IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Eugene C. Wilson, a retired farmer living at Exira, Iowa, who owns a farm of two hundred and eighty-five acres in Exira township, besides four hundred acres in Minnesota. Mr. Wilson has had a varied career. He is a skillful carpenter and for many years worked at that trade. While living in California he was the proprietor of a bee ranch. He was also engaged while a resident of that state in mounting birds, and besides a choice collection which he sold to a college museum in Turkey, Mr. Wilson has an extensive private collection. For many years he was one of the foremost farmers of Audubon county, raising thousands of head of hogs and buying, feeding and shipping many carloads of cattle. Mr. Wilson has lived retired since 1904, in which year he moved to Exira, built a fine home at a cost of ten thousand dollars, a house which consists of ten rooms and is strictly modern in every respect, and there he has been living for the past eleven years.


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Eugene C. Wilson, a retired farmer of Exira township, now living in Exira, was born on January 21, i860, in Geneseo, Illinois, the son of Isaac N. and Ann Eliza (Joslin) Wilson, both natives of New York. When he was thirty years old, Isaac N. Wilson moved to Illinois and purchased a farm, on which he resided for a few years, after which he moved to Geneseo, in that state, where he engaged in the grain business, and was thus actively engaged for thirty-six years, at the end of which time he retired, his death occurring in Geneseo in 1911. Isaac N. Wilson was born on May 7, 1824, and was therefore eighty-seven years old at the time of his death. During all of his residence in Geneseo he was prominent in the commercial and financial affairs of the city, and for forty years was connected with the Geneseo First National Bank. He was also a member of the board of supervisors in Illinois. Isaac N. Wilson became a resident of Ilinois in 1853. The following year he was married to Ann Eliza Joslin, to which union five children were born, Ida, Eugene, Frank, Edward and Emma. Ida died at the age of eighteen. Eugene is the subject of this sketch. Frank died in infancy. Edward married Elma M. Henney, and Emma married F. L. Smith.

Edward Wilson was associated with his brother, Eugene, in farming from 1886, when they came to Audubon county, until 1893, during which time they were engaged in farming two hundred and forty-seven acres of land. They were accustomed to feed four hundred head of hogs, and at least a hundred and twenty-five head of cattle annually. Eugene Wilson bought out his brother Edward in 1893 and continued the operation of the farm alone until his retirement in 1904.

Eugene C. Wilson attended school at Geneseo, Illinois, and for some time was a student in the high school at that place. He then entered the Davenport Business College, from which he was graduated, and after completing the business-college course returned to his home in Illinois and there took up farming and carpentry work. After having been engaged in this for one year he went to California and there operated a bee ranch for two years. Selling out his California property, he returned to Illinois, and in 1886 came to Iowa, locating in this county. While in California Mr. Wilson trapped birds and mounted them. One of his collections was sold in Turkey, and he brought back to Illinois about six hundred specimens of birds. After his return to Illinois and until his removal to this county, he was engaged in carpenter work. He also engaged in raising fast horses for a long time, and for thirty years was an advocate of good roads, doing much to improve the highways at his own expense. Mr. Wilson is also a musician and was a member of the band at Exira for a great many years.

Eugene C. Wilson was married in 1896 to Jennie M. Bliss, the daughter of George and Jane Bliss, to which union one child, Irving N., was born. Mrs. Wilson died in 1904, and Mr. Wilson married, secondly, Belle B. Lancelot, daughter of W. J. and Phoebe (Crow) Lancelot. Two children, both daughters, have been born to this second union, Marjorie and Marguerite, twins, both of whom are living at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are members of the Congregational church. Mr. Wilson served as township trustee for three years having been elected on the Republican ticket.

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. 368-370.
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