PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM
page 491, 492
THOMAS C. WILSON. This aged veteran of eighty-four years forms one of the landmarks of Moorefield Township, and one whose industry and frugality have enabled him to accumulate a reasonable amount of this world’s goods. As a fitting reward for a life of labor we now find him surrounded with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life—the owner of an elegant residence and spending his declining years in one of the finest homes of Clark County. He has made for himself a good record as a man and a citizen, whose name will be held in kindly remembrance long after he has been gathered to his fathers.
The native place of our subject was Mercer County, Ky., and the date of his birth September 11, 1806. His immediate progenitors were James and Anna (CLELAND) WILSON, the father a native of Virginia and the mother of Maryland. This branch of the great WILSON family was originally of Scotch-Irish descent and the paternal grandfather of our subject distinguished himself as a gallant soldier of the Revolutionary War. His son James was reared and married in his native State and after becoming the father of several children emigrated with his little family to Ohio, traveling the entire distance with a wagon and horses and locating in Greene County. He brought with him his household goods and his cattle, swimming the latter across the river and camping out wherever night overtook them.
After a residence in Greene County of about three years the father of our subject removed to Champaign County, where the mother died in 1833. Mr. WILSON only survived his wife about four years, his death taking place in 1837. There had been born to them a family of eleven children, five of whom are living; Rebecca, the widow of John OSBORN, is a resident of Champaign County and is now in the eighty eighth year of her age; Elizabeth, also a widow and who married Edward OSBORN, likewise lives in Champaign County and is eighty-six years old; Thomas C. was the next oldest; Philip S. is also a resident of Champaign County; David sought the farther West and in now located in Dubuque, Iowa.
James WILSON was one of the earliest pioneers of this part of the State and endured many hardships during the first few years of his settlement in Clark County. As a boy he was studiously inclined and managed to obtain a very good education in the primitive schools. He finally developed into a teacher and was one of the first pedagogues of the Buckeye State. He was a man of strong character and decided views and exerted a sensible influence in the affairs of his community.
Thomas C. Wilson of whom we write spent his boyhood amid the wild scenes of pioneer life and grew up healthy in mind and body, well fitted for the duties which lay before him. While deprived of the advantages enjoyed by the young men of today he, at an early age, learned self-dependence and as soon as reaching his majority struck out for himself and began working as a farm hand at $7 per month and his board. During the winter season he worked and boarded himself for $11 per month. He was thus occupied for several years and then began renting land following this successfully until 1842. Then having accumulated a little capital he settled on a small farm near the present site of Moorefield village which remained his home for a period of seventeen years. He then took possession of the land which he now owns and occupies, settling upon it in 1856. It presented then a widely different appearance from that of today and under careful cultivation and good management has become one of the most valuable and productive farms in this part of the State. Mr. WILSON labored assiduously for many years in developing his land, making fences, setting out fruit and shade trees, erecting buildings, gathering together his farm machinery and providing his family with a comfortable living besides educating his children.
On the 19th of March, 1835, Mr. WILSON took unto himself a wife and helpmate, Miss Jane BALDWIN, the wedding being celebrated at the bride’s home in this township. Mrs. WILSON was born in Berkeley County, Va., December 19, 1801, and was the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (WILSON) BALDWIN. Of this union there were born three children, all of whom are living, viz: Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas KENNEDY, of Moorefield Township; James B. living with his father and Mary J., the widow of Evan PRICE. Mrs. PRICE has two sons: Evan and James B.
The landed estate of Mr. WILSON comprises three hundred and forty acres which property he has accumulated largely by his own unaided efforts. Mrs. WILSON after remaining the faithful and affectionate companion of her husband for over forty years, departed this life at the homestead November 20, 1875. She was a devoted wife and mother and greatly respected among the people of her community. Mr. WILSON, politically, is a sound Republican. Before the organization of this party he was an old-line Whig and in 1840 cast his Presidential vote for Gen. William H. HARRISON. He has never missed voting for President since reaching his majority and almost without exception has fulfilled his duty at the polls upon the occasion of every election in his township. In religion he is a Presbyterian and in bygone years held the office of Deacon in his church. While uniformly successful as a financier and a farmer, he has in common with most men, experienced some losses, the heaviest being May 28, 1878, when his residence, with most of its contents, was destroyed by fire. Soon afterward, however, he erected that which he now occupies. This is built in the modern style of architecture, is handsomely finished and furnished and with its surroundings indicates the cultured tastes and ample means of the proprietor. A portrait of the venerable Mr. WILSON is shown on another page of this volume.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio
Chapman Bros., Chicago. Copyright 1890