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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James H. Wilson was born in Valle Township, Jefferson County, near where he now lives, October 10, 1841. His father was David Wilson, a native of Botetourt County, Va., who came to Jefferson County in 1834, and settled on the farm James H. now owns; he was a saddler by trade, which trade he followed to some extent after settling in Missouri, and in the pioneer days served several years as justice of the peace. James H. Wilson was reared on the farm which has always been his home; his education was acquired by three months’ attendance in the subscription schools of his county, and was supplemented by study in the schools of St. Louis. When Gov. Fletcher was clerk of Jefferson County, James H. Wilson was his office boy, and under his preceptorship received advancement in his studies. In 1863 he attended the Academy of De Soto three months. Mr. Wilson has kept a record of the weather since 1864, noting the height of the thermometer every morning and noon the year around, and can settle any dispute as to the temperature of the weather any day of any year as far back as January 1. 1867. In 1875 he went to Texas, and while there did not neglect his record, which shows that the coldest day in that State during his stay was March 26, 1876, the thermometer registering 26° above zero. The coldest day recorded in his diary was Wednesday, January 29, 1873, when the thermometer registered 26° below zero. His sister, Martha E., keeps house for him. She was born in Botetourt County, Va., July 26, 1826, and married Peter Politte, a native of Ste. Genevieve, Mo. They have one child, Thomas M., born July 23, 1851. Mr. Politte went to California in 1852, where he died in 1864. Mr. Wilson owns 448 acres of land beside his interest in the homestead, and is a farmer and stock-raiser.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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