Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WILLIAM C. WILSON was born on
August 30, 1847, the son of David L. and Elizabeth (Lundley) Wilson, natives
of Virginia. The father came to Pike county, Indiana, in 1821 and
there farmed seventy years, dying there in 1891, aged ninety-eight.
The mother died in Indiana. The paternal grandfather of our subject
was born in Germany and came when young to the colonies and fought through
the Revolution. He died at the advanced age of one hundred and four
years. One son of this venerable man is now living in Humansville,
Pike county, Missouri, aged one hundred and five years. His name
is I. C. Wilson and he served through the Mexican war. Our subject
has the following brothers and sisters, Mrs. Mary M. Jacob, whose husband
was sergeant in the Forty-second Indiana during the Civil War and was killed
in the battle of Chattanooga; Abraham, who was killed in the battle of
Vicksburg; Mrs. Elizabeth Stone; Mrs. Nancy Gillmore; John; Mrs. Amelia
Penner. All those living are dwelling in Pike county, Indiana, except
William C. was educated in the common schools
and in the spring of 1870 went to Vicksburg Landing, Mississippi, and engaged
in raising cotton in the bottoms of the Sunflower river. A break
in the levee caused a flood to destroy his entire crop, consequently he
retired to Missouri and took up selling agricultural implements.
Later he engaged under Captain Eads and assisted in the construction of
the great St. Louis bridge. Following this Mr. Wilson had charge
of track laying for the M. K. & T., and put down the steel from Venatta
to Colvert station, a distance of nearly six hundred miles. In the
spring of 1872 Mr. Wilson was engaged as foreman of a crew in the construction
of the Panama canal with Captain Eads, and the next year went through South
America. Returning to Galveston we find him engaged again in railroading
and in various places he had charge of track laying until 1880, when he
finished from San Antonio to El Paso. Here the Indians were hostile
and the workmen had to operate under a guard of soldiers. In the
spring of 1884 Mr. Wilson came to San Francisco, and later was foreman
for David Husher on a large ranch. In the fall of 1886 we see our
subject in Ellensburg, Washington, where again he took up track laying
and operated on the Northern Pacific for Hale & Smith, being present
at the driving of the golden spike on the western side of the Cascades.
This occurred in May, 1887. In July, he was in the Siskiyou mountains
laying track for Hale & Smith again on the Southern Pacific.
There he constructed the road from Albany to Ontario, Oregon. Later
we see Mr. Wilson in Waterville, where he did farming until the spring
of 1894, when he located land south of the Columbia river, opposite Brewster.
After improving with a fine orchard and so forth he sold the ranch in the
fall of 1902 and located in Brewster, where he erected a fine residence
and opened a harness shop. On August 8, 1903, Mr. Wilson suffered
by fire to the extent of his entire holdings, such as buildings and stock,
but he immediately rebuilt and stocked his store. Mr. Wilson also
owns several business buildings in Brewster, which he rents. He has
a good, large stock of harness, saddles and so forth, and in addition to
doing new work handles a good repair trade. He is one of the substantial
and leading business men of the county.
At Ellensburg, on February 26, 1888, Mr. Wilson
married Miss Leona, a native of the Willamette valley, Oregon. Her
father, John Hanna, married Miss Mary A. McDonald, and settled in the valley
in very early days. He met his death in a railroad accident at The
Dalles in 1883. The mother crossed the plains when a child with her
parents with ox teams and is now dwelling in Ellensburg. To Mr. and
Mrs. Wilson six children have been born, Madge M., George D., Hester J.,
Quintin A., Hallie B., and Leona.