WILLIAM WILSON, a highly esteemed farmer of Towanda Township, is the son of Smith and Latta (Corbett) Wilson,
natives of Ireland and Virginia respectively. Smith Wilson emigrated to America when but a boy, with his parents,
who first settled in Pennsylvania, where the father engaged in farming pursuits, and where he died. Several years
afterward his widow came to Bloomington to live with her children, her death taking place in that city in May,
1864. The parental household included four daughters and eight sons, of whom the subject of this history was the
seventh child. He was born in Fayette County, Pa., May 1, 1822, received a common-school education, and when nineteen
years of age, commenced to learn the trade of bricklaying, at which he served an apprenticeship of three years,
and which he afterward followed in connection with farming until the present time. He lived in Fayette County,
Pa., until the summer of 1859, when he came to McLean County, Ill., but after a few months returned to Pennsylvania,
whence he again removed, in the spring of 1860, this time with his family, to Bloomington, Ill. There he followed
his trade for nearly twelve years, and then purchased a farm in Towanda Township, on section 1, where he lived
until the spring of 1883, and thence removed to section 6, where he now owns ninety-nine acres of valuable land.
Mr. Wilson was first married in Allegheny County, Pa., to Miss Eliza Corry, a native of Pennsylvania. Of this union there have been born two children: Lotta is the wife of Dr. W. A. Williams, of Santa Barbara, Cal.; James married Miss Mattie Newton and resides in Cooksville, this county. Mrs. Eliza C. Wilson departed this life in Washington County, Pa., about 1857. Mr. Wilson, after coming to Illinois, was married the second time, on the 23d of November, 1864, in the city of Bloomington, to Mrs. Louisa (Newton) Kennedy, daughter of Henry and Martha (Haggard) Newton, and widow of Thomas Kennedy, who died in Kansas, in August, 1855, leaving his widow and one daughter, Annie, who is now the wife of Fred A. Church, of Texarkana, Ark. Mrs. Wilson's parents after their marriage, settled in Kentucky, where the father was engaged in farming. In the fall of 1836 they came to Hancock County, Ill., and in September, 1844, moved to McLean County, and settled in Dale Township, where they passed the remainder of their lives. Their household included three children. Mrs. Wilson was born in Kentucky, Sept. 30, 1835, and by her union with our subject has become the mother of two childrenóEdwin M. and Grace E. While living in Bloomington, Mr. Wilson was a member of the Board of Aldermen, and has also served as School Trustee. Both he and his wife are members in good standing of the Presbyterian Church. In politics our subject is strongly Republican.
One brother and three half-brothers of Mrs. WilsonóDavid Nathan, Dawson Newton and John L.
Routt served as soldiers in the Union army during the late war. John Routt was Sheriff of McLean County at the outbreak of the Rebellion, and afterward became a Captain in the 94th Illinois Infantry. He was afterward Division Quartermaster with the rank of Colonel.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 601. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.