Category: Wilsons

Obituaries (4)

Friday, April 28, 1916

Mrs. James E. Wilson (Emily) Drops Dead

Sudden Death Occurs at Farm Home Northeast of This City at About 9 O’clock This Morning.


Leaves Husband and Six Children — Mother of Will Wilson of This City.

Mrs. James E. Wilson dropped dead while out in the yard this morning about 9 o’clock at the family farm home, the Dr. O. A. Hall place, five or six miles northeast of this city. Mrs.Wilson was the mother of Will Wilson, one of the proprietors of the Star restaurant in this city, and Mr.Wilson is a nephew of B. McCoy, who resides on west First street. The bereaved husband at once telephoned the sad news of the sudden death of his wife to the relatives here in town.

Mrs. Wilson had been ailing some of late but had not been ill in bed and her death occurred so unexpectedly that it comes with crushing force to the family and friends.

The family have resided upon the Dr. Hall farm during the past year and formerly occupied one of the H. E. Schroeder farms. They removed to this county three or four years ago from Indiana.

The deceased was 58 years of age and leaves a husband, four sons and two daughters. One daughter is still at home and the other five children are married and live elsewhere with the exception of the one son here in this city.

The funeral will be announced tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 18, 1943

Funeral Rites Held Here Sunday for Late James Wilson

The body of James E. Wilson, 87, who died at his home at 225 I Avenue Thursday, was laid to rest in the Nevada cemetery Sunday afternoon following funeral rites held at the Morfoot funeral home at 2:30, with Rev. O. E. Cooley in charge.

The prayer, scripture reading and sermon were by the minister, while Mrs. Garnet Hathaway was at the organ to accompany Mrs. Beulah Freeland who sang “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” and”‘Face to Face.”

There were many very beautiful floral offerings testifying in their silent way of the high regard in which the deceased was held by family and friends.

Six grandsons served as casket bearers.

The following brief sketch of the long life of the deceased was read by the minister during the service, which was attended by a large group of relatives, friends and neighbors:

James Edwin Wilson was born at Doe Hill, Virginia on March 13, 1856, and departed this life at Nevada, May 14, 1943, at the age of 87 years, 2 months and 1 day.

Mr. Wilson was first married to Miss Emily E. Flesher of Doe Hill, Va., who preceded him in death 26 years ago. To this union 10 children were born of whom 4 preceded him in death. He was married a second time to Mrs. Cora McCutcheon, on April 30, 1925 and from that time until his death they have lived in Nevada, their home being 225 Avenue I, and it was there he passed away on Friday evening at 7:00 o’clock. Mr. Wilson had been in failing health for the past several years, but was able to continue to care for his lawn and garden with unfailing interest which he did to the day before he was put to bed.

He leaves behind to mourn his passing, his beloved wife and devoted children Samuel, Olive and Will of Louisville, Ill, Earl of Webster City, Kenneth of Kenosha, Wis., Electia of Rockwell, 35 grandchildren, 42 greatgrandchildren and a host of relatives and friends.

He had been a member the Methodist Church from early manhood, bringing his membership to the Nevada M E church from Virginia. He had been a faithful attendant at church until the past three years when his health begun to fail.

Relatives and friends from out of town attending the funeral were Mrs R B Rurkman and son Verlin of Louisville, Ill, Mr and Mrs Kenneth Wilson Kenosha Wis., Mr and Mrs Earl Wilson of Webster City, Mr and Mrs Myron Gorth and family, Rockwell, Mrs Hattie Wilson and sons Jame and Allen of Webster City, Mr and Mrs Willard Hoverstein and family of Blairsburg; Mrs Floyd Jarman of Des Moines; Mr and Mrs Leslie Wilson and family of Blairsburg, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Wilson and family, Mr. and Mrs Lloyd Harrell, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wilson and Mrs. Wayne Wilson, all of Webster City, Mr. and Mrs Ralph Harmon of Blairsburg; Mr. and Mrs Harmon of Popejoy and Mrs Bob Coudell of Webster City.


Friday, April 7, 1967

Mrs. Earl E. Wilson, 81, longtime resident of Webster City, died suddenly Thursday evening at her home, 1045 Bank Street. She had been in ill health for several years.

Funeral services will be at 1:30p.m. Monday at the Foster Funeral home with the Rev. George Eddy officiating and with burial in Graceland cemetery.

Ethel Shields, daughter of John W. and Martha Shields, was born Feb 16, 1886 at Louisville, Ill. She was reared and educated in the Louisville community.

She was united in marriage March 12,1905, to Earl E. Wilson and the couple farmed in Illinois until 1913 when they moved to Iowa, locating on a farm in the Cass Center community northeast of Webster City. They resided there for 10 years, then moved to a farm near Williams where they made their home for seven years before moving to another farm near Blairsburg, their home for 10 years. The family later moved to their farm in Fremont township where they made their home four years before retiring from farming in 1944 and moved into their present home at 1045 Bank St.

She is survived by her husband, three sons and two daughters: Glen Wilson, Eagle Grove, Lesslie Wilson, Woolstock, Edwin Wilson, Webster City, Mrs. Willard (Mildred) Hoversten, Williams, and Mrs. Robert (Ruby) Caudle, Webster City; 22 grandchildren and 47 great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers and three sisters.

Mrs. Wilson was baptized in the Baptist faith in Illinois in the Little Wabash river. She was a member of the First Baptist church of this city.


Tuesday, October 12, 1971

Wilson rites on Thursday

Funeral services for Earl Wilson, 85, a longtime Webster City area resident, will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Foster Funeral home with the Rev. David Ludeker officiating and with burial in Graceland cemetery.

Mr. Wilson died yesterday at the Hamilton County hospital where he had been a patient the past week. He had been in ill health the past several years.

Edwin Earl Wilson, son of James E. and Elizabeth Fleisher Wilson, was born May 21, 1886, at Louisville, Ill., where he was reared and educated.

He was united in marriage March 12, 1905 to Ethel Shields, and the couple farmed in Illinois until 1913, when they moved to Iowa and located on a farm in the Cass Center community northeast of Webster City.

They resided there for 10 years, moving then to a farm near Williams where they made their home for seven years, then moved to a farm near Blairsburg, their home for 10 years. The family later moved to a farm in Fremont township where they lived four years before retiring from farming in 1944, moving then into Webster City to a home at 1045 Bank St.

Mrs. Wilson preceded him in death April, 1967.

He is survived by three sons and two daughters, Glen Wilson of Eagle Grove, Mrs. Willard (Mildred) Hoversten of Williams, Leslie Wilson, Woolstock, Mrs. Robert (Ruby) Caudle and Edwin Wilson, both of Webster City. Also surviving are 22 grand children, 55 great grandchildren and his stepmother, Mrs. Cora Wilson of Tulsa, Okla.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters and four brothers

He was a member of the First Baptist church.

James & Nancy Shields

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: James Shields Sr.
Born: Around 1754            Ireland
Died: July 10, 1824                            Age  70
Parents: Unknown

Mother: Nancy (Ann) Brown
Born: November 8, 1770    Nelson (later Green) County, Kentucky
Died: August 8, 1845                         Age  74
Parents: Unknown

Married: November 17, 1787 for 36 years

Buried: Bethel Cemetery one mile north of Orangeville, Indiana.

We can only speculate as to why and when James left Ireland for America. One family source mentions him coming over when he was seven years old, but there has been no record found of his parents.

We pick up Jame’s interesting life while he was serving as a private in the Gists regiment (also known as Grayson’s) of the Virginia Continental Army during the American Revolution. The records at Richmond show him as having served three years in the infantry. A person named Thomas Bell officially attested to this so that James could be eligible for what was called a “Bounty Warrant” – a reward for his service.

On June 27, 1783, about seven weeks after Mr. Bell’s certification, James made a claim for the warrant for one hundred acres. The warrants were issued for the south side of the Green River in Nelson (later Green) County, Kentucky. Unlike other veterans who sold their claims, James moved into what was then a wilderness area, got married and settled down. Information about his early years there are sketchy, but he had begun paying taxes by 1795.

Besides sickness, the biggest danger of the Kentucky frontier of the time were the Indians. Their pressure had forced Daniel Boone in 1783 to forsake Ft. Boonesborough. Within a year or two of this, James had settled on land to the south and west of the fort. Five years later, Indians scalped some citizens in the town of Paoli nine miles to the west of James’ farm.

To protect themselves, the settlers formed what was called the “Corn Stalk” Militia of Kentucky. A reference to a Captain James Shields of the Green Country 16th Regiment, appointed by the governor, is dated May 15, 1793. Apparently, his years as a Revolutionary War soldier helped James advance in rank.

In 1814, at what was for that era the advanced age of sixty, James began yet another adventure, leaving three hundred acres in Kentucky to move to Indiana. This was a fearless man, willing to take unknown risks for new opportunities. Probably seven or eight of the children would have made the trip, the older ones having left and started their own families.

Ten years later, James passed away. The inscription on the government marker in the cemetery reads: “James Shields who fought for liberty in 1776 and died upwards of 70 years of age”. It also lists his rank in the Virginia army and date of death.

Nancy lived another twenty-one years. Upon her passing, the Shields estate was divided amongst the many children.

Editor’s Note: James Shield’s great-grandaughter, Ethel Shields, was my great-grandmother. I remember her as a very thin, serious woman. She died on my tenth birthday.

Children of James & Nancy Shields

James Shields Jr.
Born: November 11, 1788

John Shields
Born: October 12, 1790              

Nancy Shields
Born: April 15, 1792Died: April 22, 1838

Samuel Shields
Born: November 23, 1793 

Hannah Shields
Born: June 1, 1795                

Mary & Elizabeth Shields – Twins
Born: February 21, 1796 

Jacob Shields
Born: January 7, 1799           
Daniel Shields
Born: December 24, 1802Died: 1876

Henry Shields
Born: December 25, 1804

Jenny Shields
Born: September 25, 1804

Lydia B. Shields
Born: September 23, 1806

Doctor Shields
Born: April 11, 1808
Isaac Ambrose Shields
Born: May 5, 1809Died: 1903

Jane Shields
Born: December 11, 1811

David B. Shields
Born: April 21, 1816Died: September 29, 1881

David & Susan Shields

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: David B. Shields
Born: April 21, 1816           Orange County, Indiana
Died: September 29, 1881                  Age  65
Parents: James Sr. & Nancy Shields

Mother: Susannah McKnelly
Born: May 20, 1823            Virginia
Died: May 22, 1865                            Age  42
Parents: Unknown

Married: May 19, 1844 for 21 years

Buried: Old Union Cemetery east of Hord, Illinois.

According to family records, David was the youngest by five years of a huge family of nine boys and seven girls. It is unlikely the entire brood was at home the same time. The elder siblings, being well over twenty years older than David, would have long since left home to start their own lives.

David was only eight years old when his father James passed away. In settling the estate, a guardian by the name of Lewis Byrun was appointed for the boy. This shows that the family was looking out for its youngest member.

Nothing is known about David’s wife, Susannah, or how the two met. We do believe this was the only Shields family to move to Illinois. The only other information on the couple comes from records of inheritance transactions.

When David’s mother passed away, David and his wife sold their part of the estate to a Moses Mathers in August of 1846. Later in life David also received money via his uncle Ambrose Shields as part of his (David’s) share of the estate of a Daniel Shields, another uncle, who had died childless.

Children of David & Susan Shields

Elizabeth J. Shields

Mary M. Shields (McPeak)

James B. Shields

Florence M. Shields (Barnes)

John W. Shields

Sara E. Shields (Austin)

Buried in Old Union Cemetery, Hord, Illinois     

John & Martha Shields

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: John William Shields
Born: January 7, 1861         Illinois
Died: March 18, 1907         Illinois  Age 46
Parents: David B. & Susanna Shields

Mother: Martha Ann Littell  “Mattie”
Born: August 5, 1858          Illinois
Died: May 7, 1919              Iowa   Age  60
Father: Hiram Littel

Married: August 7, 1881 for 25 years

Buried: Louisville Cemetery, Louisville, Illinois.

John Shields at one time was a hotel owner. But little is known beyond that. After contracting tuberculosis, his was taken by covered wagon to Colorado in hopes that the dryer climate would help him recover. This was to no avail, and he returned to Illinois to live out his remaining days.

Sensing the end, John had a small will drawn up. Since he had already given money to his son Charles ($325) and married daughters Edith and Ethel ($170 each), no provisions were made for them. Instead, everything was left to his wife with the stipulation that the remaining son Robert ($325) and daughters Eva and Clete ($170 each) be paid out of the estate. Sixteen days later, John was dead.

Martha, a heavyset woman, assisted John in the running of the hotel in Louisville. After her husband’s death, she moved to Iowa and made a living keeping house for her son Robert. She also spent some time in Spokane, Washington with her brother.

Children of John & Martha Shields

Edith Shields (Raines) – Housewife
Born: April 10, 1882Died: July 6, 1929

Carlie Rice Shields
Born: February 22, 1884Died: October 24, 1912

Ethel Belle Shields (Wilson) – Housewife
Born: February 16, 1886Died: April 6, 1967

Robert William Shields
Born: December 12, 1888Died: March 25, 1947

Eva Onie Shields
Born: March 28, 1891Died: December 12, 1910

Clete (Cleatis) Belle Shields – Housewife
Born: September 22, 1893Died: February 22, 1952

Sam & Caroline Wilson

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: Samuel Wilson
Born: May 27, 1815               Virginia
Died: November 14, 1862                      Age  47
Parents: Unknown

Mother: Caroline McCoy
Born: July 10, 1836                Virginia
Died: January 10, 1912                          Age  75
Parents: Unknown

Married: October 10, 1854 for only 8 years

Buried: Unknown

Caroline was Samuel’s second wife. His first was Elizabeth Armstrong and they were married from October 29, 1940 until her death on July 10, 1853. Probably on the lookout for someone to help take care of the children, Samuel remarried fifteen months later.

Although Samuel was some two decades older than Caroline, he nevertheless started a second family. It is from this eight year union that the Illinois and Iowa Wilsons owe their origins. In 1862, Samuel died of undisclosed causes. Two years later, on November 24, 1864, Caroline married Townsend Price and eventually had additional children by him.

The boy and girl from Samuel and Caroline’s short marriage thus had half brothers and sisters on both sides of the family.

Caroline lived to an old age, dying probably in Virginia. Had she ever been able to visit her son James’s family in Illinois during her later years, she would have been treated to the sight of her great-grandchildren.

Children of Sam & Caroline Wilson

James Edwin Wilson – Farmer
Born: March 13, 1856Died: May 14, 1943

Mary M. Wilson
Born: May 5, 1859Died: Unknown

James & Emily Wilson

Personal Info________________________________________
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
Parents: Unknown

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!

Earl & Ethel Wilson

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: Edwin Earl Wilson  “Earl”
Born: May 21, 1886         Diona, Illinois
Died: October 11, 1971   Webster City, Iowa    Age  85
Parents: James & Emily Wilson

Mother: Ethel Belle Shields
Born: February 16, 1886    Illinois
Died: April 6, 1967           Webster City, Iowa   Age  81
Parents: John & Martha Shields

Married: March 12, 1905 for over 62 years

Buried: Webster City Cemetery, Webster City, Iowa.
Wilson Lot near the northwest side.

The Wilson family started out farming near Louisville, Illinois then later moved to Iowa. Their hard work paid off and at one time they had over $16,000 in cash. This was during the Depression, which saw many banks fail, so the money was kept buried in the garden.

Earl was a hard working, serious man. His politics, like many Midwest farmers of the early 20th century, were very conservative — and set in stone. His oldest son once teased him that he’d vote for a snake if it was Republican.

In a family consisting of three boys and two girls, Earl was often the disciplinarian. When one of the boys burned down the outhouse door, his punishment was to spend a day tied to the clothesline outside. A rug had to suffice as a temporary door until a new once could be built.

Earl also had very definite ideas about how and when things should be done. In his view, none of the children were ever too old for a bit of advice or assistance. When one of his sons (by this time a grown man with a family of his own) postponed the spring plowing for a day because the fields were too wet, Earl drove out to the farm to do the plowing himself. Upon returning from an afternoon of fishing, the son was then greeted with the site of his tractor firmly mired in the middle of the field!

Ethel was a frail woman who was often sick during her long life. She was especially troubled by headaches which she eased by wearing a wet washcloth on her head. This was eased by finally, at the age of seventy-eight, being persuaded to go to a chiropractor. Ethel also had contracted tuberculosis when a young mother. She was always afraid of her children getting it from her and was therefore not very affectionate.

Her ailments did not prevent her from being an industrious and kind woman. Her strength of character was often a perfect foil for her husband’s excitability and provided a strong set of values for the family. During the Depression, when it began to look like the bank that held their savings account was going to close, Earl went down to withdraw the family’s money. While there, he was persuaded to take out only half of it. When Ethel discovered this she said to him, “You have taken my half out of the bank. Now go back down there and get your half!”. All of the Wilson family money was thus safely retrieved.

After farming for many years, the couple retired in Webster City, Iowa. Sunday afternoons during the summer would often find them fishing off the Old White Bridge over the Iowa river after enjoying a picnic lunch. Both were avid fishermen and would often travel up to Minnesota on fishing trips. Earl also liked working in his garden and woe to the grandchild who entered it without his permission! (The buried money may had something to do with this attitude.)

Ethel’s declining health resulted in her eventually being put in a nursing home, but the stay was a short one. After only a few days, Ethel called her husband and said, “Earl! Come down and get me out of here!”. She was moved back home and died there of a heart attack one April evening in 1967.

Earl lived four more years and continued to fish whenever he could. Leukemia and the loss of his driver’s license eventually made it difficult to get around, but he never stopped trying. Even up to his final days he was optimistic about retaking his driving test and regaining his independence.

Children of Earl & Ethel Wilson

Glen Shields Wilson – Farmer, Woodworker
Born: October 13, 1905Died: October 22, 1997

Mildred May Wilson (Hoverstein) – Housewife
Born: February 1, 1907Died: ??

Lesslie Earl Wilson – Farmer
Born: September 5, 1908Died: 1987

Ruby Belle Wilson (Caudle) – Housewife
Born: January 16, 1911Died: May 11, 1995

William Edwin Wilson – Farmer
Born: October 13, 1920Died: 2011
Standing: Les, Earl (dad), Glen, Edwin.
Seated: Ruby, Ethel (mom), Mildred
Picture probably taken in the early 1930s.