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I. C. WILSON. This gentleman is one of the oldest pioneers of Marion County, and his name is so inseparably mixed with its progress and welfare that to leave it out of this work would be like the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out. He was born in North Carolina February 2, 1814. Of that State his parents, James and Celia (Askew) Wilson, were also natives. In 1845 they turned their faces westward, eventually landed in Arkansas, and here they breathed their last, the father’s death occurring in Yellville at about the age of sixty-seven years, and the mother’s at the age of seventy-nine years.
Of them I. C. Wilson inherits Scotch-Irish blood, and was one of the seven children born to them. He came to Marion County, Arkansas, in 1849, making the journey overland. He had married in North Carolina, and some of the older members of his family were born in that State. He located on a farm in what is now Boone County, then Carroll County, and lived there up to 1851, when he moved to Yellville, entered the mercantile business, and also kept an hotel. At the beginning of the war he went to St. Louis, but his stay in that city was of short duration. He rented a farm about twenty-five miles south of the city, on the banks of a small stream, where he remained until the cessation of hostilities, when he returned to Yellville. Soon after, he moved to his farm east of that place, where his home has since been. He had amassed considerable means during antebellum days, but nearly all of this was swept away during the war, his buildings and fences destroyed, and ten Negroes whom he owned, freed. His estate comprises 153 acres, the most of which is under cultivation and finely improved, with excellent buildings of all kinds.
He was married to Martha, the daughter of Simeon and Mary Burlison, of North Carolina, and was called upon to mourn her death in 1875, she having borne him six children: Dr. William C., of Yellville; Mary A., wife of J. H. Berry, a leading merchant of Yellville, who has been there since 1852, and who has been closely identified with the progress and development of the town; Evaline, widow of G. W. Hensley, of Searcy County; Sophronia, wife of G. W. McDowell of Yellville, is deceased; Mosoria, wife of A. S. Lofton, a banker of Yellville; and James B., a merchant of that place. Mr. Wilson is a member of the A. F. & A. M. lodge of Yellville, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He is a highly honored citizen and has done much to build up and improve Marion County. His present wife was the Widow Layton, whose maiden name was Lydia A. Stover.