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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 276-277 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The name Wilson is a familiar and universal one, and of the thousands of the name in the United States, few comparatively have a common American ancestor or are so near of kin as to have a common ancestor as late as 1630. Genealogical dictionaries dealing with the period previous to 1700 give long lists of Wilsons who settled in this country, few of whom are mentioned as being even distantly related. They came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The particular Wilson family of Cohoes trace their ancestor to Scotland. In 1740 two brothers came to America, one settling in Massachusetts, and one coming north to Saratoga county, New York. The first record is of Esau Wilson, son of the Scotch emigrant, who was a farmer of Saratoga county, married and had a family.

(II) James Sanborn, son of Esau Wilson, was born in Saratoga county, New York, in 1818, died in Cohoes, New York, in 1893. He learned the carpenter's trade, and in 1847, after he married, removed to Lowell, Wisconsin, where he was a leading contractor and builder. In 1854 he returned to Saratoga county, and took up his residence at Clifton Park, removed to Cohoes in 1868, where he died. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and a Republican in politics. He married, in 1835, at Half Moon, Saratoga county, New York, Cynthia Mary Husted, daughter of Jeremiah and Elizabeth Wickes Husted, and a descendant of Scotch ancestors. She died in 1891, aged seventy-four years. Children: Ira M., Elizabeth, Winfield S., Mary J., William H., Jeremiah, James Henry, see forward; Julia, Ida M., Lola, Isaac C.

(III) James Henry, son of James Sanborn and Cynthia Mary (Husted) Wilson, was born in Lowell, Wisconsin, July 22, 1854. Shortly after his birth, his parents returned to their old home, Saratoga county, New York, where he attended the public schools. When he was fourteen they removed to Cohoes (or Waterford) where his education was completed. After his school days were ended, he worked with his father for a time, then for three years clerked in a grocery, and in 1878 began working in the J. C. Sanford box factory. In 1880 the plant was sold to John Leggett, who in 1881 appointed Mr. Wilson his superintendent. In 1885, in Cohoes, with A. D. Wait, he purchased the business from Mr. Leggett and in 1886 became sole owner, Mr. Wait retiring. The business was successfully prosecuted under the sole direction and ownership of Mr. Wilson until 1893, when he admitted two young men who were in his employ, William McCreedy and Jacob W. Mayot, and as J. H. Wilson & Company the firm still continues. They own the Empire Paper Box Company, of Cohoes, which manufacture besides their large variety of paper boxes, the Empire band cutting and folding machines. This is only one of the activities in which Mr. Wilson is prominently engaged. In 1892 he organized and incorporated the Continental Knitting Company, and was president the first two years of its corporate existence, and now a director. They are manufacturers of Egyptian and Colonial balbriggan underwear, and are rated a highly successful enterprise. In 1896 he was one of the organizers of the Hudson River Coal and Ice Company, and is the present treasurer. This is a very large and prosperous company, owning private railroad switch grounds of three acres and four hundred feet of river front. Politically Mr. Wilson is a Republican. In 1882 he was elected school commissioner of Cohoes, and in 1884 re-elected; in 1894 he was appointed and in 1895 elected to the same office, serving until 1898, when he was elected president of the board of education, and in 1900 re-elected; in 1903 he was elected mayor of the city, serving one term. He has given years to the schools of Cohoes, which is the best evidence of his great interest in the cause of education. During his long term of service his greatest ambition has been to raise the standard of efficiency and secure the best possible results from the public school system of the city. In 1889 he was one of thirty who organized and established the Cohoes Hospital Association, and for several years served as director. He is also a director of the Young Men's Christian Association of the city, and an interested, helpful member. In church work he is equally interested and energetic. He is a member of the Baptist church, and has served as trustee fourteen years, and for twelve years was superintendent of the Sunday school. In 1889, when the Island Mission was organized, he was one of those who assisted and was the first superintendent of the Mission Sunday school. His fraternal affiliations are with Cohoes Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Cohoes City Lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen and D. J. Johnson Lodge, Temple of Honor. His life has touched every branch of the life of his city, civil, religious, commercial and benevolent. In all his business undertakings he has been successful; in his official positions, energetic and faithful, and in his church and benevolent work, willing and helpful. There have been few idle days in his fifty-six years, and in taking a retrospective view of his life he can surely find some cause for satisfaction.

He married (first) in May, 1875, Adelaide Delanoy, of Cohoes, New York, who died June 3, 1898. Children: 1. Francis D., born August, 1876, died April 10, 1892. 2. William James, born July 10, 1887, in Cohoes; graduate of Cohoes high school; now associated with his father in business; married, July 11, 1906, Charlotte M. Nuttall, of Cohoes; children: William, died in infancy, and Helen Frances, born November, 1910. He married (second) March 19, 1900, Hannah Ophelia, the daughter of James Teachout and Mary Bailey, of Saratoga county, and granddaughter of John Teachout (1769) and Hannah Swartwout (1777), who were born in Dutchess county, and whose forefathers came to America from Holland. Mary Bailey Teachout was the daughter of Major Henry Bailey and Eleanor Andrews, and granddaughter of Lieutenant Henry Bailey and Margaret Losee. On her mother's side she was a descendant of Captain Michael Dunning.

The ancestors of Henry Bailey are said to have fled from England to Holland to escape persecution, and early in the seventeenth century they came to America. The Dunnings were early settlers of Fairfield, Connecticut.

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