William Robert Wilson of Wildersville was born at Salusbury, Hardeman County, Tennessee January 23, 1859. His parents, James Alton Wilson and Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth (Ferguson) Wilson, were of Scotch Irish descent. In December 1868 the family moved to Wildersville, where William, as he was called, began his life as a plow boy on the battle ground of Parkers Cross Roads. At the age of nineteen he began teaching, and taught his first school at Burch School in the old Ninth District, after which he entered Henderson Masonic Male and Female Institute at Henderson, Tennessee, and finished June 16, 1882, receiving his degree. After teaching one year he attended the Peabody Normal at Jackson, Tennessee for one month, then returned to his sister's near Wildersville, and married Miss Mary C. Kiter on July 12, 1883. Immediately after his marriage he opened school at old Lone Elm and taught there for three years, after which he bought a farm three miles south of Wildersville and moved thereto. Soon, however, he was called back into the teaching profession, this time at Mazies' Chapel near Alberton. He taught at various schools and met with success everywhere. For a few terms he taught in the Baptist College in Lexington as professor of mathematics under E. W. Essary. He taught at Wildersville at various times and helped considerably to build up the town. While he was living in Lexington, he purchased the Lexington Republican Paper and ran it for two years assisted by Mr. Shaeffer. Then he sold his interest to Mr. Shaeffer and moved back to Wildersville, after living in Lexington seven years, during which time he served as County Superintendent for two years and as City Recorder for the town of Lexington for four years.

While on his farm near Wildersville he was so successful in building it up that he received much favorable comment from his neighbors and from those who observed his work. Entirely unexpectedly to him he was called upon to take over the work as County Demonstrator, in which capacity he served for three years. He served as magistrate of the First District for four years. In 1916 or 1917 he purchased half interest in the City Drug Store at Wildersville and has since been in active management of the store. He is now about seventy years of age.

Auburn Powers 1930 History of Henderson County TN

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