The day of the pioneer in this country is gone, and we are in the midst
of a settled stability and permanency. Nevertheless, as we look about us, we
find a few representatives of the early days, who become at once the center
of interest because they carry in their minds recollections of our hardy
forefathers. In this connection we make reference to one of the sturdy
farmers of this county, George C. Wilson. This gentleman was born in Pike
county, Ohio, on November 9, 1840, being the son of Samuel and Eliza
(Foster) Wilson, the former having been born on April 15, 1804, and the
latter on the 17th of May, 1806. The other children of the family were John,
born August 10, 1828; Richard, born August 18, 1831; Harriet, born February
12, 1833; Rachel, born May 5, 1836; Sarah, born July 18, 1838; George, our
subject; Tilton and Thornton, twins, born May 27, 1843; Margaret, born
September 20, 1846.
In 1842 the family removed to Illinois, where George was married October 20, 1864, to Mary J. Leckrone, the daughter of Mathias and Julia (Johnson) Leckrone, the former having been born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, June 18, 1815, and the latter in Licking county, Ohio, January 24, 1821. The following list gives the children of the Leckrone family: William, born November 10, 1838; Mary J., December, 1840; John, May 1, 1843; Harvey, August 29, 1847, born in Illinois; Sarah, January 25, 1852; George, July 30, 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have become the parents of the following children: Theodore Edgar, a teacher, and who is now an acting Justice of the Peace, was married to a Miss Appleman; Samuel M., married to Myrtle Maxfield; Harry E. married Louise See, and is now practicing medicine at Centralia, Illinois; Frank O. married Carrie Coombs and is now filling the pulpit of the Methodist church at Bunker Hill; two children, Harvey and Emma, are deceased.
Mr. Wilson has followed farming all his life and has been not only successful but progressive as well. He has taken good care of himself in every way, never having used tobacco or liquors in any form. Looking back over the vista of his years he often speaks of the little log cabin of his early days and the pioneer experiences of the times. A precious as well as interesting family relic in this home is a chair made in 1846 by his father, who was a tanner. The bottom is made of calf-skin, sewed with whang, and the leather is as good as new today. Mrs. Wilson takes pleasure also in bringing out a china plate given to her by her mother upon her marriage to Mr. Wilson. Those were the days of the loom and the spinning wheel, and the old wheel now set aside as a family treasure was kept busy for many a year by the skillful hands of Mrs. Wilson herself. She spun all the clothing for the men, and has today a quilt of three colors, red, white and blue, spun by her own hands. There was no need in those days for schools of manual training, as each household was a school in itself, and one not excelled by the later day institutions. No roads nor bridges were in existence at that time, and experiences with all kinds of wild game were quite common. Wild forests and untilled land occupied the places where the neighboring towns now stand, and Mr. Wilson speaks of the time when he had to go to Salem to vote. Doctor Wilson, brother of our subject, at one time hauled his oats to St. Louis and sold them for fifteen cents per bushel.
Mr. Wilson adheres to the tenets of the Republican party, and together with his wife, affiliates with the Methodist church.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 450-451.