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George Wilson


Posted By: Sue Thielmann (email)
Date: 4/15/2005 at 20:27:45

Reminiscences of Lucy Elizabeth Stewart Wilson
These are the words of Lucy Elizabeth Stewart Wilson born 3 January 1857 in Ft. Madison, Lee County, Iowa. She was the daughter of Francis Stewart and Mary Bullard. She married George Wesley Wilson 30 November 1876 in Ft. Madison and died May 6, 1834 in Adair County, Missouri. She was returned to Ft. Madison for burial in the Wilson Cemetery. Endnotes are by Suzanne Hunt Thielmann, great-great granddaughter of the author.

George Wilson Family

The earliest account of the family is of Hugh Wilson and wife, Susan Skyles Wilson, living in Tennessee. They had several children.1 A son born June 22, 1809, named George, is the father of the present George W. Wilson.

Hugh Wilson moved from Tennessee to Indiana, then to Kentucky and then to southeast Missouri on the Black River. Did not stay there long till they moved to Schuyler County, Illinois.

While in Illinois there was a fearful storm, an account of which is in printed form.2 George was about seventeen years old at that time.

When about twenty-one, he married Rebecca Wallace.3 Shortly after marrying they move up to near Nauvoo, Illinois. Then as the Sac and Fox Reservation was opened for settlement, they decided to move across the river into Lee County, Iowa.

Both Hugh and George Wilson families moved. The Indians had been removed in the fall of ’32.

George Wilson and one of his wife’s brothers, Jim Wallace, crossed the river by swimming their horses and in a canoe at the mouth of Devil Creek. They rode for two days over Lee and Van Buren Counties and did not meet a human being.

Then this same summer, George was in the Black Hawk War but did not get up the river in time to see action4. Abraham Lincoln was Captain. They soon came back down the river as they went up – in a boat.

They didn’t see anything they liked any better than across from Nauvoo. The ice going out in January, George and his brother-in-law came over and built two cabins, one for George and one for his father, Hugh Wilson, who had several unmarried sons. They didn’t take time to put doors or windows in, just sawed out the holes.

In March, George and his wife, two small children, the baby three months old, George’s sister Polly Wilson, and his brother-in-law, Jim Wallace, came over bringing the household goods and stock in a flatboat. The women came in a canoe that one could not spit without danger of upsetting.

The same day they got to the house, George started back to Nauvoo to get grain and the rest of the folks and goods.

As soon as they got over, the loose stock wandered off and Jim went to hunt them, leaving the women at home. But the stock had gone several miles up the river. Night coming on, the wolves began to howl and the women got frightened and expected the wolves to rush in. They made torches and sat near the fireplace ready to stick them in and light them so as to fight the wolves off, each with a child in arms and with a quilt for a door and window. After dark, Jim came back and in a day or two Hugh and family came over with his large boys and soon they were comfortably fixed.

1Known children of Hugh Wilson and Susan Skyles: Sarah Sally b1801, Amaranth b1803, John b1806, George Wesley b1809, William b1811, Thomas Valentine b1814, James Carr b1816, Mary Polly b1818, Daniel Kramer b1826.

2Looking for documentation of a severe storm in Schuyler County, IL in 1824-1826.

3Rebecca’s last name is misspelled as “Wallis” in the IL state index of marriages.

4This is in direct contradiction to his obituary which credits him with heroic feats in battle.


Lee Biographies maintained by Sherri Turner.
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