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Colonel William Wilson, who has been connected with various lines of business, and is now (1910) the head of a large hardware concern, is descended from an old colonial family through his maternal grandfather, Captain Jonathan Whitney, who earned distinction in the war of the revolution.
Colonel William Wilson was born in Seneca, Ontario county, New York, June 16, 1855. He was the recipient of an excellent education, being graduated respectively from the Canandaigua Academy, the Geneva Classical and Union School and Hobart College, leaving the latter in 1879 with the degree of Master of Arts. For the next two years he read law but abandoned this study in favor of the nursery business, with which he was identified until 1903, when he sold his interests. In 1898, in addition to carrying on his nursery business, he engaged in the hardware line, including all branches of this business-plumbing supplies, sheet iron and farming implements-and now (1910) owns the largest store of its kind in Ontario county. The business, which is steadily increasing annually. is almost entirely retail, and the trade is drawn from about fifteen miles around. In 1898 Colonel Wilson was senior major of the Third Regiment and they were called upon for active duty. They served from May 1 to November 10, of that year, principally in Virginia, and he was advanced to the colonelcy, May 9, 1907. The Third Regiment is attached to the Fourth Brigade of Buffalo, General Lauren W. Pettibone commanding. Governor Hughes appointed Colonel Willson brevet brigadier general, and he is the first vice-president of the National Guard Association of the State of New York. He is a member of the Kanadasaga and University clubs and of the Sons of the American Revolution. His political affiliations are with the Independent Democratic party, and he is a member of the Presbyterian church. Colonel Wilson married, November 10, 1878, Mary E., born in Geneva, New York, June 2, 1857, daughter of George Hippie, of Geneva, and they have one child: James Whitney, mentioned elsewhere.
James Whitney Wilson was born in Geneva, New York, April 10, 2881. He was educated in the Geneva Classical and Union School, then became a student at Hobart College, from which he was graduated in 1905. He is now (1910) associated in business with his father, the firm name still continuing as William Wilson. He serves as battalion adjutant in the Third Infantry, National Guard of the State of New York, a member of Gen. White’s staff and is a member of the Kanadasaga Club, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
He married, April 12, 1909, Shirley Scholes.