R. W. WILSON is a native of Crittenden County, and one of its most successful business men. He was born December 29, 1829, and is a son of James and Rebecca (Bridges) Wilson, natives of Kentucky and Tennessee, respectively. Mr. Wilson's paternal ancestors were from North Carolina. His grandfather emigrated from that State to Kentucky about the beginning of the present century; he settled in the western part of the present county of Crittenden, and died in 1814. James Wilson was born in Crittenden County, and spent, all his life within its borders. He was a farmer and a successful business man, and at one time represented the county in the State legislature. He died in 1866 at the age of about sixty-eight years. Mrs. Wilson died in 1854, aged about fifty-seven years. R. W. is the fourth of a family of five children, and is the only living representative of the family. His early education was received at the common schools, and in 1849 he entered Cumberland College at Princeton, where he took a two-years' course. He commenced active life as a farmer, a business which he carried on successfully until 1860, when he engaged in merchandising in partnership with his brother-in-law, A. Armstrong, with whom he remained four or five years, closing out in 1865. After quitting the mercantile business he turned his attention to farming and trading, in which he has been very successful, accumulating a fine estate and handsome competency, being one of the largest tax-payers in the county. In 1867 he was elected clerk of Crittenden County, serving one term, and in 1873 was elected to the lower house of the legislature, which position he filled two years. Mr. Wilson was married March 20, 1870, to Mary M. Witherspoon, daughter of Hiram and Jane Witherspoon, of Crittenden County. Four children have been born to this marriage: Effie; James, deceased; John, and Rebecca J. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are members of the Presbyterian Church.


Source:  J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin, & G. C. Kniffin. Kentucky. A History of the State. Louisville, KY, Chicago, IL: Battey, 1885. Page 740.