FROM: The History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887).  P. 753-754.

          John H. Wilson was born in McLeansboro, February 8, 1845, the son of John A. and Eliza (Grady) Wilson, natives, respectively, of Shawneetown and Pennsylvania. The grandfather, James Harrison Wilson, was a pioneer of Shawneetown, and the father was a saddler by trade. In 1840 the father came to McLeansboro, and after following his trade and being a merchant, died there in 1861. He represented the county in the Legislature one or more sessions, and was sheriff three terms. He was a Democrat and highly respected as an official. Our subject was reared to manhood here, and educated at McKendree College, Ill., graduating with the degree of A.B. in 1868. For three years he was employed in the United States Engineer Department on western rivers. In 1871 he engaged in contracting with railroads in ties and timber, building up the business until he employed 500 persons in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana in getting out timber. He has been extraordinarily successful, also owning 400 acres near town, which he manages, besides other valuable city and town property. November 27, 1873, he married Alice J. Randall, of Hamilton County, Ohio. Their children are Eugene A., Francis R. and Carrie. Mr. Wilson is a prohibition Democrat, and has successfully fought for prohibition in McLeansboro. He has been a member of the city council a number of years. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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