This blog post is another in a series connecting the dots in my tree to the souls buried at Bairdstown Cemetery in Bairdstown, Oglethorpe County, Georgia.
Jack L. Wilson, son of Thomas B. Wilson and Martha Williams, was born in Georgia on January 28, 1840. There were at least eight children in his family—William Ralph Wilson, Joseph Wilson, James Wilson, Jack L. Wilson, Pleasant Wilson, Eliza Wilson, Virginia Ellen Wilson, and Sarah (Sallie) Wilson. Jack is the uncle of husband of sister-in-law of 1st cousin of husband of great grandmother (Alice Beman Lankford Callaway) to me … weaving through Mullins to Callaway and finally to my Lankford line. We have no common relative. Yes, its roundabout but it is a connection, lol.
On October 24, 1850, the Wilson family lived in District 163 of Greene County, Georgia. His father, born in Virginia, was a farmer with real estate valued at $6,000. Although most of the children in the home were old enough to be in school, Jack’s brother William was the only one enumerated as a student. Jack’s parents may have been running a boarding house as there were six unrelated people living in the home—James Healey, age 35, peddler; William Jackson, age 20, mechanic; Thomas Callahan, age 27, merchant; W. A Houston, age 24, teacher; Daniel Brown, age 25, farmer; and James Armstrong, age 20, clerk.
On August 9, 1860, the Wilson family lived in Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. Jack’s father, still working as a farmer, was doing well financially with real estate valued at $5,500 and a personal estate valued at $29,000. Jack, at age 20, was the oldest child living at home and worked as a clerk. There was a 20-year-old male named Frank L. Veazey living in the home who worked as an overseer. Frank had a personal estate valued at $300.
When the Civil War began in 1861, Jack was enlisted by Capt. R. L. McWhorter at Penfield, Georgia as a private in Company C, Third Georgia Infantry, Confederate States Army on April 24. He was mustered into service on May 3, 1861 by Capt. R. G. Cole in Augusta, Georgia. Jack’s name appeared on the muster roll dated June 30, 1861. He was discharged in 1862.
Jack married Jane Catherine Neal, daughter of George W. Neal and Eliza W. Edmondson, in Oglethorpe County, Georgia on October 3, 1865. Jack and Jane had four children together—George N. Wilson, Blanche L. Wilson, Julia L. Wilson, and Nellie F. Wilson.
Marriage record for Jack Wilson and Jane Neal (click to enlarge)
On June 16, 1870, Jack, his wife Jane, and children George and Blanche lived in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia. Jack worked as a merchant and had a personal estate valued at $600. His father and sister Sarah (Sallie) lived six houses from Jack and his family. Jack’s father died some time in 1873. At the time, his father owned a tract of land in Greene County consisting of about 69 acres of which Jack owned one half interest in 40 of those acres. Jack agreed to the sale of the land for the benefit of the heirs and creditors of his father’s estate. During the years 1878 to 1882, U.S. property tax records for Bairdstown, Georgia show that Jack owned 155 acres of land valued at $400.
On June 3, 1880, Jack and his family (Jane, age 34; George, age 13; Blanche, age 10; Julia, age 7; Nellie, age 1) still lived in Penfield. Jack worked as a merchant while Jane stayed at home and kept house. Nellie was enumerated as Ellen F. Wilson. Their son George worked as a clerk in a store, probably with his father. The census record shows that although Jane was born in Georgia, her parents were both born in Vermont. There were three black servants living in the home—Mary Lumpkin, age 41, cook; Felix Brinkley, age 13, nurse; and Frank Wilson, age 25, farm hand. Frank’s wife Jane, age 23 and a housekeeper, and daughter Alma, age 6, lived in the home as well. Both Jane and Alma were enumerated as mulatto. The census agriculture record shows that Jack owned 50 acres of tilled land and 25 acres of woodland. His farm, valued at $1400, was maintained with $100 worth of tools and $140 worth of fertilizers. He kept his livestock, valued at $150, within fences that cost him $25 to build in 1879. Jack paid $150 wages for farm labor in 1879. Jack grew Indian corn, oats, rye, wheat, and cotton. During the years 1884 to 1887, U.S. property tax records for Woodville, Georgia show that Jack owned 301 acres of land valued at $1505.
Property tax record for Woodville, Georgia (click to enlarge)
He employed 18 “hands” between the ages of 12 and 65. During the years 1878 to 1882, Jack owned 155 acres of land in Bairdstown, however, property tax records show that he was a non-resident. The same tax record shows that city or town property in Janie’s name had an aggregate value of $250. The same 301 acres of land in Woodville were valued at $1204 in 1890.
On June 1, 1900, Jack, his wife Jane (enumerated as Janie), and daughter Nellie, age 20, were the only people left in the home. They had left Penfield and moved back to Woodville. Jack worked as a farmer. Jane was enumerated as having had four children, all of which were living. Nellie worked as a music teacher. Jack may have moved to Bairdstown after the census was taken. As early as July 1900, the Bairdstown correspondent of The Oglethorpe Echo started reporting that Jack was sick. The newspaper chronicled his illness on multiple occasions:
July 27, 1900—Mr. Jack Wilson has been quite sick for several days but is better now.
August 3, 1900—Mr. J. L. Wilson, who has been sick, is much better we are are [sic] glad to write.
January 25, 1901—Mr. J. L. Wilson, who has been in bad health for some time, is improving a little we are glad to say.
March 15, 1901—Mr. J. L. Wilson, who has been very feeble, is improving we are glad to state.
March 22, 1901—Mr. J. L. Wilson, our postmaster, is still in very feeble health.
June 28, 1901—Mr. J. L. Wilson, our postmaster, who has been sick for some time, is slowly improving.
July 26, 1901—Mr. J. L. Wilson, who has been in bad health so long, is not improving very fast.
August 9, 1901—Mr. J. L. Wilson’s condition at this time is not at all favorable we are sorry to state.
August 16, 1901—Mr. J. L. Wilson is still very feeble. No improvement in his condition since our last.
They also reported that he was postmaster in Bairdstown so, do you have to live in the community if you’re a postmaster?
Jack died on September 3, 1901, in either Oglethorpe or Greene County. The Oglethorpe Echo published a death notice on September 6:
—Mr. J. L. Wilson, whose illness we have chronicled several times, died last Wednesday night at 12 o’clock. He will be greatly missed by his many relatives and friends. He was ever obliging and kind, always ready to render any service in his power. He leaves a wife and four children to mourn his sad death. Our loss is his gain, but we hope to meet him in that bright home beyond the skies where all pain and suffering shall cease and joy and happiness reign supreme.
“Then shall we know as we are known,
And in that world above
Forever sing around the throne
His everlasting love.”
Jack was buried at Bairdstown Cemetery.
- Administrator’s Sale, The Greensboro Herald, Greensboro, Georgia, November 20, 1873.
- Ancestry.com, Georgia, U.S., Property Tax Digests, 1793-1892 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
- Census Year: 1880; Census Place: District 138, Greene, Georgia; Archive Collection Number: T1137; Roll: T1137:14; Page: 10; Line: 6; Schedule Type: Agriculture.
- Company Roll of the Dawson Grays of Green Co., Ga. When This Company Joined the 3rd Regt. Ga. Vol. It Was Ever Afterwards Known as Co. C.
- George W. Neal and Eliza W. Edmondson, Georgia, County Marriages, 1785–1950.
- J. L. Wilson and Jane C. Neal (1865), Georgia, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1828–1978.
- Jack L. Wilson, Georgia, U.S., Property Tax Digests, 1793–1892.
- Jack L. Wilson, U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861–1865.
- Mr. J. L. Wilson death notice, The Oglethorpe Echo, Crawford, Georgia, September 6, 1901.
- Mr. J. L. Wilson’s illness, The Oglethorpe Echo, Crawford, Georgia, July 27, August 3, 1900 and January 25, March 15, 22, June 28, July 26, August 9, 16, 1901.
- Mrs. Janie Wilson obituary, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, March 28, 1944.
- Personal visit to Bairdstown Cemetery, Bairdstown, Georgia.
- Thomas B. Wilson and Martha Williams (1830), Georgia, U.S., Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1828–1978.
- U.S. Federal Census, District 163, Greene County, Georgia, 1850.
- U.S. Federal Census, Bairdstown, Georgia Militia District 232, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 1860.
- U.S. Federal Census, Penfield, Militia District 138, Greene County, Georgia, 1870, 1880.
- U.S. Federal Census, Woodville, Greene County, Georgia, 1860, 1900.