois, where he staid the rest of the year. In December, 1880, he traded the farm near Idenbro for another in Osage township, which was known as the James Master farm. He again returned to Illinois, where he remained until December, 1881, and then came back to Kansas, where he was married, in February, 1882, and passed the rest of the summer in Parsons. During that time he worked for the Parsons Coal Company, near Weir City, Kansas. He then moved to Dennis, Kansas, and was there engaged in the hardware business for three years. During this time he was appointed postmaster by President Cleveland. He kept the postoffice in his store. After serving one term, he sold out his hardware business and moved upon his farm, where he has since lived. He owns three farms in Osage township, all of which are rented out.

Mr. Wilson is a stanch Democrat; he has held various offices, among them that of justice of the peace. He was treasurer of the school board for eight years, and is now serving as trustee of Osage township. He is president of the Anti-Horsethief Association. He is a Mason, having taken 26 degrees. He is also a member of the Odd Fellows lodge, and belongs to the Sons and Daughters of justice. Mr. Wilson was married February 7, 1882, and his wife died February 25, 1898. They were the parents of five children, namely: James William, deceased; Leon C., who lives with his father, and was the first child born in Dennis, Kansas, the date being December 24, 1884; and Edgar M., Glen and Addie P., deceased.

Mr. Wilson is a very prominent man in the township, is always interested in the welfare of the community, and lends his assistance to all worthy and charitable enterprises. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and son, Leon C., appear on a preceding page in proximity to this.