Alexander County

Biography - Thomas Wilson

THOMAS WILSON, ex-Mayor of the city of Cairo, and one of its oldest living residents, is a native of Northumberland, England. He was born on the 23d day of July, 1823, and came to the United States with his parents, Andrew and Mary Wilson, in 1835. The family settled in New York City, where they remained until 1838, in which year they removed to Illinois and located at Fairfield, in Wayne County, where the parents died. Thomas was educated in England and in New York City, and married in Shawneetown, Ill., to Miss Sarah Marshall, daughter of Samuel Marshall of that city. For several years following, Mr. Wilson had his residence at Shawneetown, a portion of the time engaged in boating interests, and for a time was Sheriff of this county. In 1854, prompted by the flattering prospects for the future greatness of the town of Cairo, which, besides its manifest river advantages, gave an omen of coming renown, in that year being united with the north by the Illinois Central Railroad, he came to this place, where he engaged in the wharf-boat and commission business. Notwithstanding his attention ha§ been largely absorbed in his private business, he has frequently been called to positions of public trust, having a decided ability in matters pertaining to the public good. He was a member of the first Board of Trustees ever elected to preside over the business affairs of the town of Cairo, since which time he has served the city for three terms as Mayor, and from 1868 to 1872, was a member of the State Board of Equalization. His first wife died in 1872, leaving two children — Mary E., wife of George Dougherty, of Jonesboro, Ill., and Amy M. Wilson. In 1877, he was married to Mrs. Wicker, widow of P. J. Wicker, and daughter of John Hodges, one of the pioneers of Southern Illinois. She was born in Thebes, Alexander Co., Ill. Their union has been blessed with two children — Margaret and Thomas Wilson. Mr. Wilson, at present is the corresponding secretary for the firm of Halliday Bros. Politics, Democrat.

Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, page 53.

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