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Not many of the successful men of the west are “to the manner born,” fewer still were born in the state in which their successes have been achieved. William E. Wilson is a conspicuous member of this class, the product of one western state, the progressive citizen of another, and some account of his career forms a necessary part of the work of the plan and scope of this.
William E. Wilson was born in the state of Oregon, December 29, 1862, a son of James and Nancy Wilson, who were among the pioneers of Idaho and who are referred to more at length elsewhere in this volume. It was in 1863 that Mr. Wilson first saw Idaho. He was brought, a child of less than twelve months, to the state that year. When he was old enough he attended the public schools in Boise valley and thus gained a foundation for a very substantial business education which he has since acquired, largely by observation and by reading and study in odd moments. Until 1894 he lived at Mountain Home and since then he has lived on his ranch on Bennett’s creek, fifteen miles from that place. For twelve years he was manager of the stock business of Tames Wilson & Sons, in Elmore County. His ranch, which embraces four hundred acres of fine grazing land, affords unsurpassed facilities for successful stock raising, in which Mr. Wilson is engaged quite extensively.
Mr. Wilson married Miss Anna Daniels, December 22, 1886. Mrs. Wilson was born in Jackson County, Iowa, August 31, 1867, and was educated in the public schools of her native state and at the state normal school at Kirksville, Missouri. She taught school in Missouri for one year after her graduation. Her parents died in 1879, and in 1884 she came to Idaho, bringing with her Thomas Daniels, her brother, then only seven years of age. In 1884-5 she taught successfully in Elmore County. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have had four children: James, Ida, Maggie (who died March 17, 1899, just past her fifth birthday), and Lloyd.
Everything that conduces to the welfare of his town, county and state receives Mr. Wilson’s unqualified support. He is an influential Democrat and is widely popular as a Mason and a Knight of Pythias.