Among the popular citizens of Centralia, Marion county, Illinois, is the
gentleman whose name appears at the head of this sketch, the well known
assistant postmaster, who was born in New Albany, Indiana, July 12, 1866,
the son of Oliver O. and Maggie E. (Ma thews) Wilson. His father's family
consisted of three children, our subject being the second child and only
son. His parents were both natives of Indiana. Oliver O. Wilson was
superintendent of the Indiana Reformatory. He is now deceased, as is also
his wife, who passed away March 30, 1900. Our subject was five years old at
the time of his father's death.
The early education of the subject of this sketch was gained in the public schools, where he applied himself as best he could and gained a fairly good education. He went to work in the Nail Mill of Centralia, working for two years as a nail cutter, and was later employed by F. D. Rexford, of the Centralia House, and worked there for a period of seventeen years, having given entire satisfaction in each of these lines, being industrious and quick to gain a knowledge of the business. He was clerk and general utility man in the latter's employ. He then went to Boone, Iowa, and managed the Cole Hotel for one and one-half years, selling out and returning to Centralia in March, 1903, where he was appointed assistant postmaster under E. L. Welton. He has very creditably and satisfactorily filled this position to the entire satisfaction of all concerned.
Mr. Wilson was united in marriage with Nellie Surles September 11, 1900.
One daughter brightens the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, bearing the name of Helen Lucile, whose date of birth occurred March 14, 1903.
Mr. Wilson in his fraternal relations is a member of Blue Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, No. 201; also the Centralia Chapter No. 93; and Council No. 28, Cyrene Commandery No. 23. He also belongs to the Oriental Consistory, of Chicago, also a member of the Mystic Shrine, of Medina Temple, Chicago. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, No. 26, of Centralia.
In his political relations Mr. Wilson is a loyal Republican. His mother was a member of the Christian, but he and his wife worship in the Baptist church. Mr. Wilson was at one time a member of the Centralia Volunteer Fire Department.
Our subject has by pluck, energy and enterprise, controlled by correct principles and founded upon strict integrity and honor, attained to a position meriting the respect and admiration of his fellow citizens, which they freely accord.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 563-564.