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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Union Township's Wilson Family Known Across U.S.

Contributor:
Dallas Bogan on 28 July 2004
Source:
Dallas Bogan, Warren County, Ohio and Beyond (Bowie Maryland: Heritage Press, 1979) page 249
Related Links:
The Ridge Farming Community
 
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The Wilson family was a very distinguished family of Union Township. Robert Wilson was born in Rockbridge County, Va., November 10, 1797. A significant number of the inhabitants of that county were of Scotch-Irish descent and were Covenantors in religion.
Among others that were from the Virginia County to settle in Warren County, were the Hopkins and Hart families, settling near Hopkinsville. These families assisted in the organization of an Associate Reformed Church, a denomination formed in America by a union of the Scottish Covenantor and Seceder Churches. Robert Wilson was a member of this church most of his adult life.
Robert Wilson II was eleven years of age when his parents immigrated to Ohio and established a home at Hopkinsville. He, like many other children of emigrants, was brought up on limited means. However, he tended to the necessity of acquiring the best education the country schools could offer. His education excelled in comparison to many other emigrant children. He later taught school at Hopkinsville and was elected to township offices, being assessor, and for a number of years Justice of the Peace of Hamilton Township. He was also County Treasurer and was elected as State Representative.
In 1843, he relocated from Hopkinsville to a farm he had purchased at the "Ridge" in Union Township. The location was about three miles below Lebanon where he lived until his death on November 15, 1854.
His intellect and ability allowed him to become a very successful farmer. Throughout his life he acclaimed "industry, education, morality and religion" as a practice of life.
Robert Wilson II, on August 25, 1825, married Martha Smith, daughter of James and Nancy Smith, who were pioneers of Hamilton Township. His wife survived Robert by 27 years who died at Lebanon in 1881, aged nearly 80 years. Eight children were born to this marriage.
Elizabeth H., the only daughter, was married to Allison L. Scott; she died in 1859.
Judge Jeremiah M. Wilson (named for Jeremiah Morrow) was the eldest son. He was born at Hopkinsville, November 24, 1828, and died at his home in Washington D.C., on September 24, 1901. He received his education in the common schools and the Lebanon Academy. He was possibly one of the most successful lawyers from the County of Warren. He studied law under Durbin Ward in Lebanon and later located at Connersville, Indiana.
Jeremiah was a judge when the Civil War broke out. He was the only one of his father's sons that did not enter the service. He was twice elected to Congress as a Republican from the Connersville area. At the close of his second tenure he made Washington his home and practiced law with such success that at the time of his death, he was one of the most acclaimed lawyers in the nation's Capitol.
Among his many distinctions was that at one time he was the attorney for the Union Pacific Railroad.
He became a very wealthy man and was president or director of some of the large corporations in Washington.
Judge William W. Wilson was the second son of Robert and Martha Wilson. He was also born at Hopkinsville and made Warren County his home nearly his entire life. He attended the Lebanon Academy and studied law under Judge John Probasco. He practiced his profession at Keokuk, Iowa, but was later called home because of the death of his father. He afterward made Lebanon his home.
William enlisted in the army as Captain of Company A, 79th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was made Major of his regiment from August 1862 to November 1864, being discharged for disability from an occurrence in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Returning home, he was elected mayor of Lebanon in April 1865. He was elected Probate Judge of Warren County in October 1865, an office he held until October 1869, when he was elected Representative in the Legislature, this tenure lasting only one term, thence resuming his law practice in Lebanon. He died at Lebanon, March 8, 1885, being only 54 years of age.
James S. Wilson, the third son, was employed as a clerk in a commercial venture in Hamilton, Ohio, when the Civil War broke out. He was mustered into the 3rd O.V.I.; he served as Lieutenant and Captain, and as Assistant Adjutant General of his brigade throughout the war. He served in the Army of the Cumberland, having seen action under Buell, Rosecrans and Thomas.
Providence M. Wilson was employed in the mercantile business in Franklin. He enlisted in the 2nd Ohio Militia, thus serving at First Bull Run.
Robert Bruce Wilson enlisted in Captain Rigdon Williams' company, the first company to leave Lebanon. He saw action the entire war, serving in the eastern sector of the country. He was a Captain at the close of the war. Robert was the third son who became a lawyer, his practice being located at Cincinnati.
Marshall L. Wilson was a mere boy at the start of the war. He served, in 1862, in the area of the Cumberland Gap. After the war he was employed in the railroad and telegraph service.
Americus Wilson, the younger son, enlisted in a 100-day regiment and served in West Virginia.


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