James H. Wilson was born in Valle Township, Jefferson County, near 
where he now lives, October 10, 1841.  His father was David Wilson, a
native of Botetourt County, Va., who came to Jefferson County in 1834,
and settled on the farm James H. now owns; he was a saddler by trade,
which trade he followed to some extent after settling in Missouri, and
in the pioneer days served several years as justice of the peace. 
James H. Wilson was reared on the farm which has always been his home;
his education was acquired by three months' attendance in the subscription 
schools of his county, and was supplemented by study in the schools of 
St. Louis.  When Gov. Fletcher was clerk of Jefferson County James H. 
Wilson was his office boy, and under his preceptorship received 
advancement in his studies.  In 1863 he attended the Academy of DeSoto 
three months.  Mr. Wilson has kept a record of the weather since 1864, 
noting the height of the thermometer every morning and noon the year 
around, and can settle any dispute as to the temperature of the weather 
any day of any year as far back as January 1, 1867.  In 1875 he went to 
Texas, and while there did not neglect his record, which shows that the 
coldest day in that State during his stay was March 26, 1876, the 
thermometer registering 26 degrees above zero.  The coldest day recorded 
in his diary was Wednesday, January 29, 1873, when the thermometer 
registered 26 degrees below zero.  His sister, Martha E., keeps house for 
him.  She was born in Botetourt County, Va., July 26, 1826, and married 
Peter Politte, a native of Ste. Genevieve, Mo.  They have one child, 
Thomas M., born July 23, 1851.  Mr. Politte went to California in 1852, 
where he died in 1864.  Mr. Wilson owns 448 acres of land beside his 
interest in the homestead, and is a farmer and stock raiser.