Among the many industries carried on in our country there is none that
calls for more intelligent judgment than that of farming. One of the most
successful men in the business in Marion county is Richard Wilson, who was
born in Clark county, Ohio, on the 18th day of January, 1831. His father,
Samuel Wilson, a native of Pike county, Ohio, was born in 1804, while his
mother, Eliza (Foster) Wilson, also a native of Ohio, was born in 1806.
Samuel Wilson was the father of nine children, of whom our subject, Richard,
was the second in order of birth. This family removed to Marion county,
Illinois, in 1842, where Mr. Wilson departed this life on December 20, 1847.
He was survived by his wife until 1900.
Richard received his early education in the district school of the neighborhood, and upon reaching manhood chose farming as his occupation in life. In 1856 he was married to Rebecca A. Fulton, who was born in Marion county, Illinois, in 1837. Ten children graced this union, five boys and five girls. Letitia A. married James Roberts, and was the mother of six children. Seth C. married Irma Chapman, of Michigan, and is the father of one child. Samuel A. is the husband of Florence Barnum, a cousin of P. T. Barnum of worldwide circus fame. He is the father of four children. Sarah E. married Pack Parcell, and is the mother of eight children. William T. married Ella Wagner, their union being blessed with four children. Maggie is the wife of Charles Spencer, to whom have been born four children: Carrie became the wife of Mason Weerns; Charles R. is deceased; John D. married Nellie Custer, who is related to the brave General Custer, being a cousin of the same, and they are the parents of one child. Mary P. was joined in marriage to Elmer E. Spencer, and they have a family of three children, one died in 1907.
The task of raising such a large family was not a light one, but Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have demonstrated their ability to meet the requirements most successfully. The home life has been of the most congenial and wholesome sort, and the recollections of the family hearth stone are cherished as one of the most precious heritages by all of the children. The religious atmosphere of the family was never found wanting, the affiliations being with the Methodist church.
Mr. Wilson was for three years school trustee, and discharged the duties of his office in an economic and intelligent way. He owns and manages his farm of one hundred and twenty acres and has given some attention to the raising of good horses. In both of these projects he has met with singular success.
Mr. Wilson has been a life-long Republican, his father and grandfather before him having been adherents to the tenets of the Whig party. Mr. Wilson still takes an active interest in the political and civic affairs of the neighborhood, but does not consider himself bound to support any party to the sacrifice of principle, a fact for which he is to be most heartily commended.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 458-459.