Biography of Ramon E. Wilson
San Francisco, CA Biographies





RAMON E. WILSON
The passing of almost four decades since his death has not erased the name of Ramon E. Wilson, prominent attorney and eminent sportsman, from the memory of the community where he lived as one of its most respected and beloved citizens. His passing was premature, but during the years he was active he created an imperishable reputation in his profession and in the field of outdoor sports.

Mr. Wilson was born in Guadalajara, capital of the state of Jalisco, Mexico, July 21, 1851, and was a son of Samuel B. and Louise (Walibridge) Wilson. At the time of the outbreak of the Mexican revolution in 1854, the Wilson family departed from Mexico and came to California, where they settled in the Napa valley, on a tract of land long afterward known as the Wilson rancho. In his youthful years, Ramon E. Wilson cherished the ambition to be a lawyer, and he kept this in his mind while he completed his public school education. He then began his professional training in the Harvard Law School, and from this famous institution he received the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the practice of law in the state of Massachusetts in 1875, and was subsequently admitted in California and in Nevada. Upon his return to California, he immediately entered active practice, and was successively a member of the law firms of Este, Boalt & Wilson; Este, Wilson & McCutcheon; and Wilson & McCutcheon. His offices were in the Mills building in San Francisco. His success in the law came quickly, due to his signal ability, and much litigation of prime importance was placed into his hands. He was one of the executors of the great Hobart estate; he was the attorney for Lloyd Tevis; and he managed the Hayward affairs in Nevada. He was a member of the California State and the San Francisco Bar Associations, and was an earnest supporter of each of these organizations. His contemporary lawyers honored him for the strict ethical attitude he maintained in his practice and considered him a most formidable antagonist in the courts. Among his other activities, he was president of the Holmes Mining Company, and a director in the California Light Company.

The general public knew Mr. Wilson as one of the foremost sportsmen of the city, an accomplished fisherman and hunter, and as one who believed in the advancement and encouragement of clean sports. He was extremely popular among men who were devotees of various sports. He was considered the most expert fly fisherman on the coast, and he was so vitally interested in this sport that on June 28, 1891, Governor Markham appointed him a member of the state fish commission. He served for two years as secretary of this commission, and was one of the most officient workers in its behalf. Owing to the pressure of his increasing practice in the law, he was eventually forced to relinquish his work upon the commission. Governor Markham, in his last message, paid him marked compliments for his efforts, and expressed his regret over his retirement from the position. Every year, Mr. Wilson spent several weeks at Webber lake, and on these trips was accompanied by his wife, who was likewise an expert angler. He could cast with accuracy for a distance of eighty to ninety feet, although his usual distance was about forty five feet. In his home, he kept an exceptional collection of fishing tackle and rods, some of the latter weighing as little as three ounces. He also possessed a fine collection of English guns. His enthusiasm for outdoor sports also led him to become one of the organizers of the Country Club, in which he was a member of the committee on lakes and streams. He was generally considered an authority on sporting topics, and for a number of magazines and journals he contributed articles on fishing and outdoor life in California.

On November 16, 1876, Mr. Wilson was married to Camilla Regina Effie Bronson, of New York city, and to their union was born one daughter, Marion Ramon Wilson. Both the mother and the daughter reside at 3952 Fulton street, San Francisco. Mrs. Wilson has always been an enthusiastic sportswoman, and has written many fishing stories and sketches for the Breeder and Sportsman under the nom de plume of Petronella. She is also a poet of ability. She is a member of the Century Club, was one of the founders of the California Club and also belongs to the organization of Pen Women.

For fifteen years she lectured on Bible history in various classes. She has made a number of trips abroad, one lasting five years, from 1910 to 1915. Marion Ramon Wilson, her daughter, is an accomplished musician and mad her debut in voice on a Dresden stage.

Mr. Wilson was a communicant of the Roman Catholic Church, and belonged to the Pacific Union Club, the University Club, the Olympic Club, the Harvard Club, the Jockey Club, the Knights of Pythias, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. One of his greatest pleasures in life was the making and keeping of friends, and all of those with whom he came in contact remember with tenderness the fine pleasure of his association and acquaintance with his democratic personality. Mr. Wilson's death occurred suddenly in September, 1893.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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