James M. Wilson, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of James M. Wilson

JAMES M. WILSON. Three miles east of Valparaiso, Indiana, on the LaPorte stone road, lies a country place which instantly commands the attention of the traveler and in its undulating beauty invites him to pause and inspect it more closely. As the eye passes across the well tilled fields, the handsome buildings and the fruitful orchards, the pleasant prospect naturally suggests that this is a real home, and that the people who live there delight in the possession of these broad acres, and not only use them to derive from the soil its yield of wealth, hut take pleasure in keeping it fair and beautiful to see.

"Broad Lands" is the name of this bit of Eden, and it is the home of Mr. and Mrs. James M. Wilson, who are numbered among the leading residents of Porter county. Here they live in what people of this age are coming to realize is the best way to live -- close to Nature. gladdened by the pure air, the refreshing breezes from great Lake Michigan, and yet, withal. surrounded by the comforts that advancing civilization has discovered and perfected.

When Mr. and Mrs. Wilson as a youthful married couple began their united career they owned forty acres in Washington township, tilled the soil industriously and in due time were enabled to purchase a farm. Later they sold this and bought the William Bundy farm, a fine tract of one hundred and five acres. Here they resided for a while, then sold it and acquired the permanent home to which they had always looked forward. This farm, consisting of one hundred and ninety-seven acres, they christened "Broad Lands," a peculiarly appropriate title, and ever since they entered upon it they have taken delight in improving and modernizing it, until now it is known far and wide, and its fortunate possessors are envied by many.

The soil is adapted to the raising of any kind of grain as well as the culture of fruit. The residence is a large structure in a modern style of architecture, and is one of the most comfortable homes of the neighborhood, a place where hospitality is paramount, and which is a comfort and a pride to its owners and to the friends who are frequently their guests. The estate taken as a whole is considered, with its improvements and its high state of cultivation of the grounds, one of the most valuable country places of the region. Mr. Wilson receives many offers for it, but none has tempted him so far to dispose of what is at one and the same time his home and his occupation.

Mr. Wilson comes of one of the old families of the county of Porter, and he and its other members are so well and favorably known as to need no introduction to the people of that county. He is a native of the nearby county of LaPorte, Indiana, and was born September 21, 1854, the second in a family of six, three boys and three girls, born to Andrew and Catharine (Stoner) Wilson. Four of the children are now living. Thomas is one of the principal agriculturists of Washington township. Schuyler is married and is engaged in the commission business, making his home at Valparaiso. Margaret is the wife of Joseph A. Skinner, of Chicago, a carpenter and joiner.

The senior Wilson was born in 1836, and followed farming in LaPorte and Porter counties. He was an old line Republican, uniting with that party when it came into being. He cast his first vote for General Fremont, the first Republican nominee, and he consistently supported the candidates of that party from that time. Both he and his wife, who was before her marriage Catharine Stoner, were devout members of the Baptist church, and he aided in the erection of the church of that denomination in Valparaiso. He was a deacon in the church and a class leader. He was born in 1836 and died in 1892 in Washington township, his demise being sudden. Mrs. Wilson is still living, advanced in years but in happy possession of her faculties, and enjoying the cordial esteem of those about her. She was a little girl when she became a resident of LaPorte county, and spent much of her life there, the remainder being in Porter county, where she now makes her home at Valparaiso. Much interest is manifested by Mrs. Wilson in church work, and she is an energetic member of that branch known as the Ladies Aid Society.

The entire life of James M. Wilson, the subject of this sketch, has been spent in LaPorte and Porter counties. He was educated in the common schools and began his life's work as an agriculturist. He was married to Miss Jennie Bundy of Porter county, on March 3, 1880. Two sons and two daughters were born to them, of whom two now survive. The son, Carroll D. Wilson, was educated in the local schools and selected farming for his occupation. He is married to Miss Evaline Matthews and their family consists, like that of his parents, of two sons and two daughters. These are: Harold D., Glenn D., Lulu May and Carolyn Lee. They are members of the Christian church and he belongs to the M. W. of A. at Valparaiso, Indiana. Carroll received the advantage of two terms training in the University of Valparaiso. Laura M., the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James M. Wilson, after finishing in the common schools spent two years in the high school of Valparaiso. Instruction in music was a part of her curriculum. She was married, June 3, 1912, to Ransom E. Olds, a son of Abram Olds, a resident of Center township. He was educated in the common schools and was also a student in the University of Valparaiso. Mr. and Mrs. Olds reside on her parents' estate.

Mrs. Wilson is a native of Porter county, and was born January 17, 1861. She is the eldest of nine children, four sons and five daughters, born to Daniel and Sarah (Hollis) Bundy. There are eight living, all but two of whom are residents of northern Indiana. Harris lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is engaged in the cement business. He is married. Margaret is the wife of Michael Roche, an attorney-at-law in San Francisco, California. The senior Bundy was a native of Porter county, followed farming with success throughout his life and died in 1902, at the age of fifty-six. He was a Republican in politics. His wife now resides in Valparaiso, and holds membership in the Christian church there. Their daughter, the wife of the subject of this sketch, grew to womanhood in this county.

Mr. Wilson is a Republican. His first vote was cast for R. B. Hayes and he has supported each and every Republican candidate since then. He himself is president of the Porter County Fair Association, to which position he was elected in 1907. He and his wife belong to the Christian church in Valparaiso. For five years Mr. Wilson was engaged in the feed, grain and flour business in Valparaiso, but his pretty and valuable farm proved too strong an attraction and in occupying and utilizing it he finds his greatest pleasure. In this belief his good wife and children share, and those who have had opportunity to see their attractive home do not wonder that such is the case.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 569-571

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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