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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Robert M. Wilson.

On the roster of county officials in Adair county appears the name of Robert M. Wilson, of Greenfield, who is acceptably filling the position of county treasurer and who is regarded as one of the representative and highly honored residents of this part of the state.  He was born in Henry county, Ohio, on the 16th of September, 1865, a son of Samuel and Mary W. (Hawley) Wilson.  The father was a native of New York and the mother of Connecticut, while their marriage was celebrated in Ohio, to which state they had removed with their respective parents in childhood.  Both the paternal and maternal grandfathers, Asa Wilson and Kent Hawley, were millers by trade and were prominently identified with the pioneer milling interests of the Buckeye state.  Samuel Wilson was trained to the same business and following his marriage was for many years actively identified with the operation of a saw and grist mill in Lorain county, Ohio, being thus engaged in the days of the old water-wheel mill.  Subsequently he retired from that business and removed to Henry county, where he carried on farming, to which occupation he devoted his energies throughout his remaining days.   In 1871 he came west to Iowa, settling in Grove township, Adair county, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, at which time Greenfield was a small village with a population of only one or two hundred.  Year after year he carefully tilled the soil and resided upon the home farm until his death, which occurred in 1899, when he was in the seventieth year of his age.  His wife survived him for about two years and was also in her seventieth year when called to her final rest.  In his political views Mr. Wilson was an earnest republican and while never an office seeker he served for many years in various township positions, to which he was called by his fellow citizens, who recognized his ability and sought his aid in carrying on public affairs.

Robert M. Wilson was educated in the district schools and in the Greenfield high school.  He subsequently taught two terms of school of three months each and when his desire for educational work was satisfied he returned to the farm, becoming associated with his brother Wallace and with their father in the operation of the home place.  In 1892 he was married and at that time purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Grove township, to which he removed, and began farming independently.  His agricultural pursuits were carefully and systematically conducted and he brought his fields to a high state of cultivation so that gratifying crops were annually garnered.  In 1898 he acquired an interest in a creamery at Prescott, Iowa, and for two years devoted his attention to butter making.  In the fall of 1899, following his father's death, he returned to the home farm and assumed its management.  Two years later, on the death of his mother, he acquired eighty acres of the old homestead and three years afterward purchased another tract of eighty acres lying across the road, making his place one of one hundred and sixty acres.  This constitutes one of  the most valuable farms in Adair county.  The soil is naturally rich and arable and its productive qualities are enhanced by the progressive methods which he utilizes in tilling and fertilizing his fields.  His business has ever been most carefully and systematically conducted and his indefatigable industry has been the basis of his growing success.

During the many years of his residence in Grove township Mr. Wilson, while not an aspirant for public office, was gradually led to take part in local politics and was called upon to fill a number of public positions.  Recognizing the duties and obligations as well as the privileges of citizenship, he consented and for four years filled the office of township clerk, while for four years he was township assessor.  He was also a member of the school board and the cause of education found in him a stalwart champion.  In November, 1911, he was nominated on the republican ticket for the office of county treasurer and was elected by a handsome majority.  He made such an excellent record in the office that in 1914 he was returned and is now serving his second term, being one of the most efficient and capable officers of Adair county.

Mr. Wilson was united in marriage to Miss Diantha, "Pet," McCall, of Washington township, this county, and to them have been born three children, but only one is now living, Nina May, who is attending the Greenfield high school.

Mr. Wilson is a member of Greenfield Lodge, No. 375, I. O. O. F.  He belongs to the Modern Woodmen and both he and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian church, taking an active and helpful interest in its work.  Mrs. Wilson is a stockholder in the Greenfield Savings Bank.  Mr. Wilson is known as a genial and obliging man and his friends are legion.  He has the goodwill and confidence of all, not only in his private business affairs but in office, and even those who oppose him politically never question his integrity or capability.



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