Biography of Judge James Daniel Wilson

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Judge James Daniel Wilson, who has been justice of the peace of Tahlequah, Cherokee county, since 1913, was born in Tahlequah, Indian Territory, on the 2d of February, 1861. His parents were Anderson and Nancy (Daniel) Wilson, both of the Cherokee Nation, the father being a half-breed and the mother one-eighth Cherokee. For many years Anderson Wilson was engaged in the conduct of a mercantile establishment in Tahlequah, but in 1863 removed to the Choctaw Nation, locating at Dooksville, where his demise occurred in 1865. The following year his widow returned to Tahlequah, where she made her home until her death in 1898. To their union two sons and one daughter were born, James Daniel being the second in order of birth. Some time after the death of Anderson Wilson, Mrs. Wilson became the wife of H. C. Barnes, former sheriff and a well known politician of the Cherokee Nation. Two daughters were born to the second marriage.

In the acquirement of an education James Daniel Wilson attended the public schools of the Cherokee Nation and subsequently became a student in the Cherokee Male Seminary. For several years, after putting his textbooks aside, he taught in the country schools and then accepted a position as clerk in a store at Tahlequah. He was active in that and other positions until 1907, when he was elected constable, which office he held for four years. At the termination of that time he resigned to become a special deputy in the deputy sheriff’s office and in 1913 he was elected to his present office of justice of the peace.

On the 1st of April, 1883, Judge Wilson was united in marriage to Miss Letitia M. Fields, a daughter of Richard Fields of Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. Her father was a man of prominence in the Nation. He died on the 22d of February, 1872, while serving as a delegate from the Cherokee Nation in Washington, D. C. Mrs. Wilson is a woman of much culture and refinement. She was educated in the Georgetown School at Washington, D. C., and later at the Female Baptist Academy in Alton, Illinois. She is very active in the club and social circles of the town and is a prominent member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Order of the Eastern Star. She is intensely interested in politics and has attended all of the conventions of the Democratic Party until the last two or three years. She is vice chairman of the Democratic County Central committee.

Since attaining his majority Judge Wilson has been a stanch supporter of the democratic party and the principles for which it stands. The religious faith of Judge and Mrs. Wilson is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and for many years he has been active as an elder in that organization.

Fraternally Judge Wilson is identified with the Masons and the Woodmen of the World. He has given quite a few very old and interesting Indian relics to the Oklahoma Historical Museum at Oklahoma City, including blow-guns, bows and arrows, spearheads, first law books ever published and treaty books. His farm, one and one-half miles southeast of town, was the camping place for the Cherokees as they were passing through this country, and from this place three delegates were sent to select the capital site, choosing Tahlequah. For recreation Judge Wilson turns to hunting and fishing and he has won widespread recognition in swimming and shooting. He is readily conceded to be one of the representative and substantial citizens of Tahlequah and both he and his wife have many friends in this community who appreciate their true personal worth.

During the World war Judge Wilson took a prominent part in war activities and was appointed a member of the committee in whose power was placed the granting of permission for use of explosives.

MLA Source Citation:

Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922. Web. 22 December 2014. - Last updated on Jan 15th, 2012

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