WILLIAM M. WILSON, attorney at law at Osceola, is one of the prominent members of the Clarke County bar. He was born in Guilford County, N. C., near the city of Greensborough, April 23, 1838, his parents, R. D. and Ruhama (Spoon) Wilson, being natives of the State of North Carolina. They removed with their family to Iowa in the spring of 1853, locating in Mahaska County, and in 1860 settled in Warren County, this state, near New Virginia, where the parents still make their home, the father being now eighty-one years of age and the mother seventy-five. To them were born six children, five sons and one daughter, all of whom are yet living. William M. Wilson was fourteen years of age when he came with his parents to Iowa, and received his primary education in the log school-houses of Mahaska county. In the fall of 1857 he entered the high school at Oskaloosa where he pursued his studies until 1861, returning to his home in Warren County at the breaking out of the late war. He enlisted in Company D, First Iowa Cavalry, and was immediately sent to Missouri, then to Northern Texas, most of his term of service being spent West of the Mississippi River. He served three years and three months, during which time he participated in many severe engagements, including the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, and the skirmish at Black Water. He was honorably discharged in September, 1864, when he returned to his home in New Virginia. In February, 1865, he was married to Miss Martha Fleming, of Warren County, a daughter of Asa Fleming. After his marriage Mr. Wilson located on a farm on which was erected a steam saw-mill, which he operated in connection with attending to his agricultural pursuits, until 1867. He then began reading law under Mr. Conklin, of Osceola, and also under Judge Chaney. He was admitted to the bar in 1869, at Indianola, Judge H. W. Maxwell presiding, and was admitted to practice in the supreme courts in June, 1872. He began the practice of his chosen profession at Osceola in the fall of 1869, where he has since been actively engaged, and has established a large and lucrative practice. Mr. Wilson was elected a member of the State Senate, to represent Clarke, Lucas and Union counties in the State Legislature. He was elected mayor of Osceola in the spring of 1875. In 1876 he was appointed receiver of the First National Bank, of Osceola. In 1880 he was appointed one of the commissioners to appraise and lay off the Fort Ripley Military reservation, it having been, by an act of Congress, thrown open for settlers. In 1882 he was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, one of the commissioners to establish and locate the United States post office building, at Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1885 he was elected First Lieutenant of Company A, Fifth Regiment, Iowa National Guards, and December 14, of the same year, was promoted to Judge Advocate with rank of Major, on the staff of Brigadier-General H. H. Wright, which position he still holds. Mr. Wilson is a member of the Methodist Protestant church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the blue-lodge, chapter and commandery. He is also a member of the Good Templars and a life member of the W.C.T.U. and State Alliance, of Iowa. He has six children living, three boys and three girls – the oldest girl is married to S. M. Gilbert and now resides in Salem, Dakota. At the reunion of veteran Union soldiers, held at Creston, Iowa, August 17, 18, and 19, 1886, Mr. Wilson was chosen as Colonel of the First battalion and commended with credit.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 260-1