Biography of Judge Joseph Scott Wilson

JUDGE JOSEPH SCOTT WILSON. The judges of the various courts of Arkansas have always been noted for their character and ability, and one of the most popular of the worthy men elevated to the bench in the history of Cleburne County jurisprudence is Judge Joseph Scott Wilson, judge of the County and Probate Court. He has been a resident of Cleburne County twelve years, but was born in Haywood County, West Tennessee (now Crockett County), in 1853, the son of David and Louisa (Elliott) Wilson, natives of the Palmetto State and East Tennessee, respectively. They were married in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and moved from there to West Tennessee, and in 1859 to what is now Faulkner County, Arkansas, and took up their residence about twelve miles south of Quitman, where the father died in 1888 at the age of eighty-one years. and the mother in 1873, when sixty years of age. They were successful tillers of the soil, were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the father, was a member of the F. & A. M. While a resident of Tennessee he was a justice of the peace for some time, and during the Civil War he was for some time in the service. Two of his sons were also in the service: Fletcher who joined the first company that was raised in the county and served throughout the war, and Simon, who was in the service for two years and then retired, being disabled from a wound.

To Mr. and Mrs. Wilson thirteen children were born, of whom the subject of this sketch was the twelfth. He spent his early school days in Faulkner County, grew up on his father’s farm, and at the age of twenty-one years commenced to do for himself as a farmer on the old homestead in Faulkner County. He remained there and in the neighborhood until 1881, when he moved to what is now Cleburne County, on the farm of which he is now the owner, one-half mile southwest of Heber, which comprises fifty-one acres of land. Judge Wilson served as constable of this county for seven years, and was then elected to the position of justice of the peace, which he held two years. He was then elected county and probate judge, and this position is still ably filling.

In 1879 he was married to Miss Betty Saunders, of Faulkner County, a daughter of John H. Saunders, and by her is the father of four daughters and one son, all of whom are living. The Judge and his wife are worthy members of the Methodist Church, he is one of the board of stewards, and is a teacher in the Sunday-school. Socially he is a Mason, and is a member of Sugar Loaf Lodge No. 414, in which he has held official position.



A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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