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Augustus M "Gus" Wilson
Birth: Feb. 8, 1845
Sumner County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Oct. 1, 1935
Collin County
Texas, USA

birth: 08 Feb 1845 — Kentucky
death: 1935 — Collin Co, Texas
residence: McKinney, TX
parents: Addison Wilson, Ann Moore

record title: Texas Deaths, 1890-1976
name: A. M. Gus Wilson
death date: 1935
death place: Collin Co, Texas
gender: Male
race: white
death age: 90 years 7 months
birth date: 08 Feb 1845
birthplace: Kentucky
marital status: Single
father's name: Addison Wilson
father's birthplace: Kentucky
mother's name: Ann Moore
mother's birthplace: Kentucky
occupation: Farmer
place of residence: McKinney, TX
cemetery: Roland Community family burial plot
burial date: 1935
digital film number: 4166574


following biographical information from Andrea Orenduff [andreaorenduff@yahoo.com].

12-25-1960
By Ross Orenduff, Sr

An odd character I knew was Uncle "Gus" Wilson. (He) was an old bachelor who owned lots of land, stocks and bonds and (had) lots of money. Among many peculiar traits was he would not speak to anyone. He would never dress in anything except cheap, dirty worn-out clothes, his shoes were usually worn out, he never wore socks, summer or winter – he had (a) long beard – never shaved and seldom trimmed his beard. He lived in a "semi cabin" near Roland, Texas. One morning when I worked at the Ford House, my boss Mr Anderson said, "here comes Uncle "Gus" – I'm going to make him speak this morning (it was pouring down rain) so when he came Mr Anderson said, "Good morning Mr. Wilson". His reply "Yes, Damn Fine morning for "Camberts and Ducks". A girl friend of mine was in the garden near the road digging potatoes when she saw uncle Gus coming down the road driving his old mule to a cart – she also decided to make him speak – she stood straight up and also said, "Good morning Mr. Wilson" – this time his reply was "Yeah, "by God" if you would turn your back to the road you would get more potatoes".

Among the first interurban cars that ran, he bought a ticket and rode one to Dallas and just happen to walk into a "Maxwell" automotive dealers place and decided he would buy an automobile. The salesman asked him how he wanted to handle the payments, he said, "hell I'll just give u a check for it." The manager overhearing the deal immediately phoned the Central National Bank in McKinney and Mr. Eubanks, manager of the bank answered the phone, the agent asked if a Mr. Wilson's check would be good for an auto? Mr. Eubanks asked him to describe the Mr. Wilson – he started out to describe him, but did not get far until Mr. Eubanks interrupted him, told him not to sell him just one but to sell him the whole agency that he would honor the check – well the salesman drove the car to McKinney and spent several hours teaching him to drive, but the very next day he drove it through a heavy plank fence and almost completely demolished it – he said when he approached the gate; he forgot and just pulled back on the steering wheel and hollered Whoa!, but the darn thing wouldn't stop!

When a cyclone destroyed most of the town of Melissa, brother Jess was one of a committee to solicit funds for the families that had lost practically everything they owned – most of the ‘committee men' were not in favor of asking Uncle Gus to donate – he was hard to approach for charity – back then times were pretty rough, people were giving 2, 3, 5 dollars. Brother Jess said, "Oh, I will ask him, he can't do anything but cuss me out". So, he said – "Mr. Wilson , we are out taking up a collection for the families who had everything blown away in the storm, and we just wondered if you would like to donate a dollar or two – he said, "yes - yes I will; "I'll give 20.00, them cyclones are just like a mad dog, they don't give a damn which way they go.

Old Tom Wilson – "Gus's" brother died I believe about the year of 1927 or 1928, his children had some difficulty in settling the estate peacefully so Uncle Gus decided he would not leave his property for his nieces and nephews to fuss over.

I was working at the Ford house when the T-Fords went out and the A-Fords came in – we were showing the "wonderful" model "As" when Uncle Gus came in to see them – Howard Franklin, a real salesman was a good friend of mine – did not "speak" to Uncle Gus – he just said, "there it is Mr. Wilson, look it over and tell me what you think of it."

Mr. Wilson said – well it looks pretty low, but they have got all the damn stumps out of the road so that's nothing against it – He said Howard, have you got what they call a "town sedan"? Howard says, Yes, Mr. Wilson we do have them". "OK", says Mr. Wilson, "get it ready, fill it up with gas and deliver it to the Widow Robbins, she is a hard worker, left with a bunch of kids and no way to go no where" and "O yes Howard do you have a pick up"? "Yes Mr. Wilson". "Well get it ready and deliver it to poor old Johnson Cox who runs a grocery store at Roland, he doesn't have anything but an old Model T to haul his groceries from McKinney".
"Now, do you have a fancy Little A roadster? "Yes Mr. Wilson". "Well get it ready put every "damn" thing shiny you can get on it, mirrors, fancy radiator cap – fender mirrors etc and deliver it to that youngest Robinson boy , he is a hard working youngster – figure the three tonight and I'll give you a check for them tomorrow. "Yes Mr. Wilson".

Mr. and Mrs, Priest near Chambersville bought one of Mr. Wilson's farms, paying some money down – and giving a mortgage on the rest – soon after the transaction Mr. Priest died leaving Mrs. Priest with four small children and the mortgage – she was trying desperately to keep the payments up – one day she was washing clothes at the back of the house when Uncle Gus walked up – after a brief conversation Mrs. Priest said "Mr. Wilson, the next payment on the land will be due in about 10 days and I think I'll be able to meet it." Mr. Wilson said, "I did not stop by for any payment, I stopped by for a drink of water". Mrs. Priest said, "I'll get you a drink" and Mr. Wilson said, "No, you go on with your washing – I'll get it I know where it is" so he went into the kitchen for a drink. When the noon-hour came Mrs. Priest went in to prepare lunch and when she turned over a plate on the table – she found the mortgage marked "paid in full" – all payments cancelled out.

Mr. Amos Littrell told me this story – One morning Mr. Wilson called him out of the house "Uncle Gus" was driving his mule to his cart. He asked Mr. Littrell if he would drive up the road about 4 or 5 miles to look at one of his 160 acre farms. Mr. Littrell said yes he would drive up with him but he did not want to rent more land and did not want to move as he was well-satisfied where he was. Uncle Gus said, "Well I just want you to look over the farm with me". – They walked over the land in silence, finally Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Littrell "do you think you and your wife and small boys could make a living on this place?" Mr. Littrell said he could but he had all the land he could work where he was – then Uncle Gus told him why he had brought him up there – he told him he had been watching him and the boys "clean up" the place where they were renting – and one day he had passed the place when there was a "circus" in town, and the boys were all hauling cotton and the other kids in the country had gone to the circus – so he decided to give Mr. Littrell the 160 acre farm if he would accept it – and Mr. Littrell asked on what condition or was there any strings attached – Mr. Wilson said none, and if you want the place come by in the morning and we will go to McKinney to fix up the deeds to which Mr. Littrell agreed.

After Mr. Wilson had given Mr. Littrell the farm he said he had intended to give it to Collie Caruth – but he had driven up there and there was too much concrete around the place – (Mr. Caruth had just completed a concrete walk around the house and to the barn) Uncle Gus said any farmer who couldn't stand a little mud on his shoes didn't deserve a farm. Yes, Uncle Gus has left this earth years ago, he is buried in his yard – beside his dog Joe, his dog's tombstone has a dog carved on top of the stone – there is an inscription which reads – Joe and I are going home – As it was said of Uncle Gus – he did not believe in a heaven or hell – so I do know WHERE they were going.

Gus came to Collin County with his parents in 1849. He never married and lived his entire life in the log house which his father built in 1850. Shunning every touch of modernlife except the automobile,he was as typical in pioneer habits and dress as was his father who brought him to Texas. His funeral expenses were all paid nine years before his death. He was buried in the family burial grounds adjacent to the house, where his parents and some other members of the family are buried. A life-sized reproduction of his faithful dog rests on top of his tombstone with the name "Joe" carved on it. The epitaph is simple:
" Joe and I are going home. A.M. (Gus) Wilson 1845-1935".
As unassuming in death as in life, he was one of Collin County's greatest philanthropists.
On Oct. 23, 1935, the Texas State Senate passed the following resolution as a memorial to him.....

Senate Resolution No. 7
WHEREAS, There has come to the attention of this body the death of A.M. Wilson, distinguished philanthropist of Collin County.
WHEREAS, This illustrious citizen has during his lifetime distributed among his fellow citizens his entire fortune of $800,000.00 among worthy citizens and for worthy purposes; WHEREAS, He has paid salaries of school techers when this state failed to pay them; WHEREAS, He has built churches without regard to denomination, built school houses, saved farms from foreclosure and has been a helpful friend to the poor and oppressed; therefore, be it RESOLVED, That a committee of three meembers of this body be appointed by the presiding officers of this body to procure and have prepared a portrait of said A.M. Wilson and that it be hung in this Senate chamber as a guiding inspiration to aid in bringing about unselfish service in behalf of the needy and that $500.00 or so much as may be necessary, be appropriated out of the contingent fund for that purpose.

An article by Jack Estes for Farm News in 1916 stated: "This man, a pioneer of Texas soil, is engaged in making others happy - doing good for his fellow man, providing homes for worthy farmers and educating poor children. He works quietly and cautiously and above all modestly. .... He finds worthy, hard-working families struggling with the proverbial "wolf at the door" and many other adversities that many tenant farmers wrestle with every day in the year, and presents them with small farms; he sees men toiling from sun to sun to pay off the mortgages on their homes and makes them a gift of their mortgage."
Uncle Gus Wilson lived modestly. He died penniless. It is typical that the dog has a handsome tombstone.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Addison Wilson (1804 - 1868)
  Ann Moore Wilson (1805 - 1882)
 
 Siblings:
  Martha Catherine Wilson Wallis (1829 - 1915)*
  Elizabeth Wilson Emberson (1832 - 1920)*
  Angie N. Wilson Cooke (1834 - 1854)*
  Joseph Addison Wilson (1838 - 1872)*
  Thomas Benton Wilson (1840 - 1913)*
  Augustus M Wilson (1845 - 1935)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
"Joe & I are Going Home"
 
Note: Buried with his dog.
 
Burial:
Wilson Family Cemetery
Chambersville
Collin County
Texas, USA
 
Maintained by: Richard Hollis
Originally Created by: William
Record added: Jul 21, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6626578
Augustus M Gus Wilson
Added by: Richard Hollis
 
Augustus M Gus Wilson
Added by: QDV
 
Augustus M Gus Wilson
Added by: EH
 
 
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- Landen's Papa
 Added: Mar. 12, 2017

- Anna
 Added: Mar. 10, 2017
Mr. Wilson....you lived and died long before I was even born. Rest in peace.
- did0pe didid
 Added: Mar. 8, 2017
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