James W. Wilson

James W. Wilson, one of the earliest settlers of Corinne township, Stutsman county, is operating a fine farm which bears no semblance to the place of pioneer days. He has met with unbounded success in his calling, and every arrangement for the comfort of the family or the economical conduct of the farm have been provided. He makes his home on section 4, in township 144, range 62.

Our subject was born in Ontario, Canada, July 17, 1865. His father, Samuel Wilson, was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent, and was a farmer and carpenter by occupation. He died when our subject was twelve years of age. The grandfather of our subject, James Wilson, was also a farmer. Our subject's mother, whose maiden name was Jane Walks, was a native of England and came to America when a young girl.

Mr. Wilson was the fifth in a family of nine children, and was raised on a farm in Canada, and attended the country schools and the high school, and after the death of his father began to assist in the support of the family. He left home at the age of twelve years, and he and his elder brother furnished the support of the others of the family as well as themselves for many years. After attaining his majority Mr. Wilson went to North Dakota and located in Stutsman county. He borrowed money with which to get to his destination and soon afterward entered claim to the north half of section 4, in township 144, range 62, on which he erected a 12 x 16-foot shanty. He worked at farm labor four years in Barnes and Griggs counties and during the summer of 1889 hired some of the land on his farm broke and the following season lived on the farm and cultivated his first crop, which was not a profitable one, and the summer of 1891 he rented the land for one dollar per acre and worked for others, disposing of his team and effects. He moved into his shanty again in the spring of 1892 and has resided on his farm continuously since. He lived alone until the fall of that year, and began the improvement of his place. He is now the owner of seven hundred and eighty acres of land, most of which is under cultivation, and he has excellent farm buildings, wells, cistern and all necessary machinery, including a twenty-two-horse-power threshing machine. He has engaged in threshing each season since 1896, when he purchased his threshing rig, and he personally oversees the running of the machine. When he located in Corinne township the nearest shanty in Corinne township was two miles from his farm, and he has aided in the development of that locality and witnessed its growth, and is now one of the substantial farmers of the community.

Our subject was married, in November, 1892, to Martha Simonson, a native of Norway, who came to America in 1885. Mrs. Wilson's father, Simon Johnson, afterward settled in Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have been the parents of three children, as follows: Floyd, Glenn and Alyra. Mr. Wilson is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America, and Ancient Order of United Workmen. He has served his community in various offices of trust, and is township and school clerk, and was school director three years. In national affairs Mr. Wilson favors the principles of the Republican party, but in local affairs casts his influence for the man who will work for the better interests of the community.

Source:  Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota 1900 Page 499

News & Events