“Genealogical and Personal History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania”
Editor: JOHN W. JORDAN. LL. D.
Illustrated, Volume II
Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, 1913
Pgs. 748, 749
The WILSON family is an ancient one in Pennsylvania and the line herein traced has added to its historical and genealogical interest by alliances with the GARRETT and BEATTY families.
The first of this branch of whom there is definite and authentic record is JAMES WILSON, born in 1758, died in 1792, who came from Bedford County, Pa., to Washington County, Pa., in 1781. By his will he left to his wife, MARGARET, 200 acres of land adjoining the borough of Washington to be held in trust until its youngest son, JAMES (2), should become of age, when it should be divided among his sons, JAMES, THOMAS, JOHN.
JAMES (2) WILSON, son of JAMES (1) and MARGARET WILSON, was born in 1780. He learned the trade of coppersmith and followed that occupation in Washington County until 1813, when he moved to Beaver County. He made his home in South Beaver Township, there purchased land and at his death was a farmer on a generous scale and a large land owner.
GEORGE WILSON, son of JAMES (2) WILSON, was born in Washington County, Pa., in 1809, died in South Beaver Township, Beaver County, Pa. As a child of three he was brought to Beaver County by his parents and one of his earliest recollections was of the soldiers recruited in the vicinity returning from the War of 1812-14. Here his entire life was spent as a farmer, and at his death he owned 300 acres of land in South Beaver and Ohio Townships. His last home, a frame structure erected in 1861, is still standing, in good condition, and is used as a residence. He was a member of the Whig party for many years, and at the formation of the Republican party transferred his allegiance thereto. Both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church. He married PARMELIA McMILLAN. Children: 1. REBECCA, died unmarried. 2. JAMES MARTIN, died in Warren, Ohio, age 65 years. 3. JOHN ARBUCKLE, died aged 24 years. 4. GEORGE RALSTON. 5. ZIMRI W., died in East Liverpool, Ohio. 6. MARY S., for many years a teacher in public schools. 7. ELIZA JANE, died in infancy. 8. ANNIE E., deceased, married J. L. ELLIOTT. 9. JOSEPH M., died in 1910. 10. CORDELIA FLORENCE, married MILES DEANE, and lives in East Palestine, Ohio.
GEORGE RALSTON WILSON, the third and second son of GEORGE and PARMELIA (McMILLAN) WILSON, was born in Beaver County, Pa., June 20, 1840, died in Salem, Ohio, Nov. 5, 1902. He followed the occupation of a farmer in Beaver County, was there married on Dec. 15, 1868, and afterward moved to Salem, Ohio, where his death occurred. He was a farmer. He was a Republican, and in religious belief was a Presbyterian, to which church he and his wife belonged. He married VICTORIA BEATTY, born Oct. 31, 1851, died in Beaver County, Pa., Aug. 10, 1893, daughter of REV. JAMES and ELIZABETH ANN ROSE (GARRETT) BEATTY. The BEATTY family’s original American home was in Columbian County, Ohio, where WILLIAM BEATTY settled. He was a native of Ireland and a large holder of land, which many tenants cultivated, according to the system then in vogue in that country. Becoming involved in difficulties with the English crown, his estate was confiscated and a price set upon his head for his capture. Forced into hiding, where he was protected by the good offices of his many friends, a year later he contrived to obtain passage on an American-bound vessel. Upon his arrival he continued westward until he arrived in Columbiana County, Ohio, where he invested his entire remaining funds in a farm land. Here he married and his son, REV. JAMES BEATTY, was born. JAMES, in his youth, voice a desire to enter the ministry and was educated to that end, graduating from Allegheny College and teaching school for a few years before being ordained. After his ordination in the Methodist Episcopal ministry his first charge was in Ohio, but he soon accepted a (pg. 750) call in Beaver County, Pa., and for many years was a familiar figure in the work of that denomination in the county. He married ELIZABETH ANN ROSE, daughter of ISAAC GARRETT, a member of an old New England family of “Mayflower” lineage. ISAAC GARRETT came the owner of a large estate and the possessor of a considerable fortune, all of which was swept away by a bank failure and several unwise business ventures. Children of REV. JAMES and ELIZABETH ANN ROSE (GARRET) BEATTY: 1. VICTORIA, of previous mention, married GEORGE RALSTON WILSON. 2. NETTIE, married H. B. COWAN, a resident of South Beaver Township. 3. LEONIDAS, died in infancy. Children of GEORGE RALSTON and VICTORIA (BEATTY) WILSON: LEONIDAS L., of whom further; NETTIE FLORENCE, married JOHN CARR.
LEONIDAS L. WILSON, eldest child and only son of GEORGE RALSTON and VICTORIA (BEATTY) WILSON, was born in South Beaver Township, Beaver County, Pa., Oct. 12, 1869. He attended the public schools and spent his youthful life on his farm, when a young man learning the baker’s trade. This he followed for a few years at Wellsville, Ohio, abandoning it to engage in farming operations. This he only continued for a short time and then accepted a position as general agent of the Millson Rendering Company of Buffalo, New York. The next thirteen years of his life were spent as proprietor of a livery stable at East Palestine, Ohio, where in connection with the general routine of a livery, he did a great deal of grade and excavation contracting. He also acquired real estate holdings of value in this town, still retaining title to several properties. On Oct. 31, 1912, he moved to his present home in the early platted town of Midland, Pa., where he continues in the contracting business, on a larger scale than heretofore, employing forty men and keeping eleven teams in constant use. MR. WILSON is a Republican in politics, and affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Owls.
He married, Dec. 27, 1899, ELIZABETH ELLEN SHASTEEN, daughter of ANDREW JACKSON and LUCINDA (WYMER) SHASTEEN, of Darlington, Pa. Children: LENA F., GLENN L., EVERETT D., HELEN E., GEORGE E., GLADYS M.
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