WILLIAM ANDERSON WILSON. In the year 1880 Mr. Wilson established himself on a tract of Bell county school land, eight miles southeast of Sunset, in Montague county, and set about the task of clearing up a farm and building him a humble home. His capital was small, like his family then, and the work which he and his industrious wife did then laid deep and well the foundation for their present-day prosperity and independence.
The farm of one hundred acres which Mr. Wilson first bought was covered with timber, and the task which presented itself to their young minds might have appalled less stouter hearts and less industrious hands. The countless strokes necessary to bring this tract under subjection and to class it among the improved places of the locality were all spent, in time, and additional efforts were directed upon other purchases of land, and corresponding improvements made until prosperity has crowned their labors with an estate of three hundred and sixty acres of land and all their successes have not yet been achieved. Capping the brow of an elevation some eighty rods back from the Sunset and Uz road stands the family domicile, protected by forest and orchard, and bidding a silent welcome to friend and neighbor to its hospitable portals. These substantial tokens tell of the reward for years of intelligent toil, spent by the domestic circle, and indicate the possibilities of success under property directed and continuous effort.
Mr. Wilson established himself in the Lone Star state in 1877, taking up his first residence in the east portion of Tarrant county. Four years there sufficed to convince him that conditions were not favorable for his greatest agricultural achievement and he sought the scene of his present location, and with the results as mentioned above. He migrated to Texas from Hardeman county, Tennessee, where his birth occurred November 3, 1841. He was brought up in a country district and obtained little education because of the character of the schools of the that day. During the Civil war he was in sympathy with his country as against the Confederacy and he enlisted in the Union army in 1862, his command being Company A, Sixth Tennessee Cavalry, under Colonel Hurst. His regiment was first under General A. J. Smith and then under General Thomas and the only battle in which he participated was the one at Nashville, in which the Confederate General Hood’s army was destroyed. His command remained in Tennessee during the remainder of the war and his company was mustered out at Pulaski at the end of the war.
William A. Wilson is a son of Ingram and Louisa (Hunnell) Wilson, both native Tennessee people, farmers and immigrants to Montague county, Texas. The parents died here. Their children were: William A., our subject; Mary, Permelia, Jesse, Martin, Sarah A., Martha, Margaret, Eliza, Nancy, Parley, Miranda and Mandie.
Tracing up the genealogy of the Wilson family of this branch we find our subject descended from William Wilson, a soldier of the war of 1812, who passed his life as a Tennessee farmer and passed away there about 1870 at about seventy-five years of age. By his marriage he was the father of Nancy, wife of John Ross; Delilah, wife of Philip Deaton; Squire, of Fannin county, Texas; Anderson and Ingram; William, of Runnells county, Texas; Sallie, wife of Henry Hatch; Solomon and James, both killed in battle during the rebellion; Lottie, who died in Arkansas, was the wife of Nelson Huddleston; Jesse, Jason and Martin.
December 18, 1870, Mr. Wilson married Josephine Haultom, the only child of Charles and Martha (Russell) Haultom, the former of Tennessee and the latter from North Carolina. The issue of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are: Jessie, who died at four years of age; Marion A., of Clay county, Texas; Malanie, wife of Manley Wilson, and Lurilda, wife of Jesse Gee; Leona, Elisha, Julia, Cora, Myrtle and Charles complete the family circle.
Mr. Wilson learned his politics during the days of Lincoln, for whom, in 1864, he cast his first vote and through the campaigns since he has supported the presidential candidate of the Republican party. In local matters he is in accord with Democrat doctrines and casts his vote for white supremacy and common decency in local affairs. In matters pertaining to the county’s welfare and his own it has been mutually good for him to be here. His family as a whole has filled a positive niche in the county’s industrial, civil and social fabric and as part of the great mass of the plain people who give stability to our civil institutions and control the destiny of our nation honor and credit is justly due.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 100-101.