Biography - LYMAN W. WILSON

The gentleman to a brief review of whose life and characteristics the reader's attention is herewith directed is among the foremost business men of Albion and has by his enterprise and progressive methods contributed in a material way to the industrial and commercial advancement of the city and county. He has in the course of an honorable career been most successful in the business enterprises of which he is the head, and is well deserving of mention in the biographical memoirs of this section of the state. He is an extensive dealer in live stock and grain and holds the office of treasurer of the Albion Vitrified Brick Company in whose organization he played a leading part. Mr. Wilson was born in Albion, April 16, 1872, and is the son of John Wilson, who likewise was born in this place, the date of his nativity being 1846. Lyman W. Wilson is therefore bound to this section by unusually strong ties and he has manifested his loyalty in various public spirited ways. His grandfather, William Wilson, was a native of Scotland, who emigrated to this country from Caledonia and shortly after found his way to Edwards county, his arrival here ante-dating that of the English colony which played so important a part in the development of the section by only a few years. John Wilson was for many years a successful agriculturist, engaging in operations in the great basic industry until about twenty years ago and for several years past he has been engaged as a live stock and grain dealer in Albion, where he is a citizen of very considerable prominence. He took as his wife Alice Henderson, who was born in Ireland and at an early age left an orphan, accompanying an elder brother and sister to the "Land of Promise" across the seas. The elder Mr. and Mrs. Wilson reared two children, Lyman W. and a younger son, Edwin J., who was born in 1868 and died in October, 1908.

Lyman W. Wilson was educated in the public schools of Albion and in the Southern Collegiate Institute and at the age of twenty-one years he gained his first experience in the live stock business in association with his father. This field proved one in which he encountered remarkable success and he still continues his connection with the business, while at the same time concerned with other interests of wide scope and importance. In 1908 he formed a partnership with Elbert Epler in the grain and live stock business, and in September, 1911, he and Mr. Epler purchased the Leader Department store in Albion. This stock, which approximated fourteen thousand dollars in value they sold to other parties on January 1, 1912. In 1902, Mr. Wilson assisted in organizing the Albion Vitrified Brick Company, a concern which is of great importance and which has done much for the material welfare of the community. He was elected a director in 1904 and also in that year received the office of treasurer of the company. The Messrs. Wilson and Epler also own in partnership a valuable stock farm of ninety acres situated in the vicinity of Albion and they devote one hundred and twenty acres in Wabash county also to stock raising.

This progressive business man is affiliated with two lodges, his name being enrolled with the Knights of Pythias of Albion and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of Mt. Carmel. He gives heart and hand to the policies and principles of the Republican party to which he has given his loyal support since the attainment of his majority. He has from time to time assisted in the direction of public affairs, having served on the city board of aldermen, when he exerted a potent influence toward the paving of the streets of Albion. He is a member of the Presbyterian church.

Mr. Wilson became a recruit to the ranks of the Benedicts on November 22, 1911, his chosen lady being Agnes Petty, daughter of A. J. Petty, of Baltimore, Maryland. Mrs. Wilson had been a resident of Albion for several years previous to her marriage. They maintain a hospitable home and are popular members of society.

It was of such personalities as the late Edwin J. Wilson, brother of the foregoing, that it has been said,

"To live in hearts we leave behind Is not to die."

This respected citizen served for two terms as circuit clerk and recorder of Edwards county, being elected for the first time in the fall of 1890 and being the youngest official ever elected in this county. At the time of his lamentable demise he was assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Albion. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows and attended the Presbyterian church. He was everywhere highly regarded and his memory will long remain green in the hearts of his many friends. The father of these gentlemen was twice mayor of Albion and now resides in this place, a wealthy and respected citizen.

Extracted 11 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 3, pages 1597-1598.

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