THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   JONATHAN M. WILSON, one of the oldest and most revered among the citizens of the pretty village of Stockbridge, was born June 12, 1813, in the town of Wilmington, Windham County, Vt. His father, Thomas Wilson, born in 1785, and Rachael (McGee) Wilson, his mother, born in 1789, were natives of the State of Massachusetts, and married there November 28, 1811. Thomas Wilson was a tanner and currier, and also followed the trade of shoemaker for some years. He came to the town of Stockbridge, N. Y., in 1825, being among its earliest settlers. As in the case of nearly all the pioneers, they came into a wilderness where their guns and ammunition served not only to provide their table with the plentiful game, but also to keep the wild and prowling Indian at a safe distance from their lowly log cabins. The journey was made by team, going by way of the old Cherry Valley turnpike; and in their humble cabin, on the site of which now stands their comfortable home, the only music heard was the whirr of the spinning-wheel, as the mother of the family, after her day of household toil, would end the evening in spinning the yarn that made the clothing for them. Rachael (McGee) Wilson died at the age of fifty. Her only child was Jonathan M.
   Thomas Wilson died in the village of Stockbridge, at the age of sixty-four. His second wife, Clara Pannell, survived him a few years. Mr. Wilson was a Democrat, holding some minor offices; and he and his wife were Universalists in their religious profession.
   Jonathan M. Wilson was twelve years of age when his parents came to Stockbridge, and through his boyhood he assisted his father on the farm. When he was about twenty-one years old, he bought a piece of land consisting of fifteen acres, and has since added to it until he now owns three hundred acres. He is one of the leading farmers in his vicinity, and has a dairy of from sixty-five to one hundred cows. Mr. Wilson also follows his fathers' trade as tanner, currier, and shoe-maker. He has lived in his present home since 1825. January 6, 1841, he married Miss Betsey M. Durfee, who was born in the town of Madison, Madison County, October 24, 1820. Her parents were William and Ursilla Durfee, who were natives of Rhode Island. The former was a farmer, and settled in the town of Eaton, Madison County, in 1787, being among the first settlers. The first land he bought was in the town of Madison, where he pursued general farming. Of his seven children, six grew up; but only three are now living. Thomas S. died at the age of forty-seven. Betsey Maria is now Mrs. J. M. Wilson. Eliza Ann died at the age of sixty-two. Deborah S. was fifty-eight years old at her death. J. S. Durfee resides in the town of Byron, Genesee County, and is a retired farmer. William V. lives in Waterville, Oneida County. William Durfee died when he was fifty-seven years old, and his wife at the age of forty-seven. He was a Democrat in politics.
   The happiness of our subject and his wife been greatly added to in being blessed children and grandchildren. Thomas A., who was born February 12, 1844, on the old home farm where he resides with his wife and two children, married Chloe A. Perry in 1868; and their children are: Ella Maud, born June 1, 1870; and Bessie Bell, July 29, 1872. He has been Postmaster for six years, and is a stanch friend and supporter of the Republican party. The second child of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson was Willie McGee. Ella M., Mrs. A. J. Barber, resides in the village of Oneida. Alzade R., Mrs. F. H. Brownell, also a resident of Oneida, has one daughter, Roslin Wilson Brownell.
   Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have the handsomest home in the village of Stockbridge, which they thoroughly enjoy, feeling that after a life of hard work and toil they have earned the rest and competence they have gained. In their religion, which is the Universalist, they are shining lights of true Christian fervor, and give a glorious example of the beauties of a well-spent life to the younger generation growing around them. Respected and venerated by their fellow-citizens, they have reared a monument to themselves in the hearts of the people; and, though their faces are turned toward the setting sun of life, they have no fears, confident in the hope of a joyous immortality. Mr. Wilson is a strong Republican, has always taken an active part in the politics of his town, and for ten years was Supervisor.

1999- MadisonCountyNewYork.com All rights reserved.