Biography of Joseph C. Wilson

Joseph C. Wilson. Aside from the prominance which is his in the business world by reason of his position as sales manager for the Burroughs Adding Machine Company, at Topeka, Joseph C. Wilson had the distinction of belonging to a family which for three generations have been active in the business, civic and moral development of Kansas. The name had always stood for honorable and public-spirited citizenship and for participation in progressive movements, and Mr. Wilson is proving himself a worthy representative of this old and respected family.

Mr. Wilson was born in the City of Topeka, Kansas, June 28, 1880, a son of J. C. and Anna (Morris) Wilson, and a grandson of Jonathan and Drusilla (Cox) Wilson. Jonathan Wilson was born in Westchester County, Pennsylvania, in 1809, and was married in 1833, at Friends Church, Dublin, Wayne County, Indiana, to Drusilla Cox, who was born in Belmont County, Ohio, May 3, 1815. Her grandfather was born in Scotland and came to North Carolina prior to the War of the Revolution. Drusilla had ten brothers and sisters, all of whom lived to maturity and became heads of families. Jonathan Wilson died in July, 1886, at the home of his brother-in-law, Pleasant Bond, in his seventy-seventh year. Jonathan and Drusilla Wilson were pioneers of three states, i. e., Ohio, Indiana and Kansas, and history does not record any examples of persons doing more good than they. Their lives appeared to be filled with a desire to uplift and do good to others. In all the communities in which they lived in their long and eventful lives they were leaders. Before the Civil war they were champions of anti-slavery, and when that question had been settled a cause equally great and important had arisen to be solved, and prohibition became the war cry. They, with their friends, worked indefatigably to have the law written upon the statute books of the State of Kansas, and when this purpose was accomplished they were close watchers to see that the law was not broken. They always took a foremost part in such matters, and in their comunities were held in the highest esteem. They folt always that something was yet undone, and the early Women’s Christian Temperance Union and kindred organizations and movements owed them a great debt of gratitude.

J. C. Wilson, son of this honored pioneer couple, came to Atchison County, Kansas, and during the early ’70s became active and prominent in politics. He was nominated for the Kansas Leglslature and was duly elected from Atchison County, and served with dignity and honor in that body. A little later he was appointed to the post of clerk of the United States District Court at Topeka, and in 1892 was appointed one of the receivers of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Bailway, a position which he held up to the time of his death, in 1895. He also served at one time as mayor of Topeka, being elected to that office in 1880 and serving two years. In both public and private life his character was unassailable, and his friendships included prominent men from all walks of life. In 1866 Mr. Wilson was married to Miss Anna Morris, of Bockville, Illinois, and they became the parents of the following children: Ruth, who is the wife of Wendell P. Lyman, of Topeka; Dorothy, who is an assistant librarian in the Los Angeles (California) City Ldbrary and makes her home in that city; Helen, who is the wife of Everett H. Dallis, of Atlanta, Georgia, general agent there for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad; Mabel, who is the wife of Claude M. Butlin, of Mexico City; Eleanor, who is the wife of J. B. Furry, a prominent attorney of Muskogee, Oklahoma; and Joseph C., of this review.

Joseph C. Wilson received his education in the public schools of Topeka, where he graduated from the high school, and subsequently entered Lexington (Missouri) Military Academy. When he had completed his course at that institution, he entered upon his career in the offices of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, but soon accepted the position of assistant secretary of the Lacleds Gas & Light Company, of St. Louis, Missouri. Returning to Topeka in 1907, he organized the Wilson Office Supply Company. He disposed of his business in 1913, and January 1, 1914, assumed the duties of sales manager at Topeka for the Burronghs Adding Machine Company, which concern had made him a very attractive offer. Through his good salesmanship and executive ability he had greatly incroased the business of this concern in Kansas, and had become widely and favorably known in trade circles. He is also popular socially and holds membership in various fraternal organizations and elubs.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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