The substantial and well-to-do citizens of Harrisburg have no better representative than J. C. Wilson, who stands high among the keen, progressive business men who are rendering such efficient aid


in advancing the industrial prosperity of this part of Saline county. He was born September 29, 1852, in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, which was likewise the birthplace of his father, John H. Wilson.

Brought up in the Keystone state, John H. Wilson learned the trade of a butcher, which he followed in connection with general farming for a number of seasons, owning a large tract of land. Induced by his brother-in-law, the late W. M. Christy, who was for twenty or more years a practicing lawyer of Harrisburg, to come to Saline county, Illinois, he located in Harrisburg, November 15, 1868, and soon after purchased the old Dick Stiff farm, lying one mile southwest of the city, and there resided until his death, at the age of four score years. In his earlier life he was identified with the Whigs, but after the formation of the Republican party became one of its most loyal adherents. He took great interest in local affairs, and for two terms served as county commissioner of Saline county. He was one of the organizers of the Presbyterian church at Harrisburg, in which he served as ruling elder. While living in Pennsylvania he joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and there being no lodge of that order in Harrisburg when he came here to live he soon took steps to secure a charter for one, and continued as one of its most active members until his death. His old farm of two hundred acres was in a rich coal section, and from it the land now included in the city cemetery was taken. His wife, whose maiden name was Jennie Christy, w~s born in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, and died about three years before he did, in Harrisburg, Illinois, on the home farm. Children blessed their union as follows: Ella J., wife of James Elder, a merchant in Harrisburg; Lizzie M., who married B. F. Davidson, died in early womanhood; Annie; Alice May, wife of W. H. Wiliford, living near Harrisburg; Kate, wife of a Mr. Robinson of Nashville, Tennessee; and H. N., a traveling salesman for the International Harvester Company, with headquarters at Longmont, Colorado.

Coming with the family to Harrisburg while yet in his 'teens, J. C. Wilson remained at home until twenty-six years of age, after attaining his majority, having entire charge of the home farm. He afterwards bought the adjoining farm, and has since met with eminent success in his agricultural operations, his well-improved estate containing three hundred and sixty-five acres of choice land, all in one body, and in its supervision Mr. Wilson has taken both pride and pleasure.

In 1897 Mr. Wilson, who still retained possession of his farm, moved to Harrisburg, and took a half interest in the Wolcott Milling Company, with which he has since been actively interested, having the entire charge of the grain interests and outside work, Mr. Wolcott attending to the supervision of the plant. This plant is one of the largest manufacturing enterprises of Saline county, having a capacity of six hundred barrels per day, with an elevator with a capacity for sixty-five thousand bushels of grain, and steel tanks in Harrisburg, The Company also has three steel tanks, forty thousand bushels capacity each, at Eldorado, and a mill at Stonefort used for the manufacturing of meal. The company likewise has an elevator and steel tanks at Equality; a warehouse at Carriers Mills; and also at Stonefort, in each of those places doing an exchange business. This enterprising firm ships its mill products to all parts of the Union, and receives its large supplies of hard wheat and spring wheat from Chicago, Minneapolis and Saint Louis, and with its most highly approved machinery and equipments manufactures some of the highest grade flour to be found in any market in the world.

Mr. Wilson married, December 12, 1879, Carrie Mugge, a sister of George G. Mugge, who was for seventeen years a member of the Wilson household, and of their union five children have been born, namely:


Jennie Pearl, wife of Arthur Dean, of East Saint Louis; Walter, engaged in the grocery business; Blanche, who married Eugene Schneirle, died in 1911, leaving one child, Eugene, who lives with his Grandfather Wilson; Stanley J., engaged in the mercantile business with G. G. Mugge; and Madge, wife of Everett Hess, of East Saint Louis. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are members of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Wilson has succeeded his father as an elder. Fraternally Mr. Wilson belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in addition to having passed all the chairs of his lodge has represented it in the Grand Lodge.

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