William Marshal Wilson was born in Madison county, Indiana, November 2, 1862. He was a son of Archibald and Mary (Keller) Wilson, both natives of Madison county, Indiana. His paternal grandfather was Michael Wilson, a native of West Virginia, who came to Indiana at an early day and was one of the pioneer settlers of Madison county. In common with all pioneers in this section of the Hoosier state, he began life in the woods, on a section of government land of which the original entry was made by him. He lived and labored on this tact of land for many years, clearing it of timber and making improvements in the way of buildings, etc. His death was from the effect of injuries received from an accident in falling from the roof of a house which he was building. The maternal grand-parents were Matthew and Jeannette (Ellis) Keller, who were also natives of West Virginia and were among the early settlers of Madison county, Indiana. They entered government land, built a home, converted the woods into cultivated fields, and lived on this farm the remainder of their days.
Archibald Wilson was reared and educated in Madison county working during his early years on his father's farm. Later he engaged in farming on his own account on a farm which he purchased in Madison county. He sold that farm and removed to Hancock county, locating on a farm adjoining the one on which the widow of William Marshal Wilson now lives. He owned a farm of three hundred and seventeen acres and continued to manage and live on this farm until about 1899, when he retired and removed to Willow Branch. He had two sons: William M., the subject of this sketch, and George.
William M. Wilson was educated in the public schools of Hancock county and was always a farmer. At the time of his death he owned the farm of eighty acres, in Green township, where his widow now lives. He was married on April 1, 1883, to Ida M. McKenzie, who was born in Green township, Hancock county, on the farm on which she still lives. She was a daughter of William L. and Mary Jane (Rigby) McKenzie. Her father was born in Kentucky, her mother in Liberty, Indiana. Mrs. Wilson's paternal grandparents were John McKenzie and wife, natives of Kentucky. They were among the early settlers of Madison county, Indiana, where they entered on hundred and sixty acres of government land. Later they removed to Hancock county and located on the farm now belonging to Mrs. Wilson. Mrs. Wilson's paternal grandmother was a relative of Gen. Andrew Jackson, a former President of the United States.
Mrs. Wilson maternal grandparents were Josiah and Nancy (Milner) Rigby, he a native of England, she of Indiana. Josiah Rigby came to America about 1825, before his marriage, and located in Green township, Hancock county, and engaged in farming. He had eighty acres of land on which he built a home and continued to live. Before coming to this country he followed the trade of a weaver, which he followed for a short time in this county.
To Mr. and Mrs.William M. Wilson the following children were born; Hattie, living at home; Clara, deceased; Mary Jane, deceased; Harold Ray, living in Green township, and Howard Clay, at Lafayette, Indiana.
Mrs. William M. Wilson is the owner of a fine farm, comprising three hundred and five acres, all in one body. The farm is well improved, with good residence, modern barns and other farm buildings, and the land in good state of cultivation and highly productive. It is a model farm in every respect one of the best in the county. Mrs. Wilson is a member of the United Brethren church. Mr. Wilson died on May 2, 1900, and was buried in Hayes cemetery. He was a member of the United Brethren church. He left a farm of eighty acres, which forms the present homestead. Mrs. Wilson owns other tracts of land and also owns forty acres of the eighty left by her husband.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 934-36.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 9, 2001.
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