Biography of Frederick W. Wilson
Oregon Biographies





Frederick Wallace Wilson, judge of the seventh judicial district, was born in 1872, in the town of College Hill, Ohio, which was the early home of his father, Joseph Gardner Wilson, an eminent Oregon jurist and member of congress. The latter was among the early settlers of this state, locating in Salem in 1850. He became one of the best known and most popular men of his time. In 1863, when the eastern Oregon judicial circuit was established which at that time included all of eastern Oregon, he was appointed judge and continued to preside over that court until 1870, when he resigned to accept the nomination of his party for congress, but in the election his party was defeated. Two years later, however, he was the unanimous choice of the republican convention for the same office and was elected by a large majority. On the way east the family stopped at College Hill, Ohio, his native place, and there his son, Frederick Wallace Wilson, was born. The father had been invited to deliver an address to the students of Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, which institution had been his alma mater, but he was taken ill and died the day before the oration was to be delivered. His bereaved widow and her little family returned to The Dalles and in a short time afterwards she was appointed postmistress by President U. S. Grant, which position she filled for twelve years. She bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Millar and was a daughter of the Rev. James P. Millar, a United Presbyterian missionary, who came to Oregon in 1851. He lost his life in the explosion of the steamer Gazelle in 1855.

Frederick W. Wilson began his education in the graded schools of The Dalles and later entered Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, from which he was graduated in 1891. He then attended Johns Hopkins University and was graduated from that institution in 1893 with the degree of B. A. Returning to The Dalles, he took up the study of law and was admitted to practice in 1896. His talents soon earned him a high place at the bar and in 1909 he was elected district attorney of the seventh judicial district, which then embraced Wasco, Crook and Hood River counties. He served as district attorney for several years and in 1917 he was appointed judge of the seventh circuit. In 1918 he was elected to succeed himself as the republican candidate, but also with the endorsement of the democratic party, which placed no candidate in the field against him. In handling the business of his court, from the same bench which his father occupied, Judge Wilson has won universal esteem, his judicial knowledge and judgments invariably meeting with public approval.

In 1914 Judge Wilson was united in marriage to Miss Content Elton, a daughter of James A. Elton, a well to do farmer living in Wasco county. They are the parents of a son, Joseph Gardner Wilson, who has been named for his grandfather. The Judge is a past exalted ruler of the Elks and is a member of the college fraternities, Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Theta Pi. He is also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution; the board of overseers of Whitman College; the State Bar Association; and The Dalles Chamber of Commerce. The Judge and his wife take an active and earnest part in the social and cultural activities of The Dallies and surrounding district, and are ever ready to throw the weight of their influence on the side of all movements calculated to serve the best interests of the community.

Judge Wilson is a warm supporter of the republican party and has been in much demand for addresses, being a clever and cultivated speaker. When engaged in the practice of his profession, his brethren at the bar regarded him as an excellent trial lawyer, and he is now a judge in whom they have confidence. He takes a keen interest in the study of American history, in all aspects of which he is exceptionally well posted.

From:
History of Oregon Illistrated
Vol. 3
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922


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