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George William Wilson
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Birth: Oct. 1, 1813
Rockingham County
New Hampshire, USA
Death: Apr. 8, 1899
New Bedford
Bristol County
Massachusetts, USA

WILSON, GEORGE, was born in Windham, New Hampshire, October 1, 1813, where he spent his boyhood until he was fourteen years of age. His education was such as the common schools of his native town afforded, limited to ordinary rudimental instruction.

Ambitious to earn his own living, he left his paternal home,with their knowledge but without the consent of his parents. It was in 1827 that he entered one of the Merrimac mills at Lowell, as bobbin-boy, where he was employed for two years. He then apprenticed himself for three years to learn to manufacture cotton goods, receiving forty-two cents per day the first year, fifty cents the second and fifty-eight cents the third, on which money he paid his board and clothed himself. He was obliged to work thirteen hours a day for this meager sum, but he bravely continued to the end of his apprenticeship.

At the close he left Lowell mainly to get away from undesirable acquaintances and hoping to secure better opportunities for employment. For some time Mr. Wilson was unsuccessful, though he used his best endeavors and gladly accepted every opportunity to earn an honest dollar. In his wanderings he came to New Bedford and found time that he had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Mr. John Howland Jr., who thought Wilson a suitable man to work for him and live with his mother, Reliance, widow of John Howland.

A bargain was made and young Wilson entered upon his new employ and found it very pleasant, so much so that he soon gave up all thought of looking for work in a cotton factory. It was a home to him and the influence of that good old Quaker lady did much to form his character and to fit him for the many eminent positions he was called to fill later in life. For four years he continued in the employ of Mr. Howland, and while he did faithful and satisfactory work for his employer in the regular service, he was enabled by working overtime and by studious economy, to save his entire monthly wages. It was through this diligent use of his time that he obtained his little capital that was to be the foundation of his business life.

In 1836 he purchased his first horse and truck, and commenced the teaming business, which he successfully carried on for thirty years. In 1850 he entered into partnership with the late Hon. John H. Perry, under the firm name of John H. Perry & Co., and for seventeen years carried on the coal, paint and teaming business at the corner of Walnut and South Water streets, in which enterprise the firm was very successful.

Mr. Wilson was identified with many of the business enterprises of the city. He was president, director and superintendent of the New Bedford Tanning Company for four years, president and treasurer of the Goswold Mills, director of Mt. Washington Glass Company, of the New Bedford Street Railway Company, and the Fall River Railroad Company. He was for three years a partner with Dennison Brothers, grain and flour dealers.

Mr. Wilson was for many years a member of the New Bedford Fire Department, and has held every office from torch-boy to chief engineer, except that of clerk.

He was a member of the Common Council, of the Board of Aldermen, and finished his public service to the city by a four years' term as mayor. In all these positions Mr. Wilson brought that energy, faithfulness and honesty that characterized his business career, and his administration as mayor was noted for its economical and business-like methods.

Mr. Wilson was a self-made man, and through his persistent effort and a willingness to work at any honorable employment, has risen, step by step, until he has acquired an ample competency and has occupied the highest positions in the gift of his fellow citizens.

George was married first to Tempey Pierce, September 10, 1837 in New Bedford, Mass.

He was married second to Elizabeth J. Pierce, May 9, 1875 in New Bedford, Mass. Elizabeth was the niece of the first wife.

No natural children were recorded, but George and Tempey (Pierce) Wilson were the adoptive parents of Tempey's niece, Tempey Wilson Pierce (18491872).
Family links: 
  Tempey Pierce Wilson (1807 - 1872)
  Elizabeth J. Pierce Wilson (1841 - 1917)
Rural Cemetery
New Bedford
Bristol County
Massachusetts, USA
Plot: Lot 59, Sec. NW
Created by: J.Bosworth
Record added: Aug 18, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 75094445
George William Wilson
Added by: Jim Grasela
George William Wilson
Added by: J.Bosworth
George William Wilson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jim Grasela
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

In remembrance
- J.Bosworth
 Added: Jun. 26, 2015
Many thanks to Jim Grasela for providing the wonderful photo and biographical information.
- J.Bosworth
 Added: Dec. 17, 2012

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