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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 J. Wilson, Jr., editor and proprietor of the Jefferson County Crystal Mirror, of Hillsboro, was born in Carroll County, Tenn., in 1853, and is the eldest of the thirteen children of James J. and Ann (Hatlock) Wilson. The father was born in Waynesborough, Wayne Co., Tenn., in 1828, and received his education at the Paris Academy, Paris, Tenn., where he graduated in March, 1852. He engaged in merchandising for a few years, but has since turned his attention to farming and teaching. July 6, 1862, at Ironton, Mo., he enlisted in Company D, Thirty-first Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and took part in the siege of Vicksburg and the battle of Arkansas Post. On account of disability he was transferred to Company I, Twenty-third Veteran Reserve Corps, in April, 1864, in which he served until the close of the Rebellion, being honorably discharged at St. Louis, July 1, 1865. He remained in St. Louis County until 1867, and then located in Jefferson County, where he has been occupied as a farmer and trader. He served as assessor of Jefferson County in 1879 and 1880. He was reared a Whig, politically, and is now a member of the G. A. R. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian Church. His parents were Zaccheus and Naomi T. (Gillespie) Wilson, natives, respectively, of Mecklenburg and Rowan Counties, N. C., who were early settlers of Williamson County, Tenn., later removing to Western Tennessee, where the father died in 1857; the mother died in Jefferson County, Mo., in 1879. James J. Wilson, Jr., was reared on a farm, receiving a limited common-school education. He taught school eight years, and in 1884 was employed as book-keeper for the Crystal Plate Glass Company, being afterward promoted to chief shed clerk. In August, 1885, in partnership with Dr. T. B. Taylor, he founded the Crystal Mirror, which was continued under their management at Crystal City until March, 1886, when Mr. Taylor retired, and Mr. Wilson conducted the paper alone, at Crystal City, until January, 1887; he then removed to Hillsboro, enlarging the paper from a five to a seven-column quarto, making other improvements, and changing the name to the Jefferson County Crystal Mirror. In two years’ time the subscription reached 1,100. Mr. Wilson was formerly a Democrat in politics, having cast his first presidential vote for Tilden, but more recently the Republican principles have been more congenial to him, and he has identified himself with that party. In March, 1880, he married Miss Mary E., daughter of Joseph and Mary E. Wilkinson, of Washington County. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have three children: Horace Bates, Arthur Jasper and Henrietta Ann. The parents are members of the Presbyterian Church.

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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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