Thomas K. Wilkison
Morris Co. Up


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

Mr. WILKISON, who is a resident of Ledgewood, is a farmer and carpenter, and in following the latter calling he treads in the footsteps of his grandfather, Beniu WILKISON, who was one of the early contractors and builders of this locality, having erected many of the houses and other buildings which are still standing in the neighborhood. He also constructed a number of forges, but none of these are now in existence. He was exceedingly industrious, laboring early and late, and by his unflagging perseverance he amassed much property. He married a Miss OWEN, and their children were

  • Samuel,
  • David,
  • Charity,
  • Beniu,
  • Sallie,
  • Eliza,
  • Owen and
  • Daniel.

Jonathan WILKISON, the father of Beniu, was the first of the family to locate in Morris county, and was the owner of much of the mountain above Drakesville, including the site of Ledgewood.

Owen WILKISON, father of our subject, was born in Roxbury township, Morris county, in 1805, and died in 1846. He married Miss Sallie KING, who was born in 1811, and to them were born seven children:

  • Jane, wife of John Phoenix KING, of Ledgewood;
  • Christiana, wife of Thomas WILLETS;
  • Clarkson K.;
  • Eliza W., widow of Amos WILLETS;
  • Annie, deceased wife of J. PEASLEE, of Haverhill, Massachusetts;
  • Thomas King; and
  • Charles D., deceased.

The mother of this family was a daughter of John O. P. KING, whose father, George KING, came from Ireland to America during his boyhood and married Mary PHOENIX. He died in September, 1799, and lies buried in Succasunna. His children were

  • John P.;
  • William, who married Eliza WILKISON, a daughter of Beniu WILKISON and a granddaughter of Jonathan WILKISON;
  • Jacob;
  • Adam;
  • Absalom;
  • George Ralph;
  • Margaret, who married a Mr. WAGONER;
  • Mary, who became the wife of Mr. GRANT; and
  • Betsy, who married Mr. POTTER.

Thomas K. WILKISON, of Ledgewood, was born on the Beniu WILKISON homestead, March 15, 1843. His boyhood and youth were spent amid the surroundings of the country home, and his educational privileges were those afforded by the common schools. Between the ages of eighteen and twenty years he worked as a farm hand, and then spent one year in the Central Market in Newark, New Jersey, in the employ of T. H. PRUDEN. On the expiration of that period he returned to the farm, and after his marriage he located on the CODAZ farm, near the Hilts mine. On leaving that location be resided in Ledgewood for three years, following various pursuits during that time, and then purchased his present farm, which has been his home continuously since 1879. In the early '80s he went to Haverhill, Massachusetts, and accepted a position in the shoe factory of J. PEASLEE, but after two years returned to Ledgewood, where he has since carried on carpentering in connection with agricultural pursuits. He possessed considerable mechanical genius, handling tools with exceptional efficiency and at the same time manifesting great care and industry in the cultivation and improvement of his land. He was one of the incorporators of the Halsey Island Land Company and also of the Byram Cane Land Company, both at Lake Hopatcong, and is now a member of the firm of WILKISON & SCHEER, establishing a summer resort on the shore of Lake Hopatcong, known as Silver Spring Park. On the 30th of January, 1869, Mr. WILKISON was united in marriage to Miss Anna F. KING, a daughter of Reuben and Phoebe A. (DICKERSON) KING. She was born October 22, 1845, and is the youngest in her parents' family, the others being

  • Christiana W., widow of Lewis MESSENGER;
  • Phoebe M.;
  • George W.; and
  • Reuben W., deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. WILKISON have one child,

  • S. Florence, who was educated in Hackettstown Seminary and is now engaged in teaching.

Mr. WILKISON gives his political support to the Democracy, and has served his township on the tax commission. He also belongs to the First Baptist church, in which he has filled the office of deacon. He is always ready to respond to the call of duty and his loyalty to every interest entrusted to his care is most commendable.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


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