IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Clark Wilson needs no introduction to the people of Audubon county. He is recognized as one of the best-known citizens of this county, having served for many years as custodian of the Audubon county court house. He is a man, who, by his many commendable qualities and honorable career, has enjoyed for a long time a favorable place in the hearts of the people of this county. It is eminently proper that attention be called to his life and career and due credit be accorded to him as one of the best-known citizens of Audubon county.

Clark Wilson was born on February 6, 1844, in Belmont county, Ohio, a son of Thomas M. and Mary (Richards) Wilson, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. The record of the Wilson family runs back to 1727, and shows that the family originated near Belfast, Ireland. Thomas M. Wilson, who was a cooper by trade, came to this country in the late seventies, locating on a farm at Hamlin, in this county, where he spent the remainder of his life. Thomas M. and Mary (Richards) Wilson were the parents of the following children: Andrew, a resident of Decatur county, Iowa; Jonathan, deceased; Robert, living in Washington; Clark, the immediate subject of this sketch; J. Calvin, of Des Moines, Iowa; Abner, deceased, who was a resident of Oskaloosa, Iowa; Harris, of Guthrie county, Iowa; Mrs. Mary Miles, of Kansas City; Mrs. Josephine Lefler, a resident of this county; Sarah Margaret, deceased, and Elizabeth, also deceased.

In October, 1856, Clark Wilson came to Iowa with his parents, who located in Mahaska county, where the father worked at his trade in connection with farming. On August 10, 1862, Clark Wilson enlisted for service in the Union army in Company C, Thirty-third Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war, being mustered out on July 7, 1865, at New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. Wilson participated in many severe engagements during his service, including those of Helena, Arkansas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Meridian, Mississippi; Jenkins Ferry and the siege of Mobile. He was with his company from the beginning to the end of the war, and was never wounded. For five months he was orderly and dispatch carrier at the brigade headquarters of Colonel Solomon. Mr. Wilson's first regimental commander was Col. Samuel A. Rice, and later his regiment was commanded by Col. Cyrus H. Mackey. From Mobile the regiment marched to Clarksville, Texas, to be ready for the invasion of Mexico. It was held there for a while and then was ordered back to New Orleans and sent to Rock Island, and there was finally paid off and discharged, arriving home on August 10, 1865.

After the close of the war, Mr. Wilson became a blacksmith and worked at this trade for thirty years at Hamlin, Iowa, and Sedalia, Missouri. He came to Audubon county from Sedalia in March, 1889, and operated a blacksmith shop at Hamlin until 1905, when he was appointed custodian of the court house and moved to Audubon, the county seat.

On April 6, 1868, Clark Wilson was married to Belle Neeley, of Sedalia, Missouri, who was born in 1849 in Ohio, a daughter of James M. Neeley, and to this union eight children have been born, namely: William C., of Audubon; Clark Elmer, of Audubon; Mrs. Anna Belle Campbell, of Melville township; Mrs. Mary Bedella White, of Dickinson county, Iowa; Mrs. Maud Ethel Armstrong, who lives near Coon Rapids, Guthrie county, Iowa; Ida, the deceased wife of L. J. Ward; Mrs. Josephine Owen, widow of George E. Owen, of this county, and Vera, who is still at home with her parents.

Mr. Wilson has always been an ardent Republican and is warmly interested in the political affairs of the county. He and his wife and family are all members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Wilson is a member of Allison Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and is a past commander of that post.

Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 488-490.
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