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.