SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.
by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER
PROF. HIRAM WILSON, A.M.
Portrait of Prof. H.A. Wilson
Hiram A. Wilson, son of Abijah Wilson, was born in the town of Winchester, Conn., Dec. 19, 1812. His mother's name was Lucy Wright. By the death of both his parents he was left an orphan at a tender age, and was reared by his brother till the age of fourteen. He then went to Lowville, Lewis Co., N.Y., and spent one year at the academy in that place. After this he spent two years at Huron, Ohio, and upon his return to his native State engaged in teaching.
By his own exertions he fitted himself for college, and entered Wesleyan University, at Middletown, Conn., where he graduated in 1838. Within one month after his graduation, by the appointment of the missionary board of the Methodist Episcopal church, he sailed for Buenos Ayres, where he established the first missionary school in that city, which he conducted most successfully for over two years. He returned home, and married Hannah Bosworth, of West Hartland, Conn., on the 12th of May, 1841.
It was his intention to return to his school, but during his absence its prospects were suddenly blasted by one of those periodic revolutions common to South America.
In the fall of 1841 he accepted the position of principal of the Jonesville Academy, at Jonesville, Saratoga County. Assuming the duties of his appointment, he remained in charge of the academy for the next twenty years. Under his administration it became one of the most efficient and prosperous institutions of learning in this portion of thc State. After closing his labors at the academy, he resided a few years at Brattleboro', Vt., where he became superintendent of public instruction, and held other honorable positions of trust.
In 1863 he took up his residence at Saratoga Springs, and was soon clothed with civil honors and responsibilities. He became president of the board of education, and took an active part in the establishment of the public school system of the town. In the Methodist Episcopal church of Saratoga, there is not a position eligible to a layman which he has not filled. In fact, Prof. Wilson has been so loaded with these responsibilities that he has been obliged to solicit relief from some of them. At the date of this writing, although sixty-five years of age, he is holding the offices of trustee, steward, class-leader, recording steward, district steward, chairman of the finance committee, collector, and Bible-class teacher.
In the recent church-building enterprise, which brought forth the beautiful Methodist temple at Saratoga, he was a leading spirit and an untiring laborer. During the building of the church and its financial struggle for existence, he was president of the board of trustees, and not only gave largely in proportion to his means, but spent months of labor and solicitation to free it from debt. The completed enterprise is one which reflects credit not only upon the local church but upon the denomination at large.
In the first general conference which admitted laymen in 1872, Prof. Wilson was one of the only two lay delegates representing the Troy Conference, one of the most important conferences represented in that body.
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