SAMUEL F. WILSON.
One of the representative farmers of Morning Sun township is Samuel F. Wilson, who is now a member of the board
of supervisors of Louisa county. He is a native and a member of one of the pioneer families of this county, his
parents being William M. and Miriam (Conway) Wilson, who were natives of Illinois and England, respectively. The
natal day of Samuel F. Wilson was the 2d of September, 1868, and the place of his birth the homestead which his
grandfather, John Wilson, procured from the government in 1839. The Wilson family has been identified with the
agricultural development of Louisa county for over seventy years, having located here during the infancy of William
M. Wilson, who has passed his three score and ten. The latter still owns a farm of one hundred and seventy five
acres in Morning Sun township, a large portion of which belonged to the original tract of government land entered
by his father. William M. Wilson continued the cultivation of this until 1906, at which time he and his wife retired
to Morning Sun, where they own a very pleasant residence. They are the parents of twelve children, all but three
of whom are living. In order of birth they are as follows: Winona, now Mrs. Z. J. Wilson, of Des Moines county;
William G., who is a resident of Louisa county; Samuel F., our subject; Leah R., who married T. D. Wilson, of the
state of Washington; Nellie, deceased; John, who is living in Des Moines county; Sarah E., who became the wife
of B. C. Owens, of Henry county, Iowa, Clarissa, deceased; Isaac, who died in infancy; Renwick G., who is living
in the state of Washington; James H., who is living in this county; and Mary E., at home.
Reared on a farm, Samuel F. Wilson attended the district schools in the vicinity of his home in the acquirement
of his education, at the same time becoming trained in agricultural methods. After laying aside his text books
he continued at home, assisting in the operation of the farm under the supervision of his father. When he had attained
his majority he felt he was fully qualified and competent to begin for himself, so he rented land which he continued
to cultivate until 1902. Having the requisite capital he then purchased one hundred and twenty one acres of his
present homestead, to which he has since added another forty, making the aggregate of his holdings one hundred
and sixty one acres. Here in connection with his general farming Mr. Wilson engages in feeding stock.
On the 4th of March, 1897, was celebrated the marriage of Samuel F. Wilson and Margaret Almina Elliott, who is
the seventh child of Richard and Nancy Ann (Woodside) Elliott. She was born on the old homestead southwest of Morning
Sun on the 12th of February, 1873. Her paternal grandfather; John Elliott, who was born in Belfast, Ireland, in
1787, emigrated to the United States in his early manhood and located in Preble county, Ohio. There he met and
subsequently married Miss Elizabeth Stevenson, and unto them were born fourteen children, ten of whom attained
the venerable age 'of three score and ten. Of this number, William and Mary Jane reside in Coulterville, Illinois;
Margaret Ann is now Mrs. Robinson, of Olathe, Kansas; David and Renrick live in Bellefontaine, Ohio; and Richard
in Morning Sun. Mrs. Elliott passed away on the 5th of March, 1855, at the age of sixty seven years, but her husband
survived until the 9th of October, 1863, dying at the age of eighty years. Richard, who was the eleventh member
of the family, was born in Fair Haven, Preble county, Ohio, on the 4th of November, 1834. At the age of sixteen
years he began to learn the carpenter's trade, which he continued to follow during the years of his active business
life in connection with agricultural pursuits. In his early manhood he went to Coulterville, Illinois, where he
remained until 1865. On the 9th of December, 1858, he was united in marriage to Nancy Ann Woodside, the third child
of John J. and Mary Ann (Burns) Woodside. Her father was born in Kentucky close to the Ohio border and in the paternal
line was of southern extraction, his father having been a native of South Carolina, but his mother was a Pennsylvanian.
John J. Woodside married Mary Ann Burns, who was born in the District of Columbia and was of Scotch extraction,
being descended from the same branch of the family as was Robert Burns, the poet. By this union eight children
were born, six of whom survive, one having died in infancy and the other at the age of seventy two. Those surviving
are: S. B., who is a resident of Coulterville, Illinois; W. J., who lives at Yates Center, Kansas; J. L., a resident
of Welston, Oklahoma; Sarah J., now Mrs. Hood, of Junction City, Kansas; Mary E., who is now Mrs. Carlisle, of
Loveland, Colorado; and Nancy A., now Mrs. Elliott, of Morning Sun. Mrs. Woodside passed away on the 15th of March,
1892, at Coulterville at the age of eighty two. Mr. Woodside survived her for three years, his demise occurring
on the 8th of Dcember at the same place, following the eightieth anniversary of his birth. The family were originally
Presbyterians and had long been affiliated with the Associate Reformed church, but for forty years prior to the
death of the parents they had been identified with the New Light Covenanters.
Nancy Ann Woodside, now Mrs. Elliott, was the third child in the family, her natal day being the 4th of June, 1841,
and the place of her birth Coulterville, Illinois. At the age of seventeen years she gave her hand in marriage
to Richard Elliott, who was seven years her senior. They continued to reside in Illinois, where three of their
children were born, until 1865, when they removed to Iowa. They drove to St. Louis, a distance of about fifty miles,
going by rail from there to Burlington, Iowa, where they arrived on the 5th of March. They covered the distance
from there to Morning Sun, which is twenty five miles, by wagon, spending their first night at the homestead of
William Cubit, now known as the Thomas Hensleigh farm. Their possessions when they arrived here consisted of a
wagon and a team of horses and about five hundred dollars in money. During the first two years of their residence
they lived in a small two room house about two miles southwest of Morning Sun. At the expiration of that time they
purchased a farm about a mile west, to which they removed in the spring of 1867, and for more than thirty years
that continued to be the family home. It is one of the valuable properties of the district, containing two hundred
and forty acres of choice land, and is still in possession of the family.
By the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Elliott there were born five sons and four daughters, all of whom are living. In
the order of birth they are as follows: William Joseph, born on the 17th of April, 186o, is now engaged in the
grain business in Superior, Nebraska; John Calvin, born on the 9th of August, 1862, is residing on a farm four
miles northwest of Superior; Annie May is the wife of William R. McElhinney, of Morning Sun; Mrs. Edith Arnetta
Wilson was born on the 18th of June, 1866, and is also a resident of Morning Sun; Robert Burns, born on the 29th
of March, 1868, is now a member of the Moon Elliott Lumber Company, of Kansas City, Missouri; David Coulter, born
on the 5th of March, 1870, is engaged in farming in the vicinity of Superior, Nebraska; Margaret Almina is now
Mrs. Wilson; Della Elizabeth, born on the 25th of October, 1875, was married on the 25th of April, 1894, to Charles
T. Reynolds, who is engaged in the grocery business in Fairfield, Iowa; and Delber Harvey, born on the 15th of
October, 1878, entered the ministry and is now pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian church at Denison, Kansas. Mrs.
Wilson obtained her early education in the common schools of Louisa county, after which she attended for one year
both the high school at Morning Sun and the academy at Washington, Iowa, and then engaged in teaching for six years.
The domestic life of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson was begun on a farm one mile east of Morning Sun but later they located
on a farm in the vicinity of Wapello. From there they removed to a farm near Newport, about four miles east of
Morning Sun, where they now reside. They have a very comfortable residence and a fine farm, which is under a good
state of cultivation and is well kept. One child, Harold Elliott, has been born unto them, his birth occurred on
the 5th of January, 1898.
The family attend the United Presbyterian church of Morning Sun, of which Mr. Wilson is a ruling elder. Although
she held membership in the Reformed Presbyterian church prior to her marriage Mrs. Wilson subsequently united with
the church with which her husband affiliated. His political allegiance has ever been given to the republican party.
He has always taken a prominent part in all local affairs and has held a number of the township offices and is
now serving on the board of county supervisors. He is an enterprising man of progressive ideas and in the administration
of his undertakings has met with success, now being recognized as one of the prosperous agricultnrists of his township.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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