Marion County

Biography - Eliza Wilson 1806-1900

Eliza Foster Wilson's obituary states that she died at the old homestead in Alma township at the age of 93 years, 11 months and 4 days. "Aunt Eliza" as she was familiarly known, was the oldest lady resident in Marion County. She was born in Pike County, Ohio, May 17, 1806, was united in marriage with Samuel Wilson in 1827 and with her husband came to Illinois in 1842 where they located a farm site on which she has lived and died, having resided at the same home place for 58 years.

The husband lived but five years after coming to Illinois. At his death, the wife and mother was left with nine children, thereafter battling with the trials of life alone, of this she has made a splendid success. Aunt Eliza was a woman of most excellent traits and forcible demeanor. She was always true and devoted to her country, her family and the church of her choice, which was the Methodist Episcopal. She enjoyed the proud distinction of having been a Methodist longer than any other person in Illinois as she was converted while quite young, therefore she has been a Methodist for more than 80 years.

This venerable old lady has been a prominent personage at the old settlers’ reunion since the organization of the association, and for years, an event that was looked forward to with pleasure was the anniversary of "Aunt Eliza" Wilson's birthday.

Eliza's husband, Samuel Wilson, died in 1847 from pneumonia which he contracted after falling off his horse into the Mississippi River while herding swine to market in Saint Louis. Eliza raised her large family more or less on her own, though she no doubt received some assistance from her father-in-law, John Wilson, and his wife, Sarah Tilton Wilson.

Eliza's birthday parties were indeed memorable, as my own grandmother, who was born in 1885, remembered them with fondness.

Joe Broom


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