Jefferson County Historical Society

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James J. Wilson, Jr., editor and proprietor of the "Jefferson County 
Crystal Mirror," of Hillsboro, was born in Carroll County, Tenn., in
1853, and is the eldest of the thirteen children of James J. and Ann
(Hatlock) Wilson.  The father was born in Waynesborough, Wayne Co.,
Tenn., in 1828, and received his education at the Paris Academy, 
Paris, Tenn., where he graduated in March, 1852.  He engaged in 
merchandising for a few years, but has since turned his attention to
farming and teaching.  July 6, 1862, at Ironton, Mo., he enlisted in
Company D, Thirty-first Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and took part in
the siege of Vicksburg and the battle of Arkansas Post.  On account 
of disability he was transferred to Company I, Twenty-third Veteran
Reserve Corps, in April, 1864, in which he served until the close of
the Rebellion, being honorably discharged at St. Louis, July 1, 1865.
He remained in St. Louis County until 1867, and then located in 
Jefferson County, where he has been occupied as a farmer and trader.  
He served as assessor of Jefferson County in 1879 and 1880.  He was 
reared a Whig, politically, and is now a member of the G. A. R.  His
wife is a member of the Presbyterian Church.  His parents were Zaccheus 
and Naomi T. (Gillespie) Wilson, natives, respectively, of Mecklenburg 
and Towan Counties, N. C., who were early settlers of Williamson County, 
Tenn., later removing to Western Tennessee, where the father died in 
1857; the mother died in Jefferson County, Mo., in 1879.  James J. 
Wilson, Jr., was reared on a farm, receiving a limited common school 
education.  He taught school eight years, and in 1884 was employed as 
book keeper for the Crystal Plate Glass Company, being afterward promoted 
to chief shed clerk.  In August, 1885, in partnership with Dr. T. B. 
Taylor, he founded the "Crystal Mirror," which was continued under their 
management at Crystal City until March, 1886, when Mr. Taylor retired, 
and Mr. Wilson conducted the paper alone, at Crystal City, until January, 
1887; he then removed to Hillsboro, enlarging the paper from a five to a 
seven column quarto, making other improvements, and changing the name to 
the "Jefferson County Crystal Mirror."  In two years' time the subscription 
reached 1,100.  Mr. Wilson was formerly a Democrat in politics, having cast 
his first presidential vote for Tilden, but more recently the Republican 
principles have been more congenial to him, and he has identified himself
with that party.  In March, 1880, he married Miss Mary E., daughter of
Joseph and Mary E. Wilkinson, of Washington County.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilson 
have three children: Horace Bates, Arthur Jasper and Henrietta Ann.  The 
parents are members of the Presbyterian Church.