Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of
Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


THOMAS S. WILSON is a popular and efficient county official. He springs from an old American Colonial family of Irish stock, members of the family having intermarried with English, Scotch and Welsh. The grandfather of our subject was a native of North Carolina, and a captain in the American Revolution. At an early day he settled near Murfreesboro, Tenn., and here passed the remainder of his days. William Wilson, father of our subject, was born in North Carolina, and became a prosperous Tennessee farmer. He married Cynthia Wasson, and they were the parents of eight children. Mr. Wilson moved to Greene County, Mo., in 1855, and settled five miles north of Springfield. In religious belief he was a Methodist, and his wife was a Presbyterian. In political belief he was a Democrat. He was a prominent farmer and an honorable, much respected citizen. Thomas S. Wilson, son of above and the subject of this sketch, was born June 21, 1837, in Tennessee, near Murfreesboro. He received an excellent education, attending the Union University of that city. In 1857 he was appointed second-lieutenant of the United States Marine Corps, and received military training in Washington, and served until the breaking out of the Civil War, when he resigned his commission on account of his sympathies with the South, and he was arrested on this account and imprisoned three months at Fort La Fayette, New York Harbor, and two months at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, where he was exchanged as a prisoner of war. In 1858 Mr. Wilson was second-lieutenant of marines on the United States frigate, Sabine, flagship of the expedition to Paraguay, South America, in which there were twelve ships. The squadron settled important differences with that country without resorting to war or severe measures, the expedition being away one year. Mr. Wilson went 800 miles up the Paraguay River and visited the cities of Montevideo, Buenos Ayres, Corientes, and other prominent places. Returning home in 1869 he was second-lieutenant on another United States frigate and made a voyage to the United States Naval Station on the east coast of South America, and was over two years on this voyage, during which he visited Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and other places, returning home in 1861. During the war he assisted in the capture of the United States gunboat, "Underwriter," at Newbern, N. C., which was taken by a boating party after a severe engagement. Upon arriving at Richmond, Va., he was commissioned captain in the Confederate Marine Corps early in the year of 1862. His service was mostly ordnance duty. He was present at the battle of Drury Bluff, or Fort Darling, near Richmond, in which he took part. He served as captain until the close of the war. This excellent military training coupled with his natural ability and his experience in the art of modern warfare made him specially expert in all his military duties and made him prominent and his services specially valuable to the Confederate government. He became a brilliant soldier, prompt, skillful and rapid in the execution of every difficult duty entrusted to his care. After this he settled in Greene County, Mo., where he taught school and became a farmer. In 1872 he married Mary A., daughter of Hardy White, of this county, and to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have been born eight children. In political opinions Mr. Wilson is a stanch Democrat, and is true to his political friends. In 1890 he was elected recorder of Greene County, a position which he still fills to the general satisfaction of the people. Mr. Wilson is a man of independent character, and his record shows that he is a firm supporter of what he believes to be right He is well known among the citizens of Greene County as a man able to hold any office in the gift of the people, and his integrity is unimpeached.

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