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Family of William Charles Wilson and Mary Jane Mills

WILLIAM CHARLES WILSON (DANIEL PEGG 3, JAMES 2, THOMAS 1) was born 21 February 1833 in Licking County, Ohio, and died Aft. 1900. He married (1) LOBIAH RICHMOND 3 March 1852 in Morgon County, Illinois, daughter of ALEXANDER RICHMOND and MAHALA HASSLER.. She was born Abt. 1836 in Tennesse, and died Abt. 1857 in most likely Washington, Territory. He married (2) MARY JANE MILLS 27 November 1858 in Portland, Oregon, daughter of ROBERT MILL and MARGARET MCGREGOR. She was born 29 June 1840 in Wood County, Ohio, and died 6 February 1910 in Melrose, Oregon.

Mary Jane Mills traveled to Oregon by way of the Isthmus of Panama and the ship Golden Gate in 1857.

Children of WILLIAM WILSON and MARY MILLS are:

William C. Wilson in about the year 1887 moved his family to a large ranch that he owned in Melrose near Roseburg, Douglas County Oregon. The ranch there consisted of 1608 acre. There the family raised whippet dogs. The Wilson farm house still exists today as the Carl Eder home located at 572 Cleveland Hill Road in Melrose, Oregon 97470. George and his sisters Blanche, Daisy and his brothers-in-law played in a musical combo for barn and Grange halls around Douglas County, Oregon. George played the fiddle and sang country dance calls. William and Mary Jane's children: Frank, Rosanna and Ida stayed in Portland.

William and Mary Jane's son Frank became employed in the riverboat business and became a captain. Frank married Elizabeth Guild, a niece of R. D. Inman, founder of the Inman Poulsen Lumber Company. They had no children.

William and Mary Jane's daughter Rosanna married her first cousin, Van Marion Bullard, together they had six children: Ivan, Trevor, Marion, Flossie, Kenneth and Jean. They lived on a ranch in Menlo, Washington.

William and Mary Jane's daughter Ida married Thomas D. Richardson in 1887 but she died only nine months later, no children were born to them. She is buried in the Lone Fir Cemetery in East Portland. 20

William's gold fever in the 1880's led him venturing into a gold mine in southern Oregon along with his father Daniel Pegg Wilson and William's son Frank. The mine was on a tributary of Cow Creek located near Azalia, Oregon, it was called the Green Mountain Mine. William's son Frank described the mine as: " It was a five-stamp mill and they had quite a lot of stock in this mine but not enough for the controlling interest. The only hold Pa had on the property was a three-year lease. When this ran out, they wouldn't renew the lease so he lost out, except for the stock ". William and his father Daniel invested a great deal of money into the mine. William's speculation in gold mining caused him to loose almost everything he owned.

William's father, Daniel Pegg Wilson, died in 1890, after which William was sued by his father's estate. The executor of the estate, William's brother George W. Wilson, claimed that moneys invested by Daniel Pegg Wilson in gold mining were in fact loans made to William C. Wilson and that this money should be paid back to their father's estate. William fought this case all the way to the Oregon State Supreme Court where William lost the case in 1894. This family dispute over William's father's estate was the apparent cause of a rift between the William C. Wilson and George W. Wilson families for which the two families seldom associated with one another again.

It was soon after the year 1900 that William C. Wilson, the father of eleven, then disappeared, never to be heard from again by his family. The last story concerning William C. Wilson is that he was last known by his family to be heading south, possibly for California to prospect for gold.

William C. Wilson's wife, Mary Jane, died in Melrose in 1910 and she is buried in the Melrose Cemetery.

Frank Wilson had various jobs over the years with riverboats. Frank became a riverboat captain. He was also employed as a carpenter, building contractor, house painter and mining engineer. Frank and his wife owned a restaurant in Neuberg, Oregon in the 1920's and 1930's.

William and Mary Jane's son Howard became blind as a result of an accident while taking apart a shotgun shell. He became a self-sufficient farmer, was an accomplished musician, never married and lived the rest of his life in Melrose, Oregon. Howard is remembered by still living neighbors as always having a happy disposition.

The Wilson's son Herman married Mary Pierce and they lived in Melrose, Oregon. Herman and Mary had two sons, Alva and Lloyd and a daughter Ione or also called Cleo.

Blanche, the third daughter of William and Mary Jane Wilson was married to Charlie Keys. They had only one child, a daughter named Leona who died at the early age of eighteen. Charlie Kyes was in the real estate business in Roseburg.

The William C. and Mary Jane Wilson's youngest daughter Daisy was married briefly to a man named Frank Nelson who treated her badly. Daisy moved to California and worked in a candy factory there. Daisy returned to Oregon and married Tom Ward and together they lived the rest of their lives in Melrose and Roseburg. Daisy was well known for selfless concern for others, she was a charter member of the Melrose Comfort Society. Daisey had no children.

George M. Wilson grew up in Melrose and graduated from high school there. He became a mail carrier and drove a stagecoach. After graduating from high school in Melrose George moved to Portland, where he initially worked for the Inman and Poulsen lumber company. George remained close to his family in the Roseburg area. The Roseburg news paper obituary for George M. Wilson read:

"Death In Portland Reported For Early-Day Melrose Man

Word has been received by relatives in the Melrose area of the recent death in Portland of a former Melrose resident, George M. Wilson. Wilson is survived, by a son Donald, and two sisters, Mrs. Blanche Kyes and Mrs. Daisy Ward, both of Roseburg. The Wilson family, including the late Howard and Herman Wilson, resided on a large farm in the Melrose-Elgarose area, and the present Carl Eder home was the original ranch house. Wilson was an early-day mail carrier on the old Roseburg to Millwood route."

The family was musically inclined. George Wilson played the fiddle, Blanche played the guitar and her husband Charley Keys played the banjo. Howard Wilson played many instruments and together with Daisy and her husband Tom Ward, they would all travel and perform at barn dances and Grange halls around the Roseburg, Oregon area.

George M. Wilson, in about the year 1900, moved to Portland where he worked for the Inman Poulsen Lumber Company and later became involved with a life long career in the food flavoring business. George married Estella Beckwith and they had two sons, one that died shortly after birth and a second son, Donald R. Wilson. George and Estella lived the rest of their lives in Portland.

The Van Marion and Rosanna Bullard families remained close to the rest if the W.C. Wilson families. The families of W. C. Wilson and V. M. Bullard often visited between the Bullard ranch in Menlo, Washington, the Wilson families around Roseburg and the George M. Wilson family in Portland. Rosanna Bullard died in 1926 and is buried in the Firndale Cemetery of Menlo, Washington.

Frank Wilson died in 1937 in Portland.

Howard died in 1937 and is buried in the Melrose Cemetery.

Herman Wilson died in 1942 and is buried in the Melrose Cemetery.

George M. Wilson died at the age of 81 in 1963 and is buried in the River View Cemetery of Portland.

Blanche Keys died in 1968 in Roseburg, Oregon and is buried in the Melrose Cemetery.

Daisy Ward was the last of the William C. and Mary Jane's children to pass away. Daisy died in 1972, having lived to be 97 years old. She is buried in the Melrose Cemetery.

The only known families to continue the line of William C. and Mary Jane Wilson to this day are from their children Rosanna Bullard, and George M. Wilson. The Bullard families often have large family reunions in Menlo, Washington. The last of the males to carry on the Wilson name from William C. Wilson are his grandson Donald R. Wilson of Salem, Oregon and William's great grandson Clark J. Wilson of West Linn, Oregon.

Submitted by Clark J. Wilson

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