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Samuel A. Wilson, professor of Latin and Greek at Cooper College, was one of the first body of instructors in that institution when it was opened in 1887. At that time he was given the chair of languages and his influence as a teacher and Christian gentleman had entered into the lives of all the students who in the past thirty years have passed through the halls of that institution.
Mr. Wilson is of Scotch-Irish stock. His great-grandfather. Archibald Wilson, was born in Ireland May 17, 1772, and learned the trade of weaver. In 1791, when nineteen years old, he came to the United States and located in South Carolina. He died July 5, 1826. He and his wife, Martha, had five sons and five daughters.
Archibald Wilson, Jr., grandfather of Professor Wilson, was born in South Carolina January 5, 1808. He married in that state, but on account of his strong opposition to the institution of slavery he sought a home in the North and joined the pioneers who were reclaiming a portion of the wilderness of the State of Indiana, locating at Ellettsville, where he lived until his death March 9, 1881. He married Elizabeth C. Wier, who was born in South Carolina January 24, 1812, and died at Monmouth, Illinois, September 29, 1892. Of their children only one is now living, William B., who was born January 14, 1839. For many years he was a teacher, was superintendent of the State Blind Asylum at Indianapolis, Indiana, but is now living on a farm at Carlsbad, New Mexico.
John Hemphill Wilson, father of Samuel A., was born at Ellettsville, Indiana, February 11, 1836. He graduated from the State University at Bloomington, Indiana, in 1860. After graduation he first taught in an academy at Sugar Grove, Indiana, and then located at Monmouth, Illinois, in the fall of 1861. For forty years he was a member of the faculty of Monmouth College. Resigning that position in June, 1901, he retired to Greeley, Colorado, where his death occurred December 7, 1912. While in Monmouth, Illinois, he served on the school board, and for thirty years was a member of the session and church treasurer of the United Presbyterian Church of that city, and afterwards filled similar positions in the church at Greeley, Colorado. Politically he was a republican. John H. Wilson married Lizzie J. Cathcart who was born at Mobile, Alabama, March 31, 1834, and is now living at the age of eighty-three in Greeley, Colorado. Samuel A. Wilson was the oldest of their children. Orrin M., the second, is a farmer at Geneva, Kansas. Alma E. died at the age of nineteen while attending Monmouth College. Elma A. is unmarried and is city librarian at Greeley, Colorado.
Samuel A. Wilson was born at Sugar Grove, Indiana, June 18, 1861. Soon after his birth his parents removed to Monmouth, Illinois, where he attended the public schools and also Monmouth College, graduating A. B. in 1882. Following that he taught school near LaSalle, Colorado, five years, and in October, 1887, joined the faculty of the newly established Cooper College at Sterling. Besides his work as a teacher he is treasurer of the endowment fund of the college. Mr. Wilson owned his home on North Broadway close to the college campus. He is a prohibitionist and had always been identified with the United Presbyterian Church, being a member of the session of the Sterling Church.
August 13, 1891, at LaSalle, Colorado, he married Miss Annabel McMillan, daughter of John M. and Lizzie (McNabney) McMillan. Her father was a farmer and died at Greeley, Colorado, where her mother is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have two children, John McMillan, born at Sterling February 24, 1901, and now a junior in the local high school; and Robert Samuel, born June 16, 1905, at Sterling, and a student in the seventh grade of the public schools.