Father: James Edwin Wilson
Born: March 13, 1856 Virginia
Died: May 14, 1943 Nevada, Iowa Age 87
Parents: Samuel & Caroline Wilson
Mother: Emily Elizabeth Flesher “Lizzie”
Born: March 25, 1858 Virginia
Died: April 28, 1916 NE of Webster City, Iowa Age 58
Married: December 6, 1877 for 38 years
James Wilson: Nevada Cemetery, Nevada, Iowa. About 60 yards
northeast of the Sexton’s Building.
Emily Flesher: Charleston Cemetery, Charleston, Illinois.
James and Emily were both originally from Virginia. Later they moved to Illinois where the family was raised.
James Wilson was a distinguished looking, tobacco chewing farmer. His penmanship was very artistic and stylish. Together, he and Emily raised a family of five boys and four girls. Of these, seven lived to adulthood.
Little is known about Emily aside from her being a housekeeper — a busy job with so many children to attend to. She died unexpectedly one day while cutting potatoes outside with one of her granddaughters.
After Emily’s death, James moved back to Virginia to live with his son Kenneth. When the money began running out, James then returned to Iowa to live with another son, Earl. While there he babysat the children, cooked, and helped out with the farm work.
In 1925, pushing seventy, James married a second time. His bride, Cora, was only in her thirties and may have figured her elderly bridegroom had some money stashed away. They moved to Nevada, Iowa to live. Here James split ash to create sledgehammer and ax handles for a living and also tended a garden. Cora would periodically make him take flowers to the cemetery to place at the grave of her first husband.
Amongst James’s many talents was the ability to make moonshine out of yeast and sugar. One afternoon when Cora was away, he made up a batch for himself and her father, who was slightly younger than James. The two often got into arguments and this time, prodded by the moonshine, ended up fighting and breaking a few things. When Cora finally got home and saw what had happened, that was the end of the home brew!
As he aged, James’s memory began to falter and sometimes he would get lost while downtown. (This was probably a form of Alzheimer’s.) He died in his late eighties with a life that spanned from before the Civil War to the middle of World War II.
Children of James & Emily Wilson Samuel A. Wilson – Farmer Born: November 4, 1878Died: November 6, 1956 Samuel had serious problems with his temper, and spent time at the mental hospital in Cherokee, Iowa. Lillie O. Wilson – Housewife Born: December 17, 1881Died: August 24, 1956 Cary A. Wilson Born: July 28, 1884Died: March 14, 1897 Cary died in late childhood of an illness. Edwin Earl Wilson – Farmer Born: May 21, 1886Died: October 11, 1971 William O. Wilson – Prison Guard Born: April 18, 1889Died: July 28, 1965 Benjamin Wilson – Farmer Born: February 28, 1891Died: March 19, 1939 Dovie Lee Wilson Born: April 29, 1893Died: June 22, 1894 Kenneth Price Wilson – Black Sheep Born: March 23, 1895Died: November, 1955 Kenneth operated a taxi service in Webster City for a time, but then skipped town, leaving his brothers Samuel and Earl to pay off the loan on the 2 cabs. Kenneth is also rumored to have killed a man in Chicago. He died in Wisconsin under an assumed name. His sister Electie was the only family member to keep in touch with him over the years. Electie Wilson – Housewife Born: August 6, 1898Died: 1971
James & 2nd wife Cora. A May-December romance!