David H. Wilday
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

In the establishment of a new town one of the most indispensable and important factors is the contractor and builder, and his usefulness in the promotion of the city never wanes. The work of repair, improvement and progress, continually being carried forward, all calls into play his services and skill, and in the business life of the municipality he occupies a leading. position. For twenty-eight years Mr. WILDAY, of this review, has been connected with the substantial development of Morristown, and he ranks among the foremost and the prosperous representatives of the building interests of the city.

Born in Whippany, New Jersey, on the 4th day of March, 1847, he is a son of John WILDAY, who was of Scotch ancestry and birth and came to the United States in 1826, with his father, John WILDAY, Sr., who first located in Paterson, but about two years later removed to Whippany. He was a weaver by trade, but his son John became a machinist. The latter married Miss Susan MOORE, a daughter of Henry and Margaret (MC DUFFET) MOORE, and she died in 1890 at the age of seventy-three years. David H. WILDAY was the fourth in order of birth in their family of six children, of whom only four are now living:

  • Mrs. Augusta WOODRUFF, of Whippany;
  • Mrs. Eliza HOPPING, of Afton;
  • Mahlon, of Whippany; and
  • our subject.

David H. WILDAY spent his youth in his native town and began to learn the carpenter's trade in Rockaway, New Jersey, when eighteen years of age, serving an apprenticeship to Joseph BOWER. He began his career as a journeyman in Dover, Morris county, where he remained for two years, when, in May, 1870, he removed to Morristown, where he has since made his home. He was employed by others until February, 1872, when he began contracting on his own account, his first contract being for the erection of a house for Mrs. BRINDLEY, at the corner of Perry street and McCulloch avenue. He has built many of the excellent structures of the city, including the residences of Mary C. SMITH, on James, South and Perry streets; of Rev. VANDERPOOL, on South street; of Dr. UEBELACKER, on South street; of Augusta BELL, Dr. BRADFORD and Mrs. THOMAS, all on Maple avenue; of Charles ROBERTS, Mr. HOLLOWAY and James BONSELL, all on De Hart street; of Frank VAN ORDEN, on Wetmore avenue; George W. COLLES, Mary T. BALDWIN and Mrs. HARTLEY, on Farragut Place; the George MILLER mansion and stables and gardener's cottage; the homes of George V. COLLES and Daniel JAMISON, on Mt. Kemble avenue; the residence of Rev. William T. EGBERT, on Maple avenue, and his houses on Franklin place and Hill street, also on Egbert hill; the EVANS mansion on Madison avenue and Roberts & Marsh’s dwellings on Madison avenue. Through twenty-eight years' connection with the building interests of Morristown Mr. WILDAY has maintained a reputation for trustworthiness and efficiency which has not only placed him in the front rank in his business and gained him a liberal patronage, but has also won him the unqualified confidence and regard of his fellow citizens.

Mr. WILDAY has been twice married. In Rockaway, New Jersey, in 1869, he wedded Miss Malinda WEIR, who died in 1870, leaving a son,

  • Irving, who is now associated with his father in business.

In 1873 was consummated the marriage of our subject and Miss Anna R. WILSON, a daughter of Charles and Sallie (CLAWSON) WILSON, and to them have been born four children, two of whom are yet living, namely:

  • Anna May and
  • Mary C.

For the past eleven years Mr. WILDAY has served as a member of the board of education of Morristown and has done effective service in the interests of the schools. He has also been a trustee of the Evergreen Cemetery Association for a period of nine years. A member of the Masonic fraternity, he has taken the blue-lodge, chapter and commandery degrees, and in the Royal Arcanum he also holds membership. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, and is deeply interested in all movements intended to advance the moral, material, education, and social welfare of the community. His firm purpose, honorable dealing and fidelity to duty are numbered among his strongest characteristics and make him a man whom to know is to respect.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


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