Ohio History Journal

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[This memorial was submitted by the writer at the annual meeting

of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, June 6, 1902.-


It is my sad duty to record for the annals of our Society the

decease of our esteemed friend Dr. Thomas Wilson, late curator

of Archaeology in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.,

whose death occurred early Sunday morning, May 4th, 1902.

Dr. Wilson was a great friend of our Society and was also

a contributor to our Quarterly. In many ways I have been com-

pelled to call upon Dr. Wilson for information upon various sub-

jects pertaining to Museum work and in all cases he responded

cheerfully and generously.

Dr. Wilson spent the greater part of his busy life in the city

of Washington. He was born July 18, 1809, at New Brighton,

Beaver Co., Pa. His ancestors both on his father's and mother's

side came from northern England; those on his father's side

settled in Harford county, Md., while those on his mother's side,

the Mercers, settled in Chester county, Pa. As the country be-

came more settled the Wilsons moved to Beaver Co., Pa., and the

Mercers to Columbiana county, Ohio.

In those early days it was not considered of great value to

have an education, but Dr. Wilson attended the common schools

at New Brighton, where he received the best education afforded

there, at that time. He was a very ambitious young man and

bound to make his way in the world. He left his native town

of New Brighton and came to Salem, Ohio, where he apprenticed

himself to David Woodruff in order to learn carriage making.

He remained with Mr. Woodruff for two years and then went

west, serving as a journeyman in several places in Illinois and

Missouri. He finally settled in Marietta, Marshall county, Iowa,

where he followed his trade of making plows used for breaking

the new prairie land.