HUGH WILSON. In many vocations of life are found those who possess a reputation for business sagacity which they do not really deserve. They are prosperous, not as a reward of their own struggles for success, but having inherited the fruit of others' toil, are in no way blameworthy for this fact. Yet it is evident to any thoughtful mind, that a man whose business has been organized and placed in a prosperous condition before he assumed control, does not require the experience and judgment which are essential to those who make their own road to fortune. In this respect the agriculturist possesses an advantage over his city brethren, inasmuch as his reputation is of necessity based almost entirely upon his own personal ability. He may inherit lands and gold, but if he lacks the prerequisites of his vocation, he cannot be a successful farmer even in name, for in no other path of life is incompetency so apparent. Therefore, the successful and prosperous agriculturist is always the man who must possess sterling qualities of his own, regardless of the property he may inherit. Among the latter class the name of Wilson is prominently identified. Henry Wilson was born east of the mountains, and in early manhood became a pioneer settler of Allegheny county, Penn., locating near McDonald. He was a prosperous farmer, and died on the old place, leaving a family of nine children.
William W. Wilson, a son of that pioneer, was born May 14, 1815, in Allegheny county, Penn., and received a subscription-school education He then learned the wagon-making trade, and first located at Eldersville, Washington Co., Penn. On April 8, 1836, he selected a life companion in the person of Jane Smith, who, was born December 25, 1811. She was a daughter of Robert Smith, of Jefferson township, this county. The young couple continued to reside in Eldersville until 1839, when they moved to Paris, Hanover township. The children of this family bore the following names: Alexander, living in Steubenville, Ohio, was born January 10, 1837; Hugh, born August 15, 1839; John S., a farmer of Hanover township, born November 6, 1841; William H., a liveryman of Burgettstown, Penn., born March 15, 1844; Rowena, wife of Russell Parks, Burgettstown, Penn., born March 23, 1847; Robert G., deceased at the age of two years, born .January 8, 1850; Rachel J., wife of W. V. Dunbar, of Smith township, born December 29, 1851; and James B., living in Washington State, born August 26, 1856. Mr. Wilson was a leading member of the Democratic party, having held several local offices. In 1874 he fell from his haymow, and, dislocating his neck, died instantly. In 1887 his widow was laid beside him in Paris cemetery. Both were consistent members of the U. P. Church.
Hugh Wilson, whose name opens this sketch, was born at Eldersville, this county, having been but an infant when his parents located in Paris. He attended the common schools, then hired out to R. S. Cook, living near Bulger, Washington county, with whom he remained some time. On March 25, 1868, he led to the altar Ophelia Russell, who was born in 1840. She was a daughter of John and Jane (Simpson) Russell, of Smith township. One son, John, was born to this marriage, February 4, 1882. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Wilson remained for some time as tenants on his father-in-law's farm. In 1880 he located on his present home in Hanover township, upon which he has made many improvements, successfully devoting his attention to general farming, stock raising and dairying. Politically he has always voted the Democrat ticket, and in religion he and his wife are members of the Florence Presbyterian Church.
Text taken from page 1056 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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