JOHN T. WILSON
††††††††††† For a period of fourteen years John T. Wilson has worked systematically and effectively to further the interests of the Federal Land Bank of Berkeley, of which he is vice president and a director, but makes his home in San Fernando, and is one of the few remaining pioneers who have witnessed the progress of civilization in this beautiful valley.† He was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, January 10, 1861, a son of Christopher North and Jane (Estep) Wilson, who came with their family to the Pacific coast, arriving in California on the 2nd of January, 1871.† The father was a very early settler in the San Fernando Valley in what is now known as Wilsonís Canyon, which was named for him, and did much to develop and improve that district.† The Olive View Sanitarium is now located on his ranch.† He was an able attorney and successfully followed his profession in southern California for forty years.† His long, upright and useful life was brought to a close in 1914 and the death of his wife occurred in 1900.
††††††††††† John T. Wilson, the sole survivor of a family of six children, was a lad of ten when his parents established their home in the Golden state and his educational advantages were those afforded by the grammar and high schools of Los Angeles.† Mastering the trade of a printer, he secured work in the plant of the Los Angeles Express and left that paper to join the construction force of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company when the line was being extended from Los Angeles to San Francisco.† He spent three years with the road, and in 1882 took charge of the George K. Porter ranch which comprises thousands of acres of land.† The Porter Land & Water Company was later sold to the Mission Land Company, but during these changes Mr. Wilson remained in charge, acting gas manager for more than thirty years.† The property was then subdivided and sold in small tracts and thousands now have their homes on the old San Fernando Mission ranch.† Subsequently Mr. Wilson had the light and power franchise for the city of San Fernando, purchasing current from the Southern California Edison Company, and was also a dealer in General Electric supplies in San Fernando.† This business he conducted successfully for fifteen years, selling it at the end of that time.†† Meanwhile he had entered financial circles; becoming connected with the Federal Land Bank of Berkeley, and since 1919 has given all of his time to its affairs.† The bank operates in four states and in the promotion of its interests he travels extensively, rendering valuable service to the large financial institution which he capably represents.
††††††††††† In 1888 Mr. Wilson was married to Miss Grace Lopez, who was a member of one of the oldest families in the San Fernando Valley. †She was a daughter of Geronimo and Catalina L. de (Lopez) Lopez, the father being proprietor of the old Lopez stage coach station.† Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were the parents of two sons:† John J., a well-known lawyer of Los Angeles, married Mildred Hobbs, of Alameda, and has to sons, Jack and James.† Theodore R. is with his father.† The wife and mother died in October, 1931.† Mr. Wilson has advanced through all the chairs of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is also affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.† He worships in the Episcopal Church, and in politics is a Democrat.† Elected justice of the peace for San Fernando Township, he proved so well qualified for the office that he was retained therein for eight years.† He is one of the best known men in the valley and throughout his career has been guided and impelled by those high principles and standards which constitute the basis of all honorable and desirable prosperity.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 441-442, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis.† 1933.
© 2012 †V. Gerald Iaquinta.