Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-186
Location: LH-186

(Description ID: 595600)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

James W. Wilson, M.D.


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

The Rutherford B. Hayes Center acquired this collection in 1947. For additional materials on James W. Wilson and the Wilson family, see the Charles G. Wilson Collection (LH-185) and the John B. Rice Collection (LH-30);

Biographical Sketch
James W. Wilson, M. D. was born on February 1, 1816 in New Berlin, Union County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Sarah (Mauck) Wilson and Samuel Wilson, a successful merchant. Dr. Wilson chose a career in medicine and performed his preliminary studies under Dr. Joseph R. Lotz of New Berlin. Dr. Wilson graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in March 1837. In November of that year he began practice in Center County, Pennsylvania. Dr. Wilson moved to Ohio with Dr. Thomas Stilwell in 1839, settling in Lower Sandusky on July 24.

Dr. Wilson was an highly successful and respected physician. He was president of the Sandusky County Medical Society and a member of the Ohio State Medical Society. In August of 1862, Governor Tod appointed Dr. Wilson as surgeon for Sandusky County. It was his responsibility to examine applicants for exemption from the draft.

Besides being a prominent physician, Dr. Wilson was also heavily involved in the financial life of the community. In 1857 he became partner in Birchard, Miller, & Co. When that banking establishment merged with the First National Bank of Fremont, he became Vice President under Sardis Birchard. After Mr. Birchard’s death in 1874, Dr. Wilson was elected president.

On May 25, 1841, Dr. Wilson married Nancy E. Justice. They had four children--two boys and two girls. Dr. Wilson contracted a severe case of pneumonia in January 1858 and never fully recovered. He lived for many more years, however.He died in 1904

Scope and Content
This collection consists of Wilson family correspondence, business papers, receipts, tax notices, bank books, and account ledgers that date from 1835 to 1904. Included in the collection are family and business letters and papers (1862 - 1918) of Dr. Wilson’s son, Charles G. Wilson, a prominent attorney in Toledo, Ohio.

Of particular note are letters and documents associated with Dr. Wilson’s removal from New Berlin, Pennsylvania to Lower Sandusky [Fremont], Ohio, including a daily memorandum of that journey. Also noteworthy are the papers and documents dealing with Dr. Wilson’s examination of applicants for the 1862 draft of Civil War soldiers from Sandusky County, Ohio. An abstract of the records may be viewed online at http://www.rbhayes.org/hayes/civilwar/display.asp?id=313&subj=civilwar

Housed with the collection is an every name index to the correspondence.

Ac. 443
3 linear ft.

Box 1


1. Medical College - 1835-1837; Medical Notebook (hand written)
2. Partnership with Samuel Strohecker - 1837
3. Travel from New Berlin, PA to Lower Sandusky, OH - 1841
4. Partnership - Wilson and Stilwell - 1840-1858
5. Community/Church Business - Letters of Introduction, etc.
6. Ohio Militia
7. Sandusky County Medical Society
8. Civil War Letters - 1862-1863 (Dr. J. B. Rice; Dr. L. Q. Rawson)
9. Exemption Examinations - Civil War - 1862
10. Correspondence - 1841-1848: Montelius; Reitzell; Buckland
11. Correspondence from Dr. Thomas Stilwell - 1842-1848

Box 2


1. Correspondence Samuel Wilson (father to James) - 1841-1848
2. Correspondence Dr. James W. and wife Nancy - 1841-1874
3. Correspondence Stella Carter - 1859
4. Correspondence Edward Wilson (brother to James) - 1841-1866
5. Correspondence Charles Wilson (brother to James) - 1841-1869
6. Correspondence Sarah Wilson (Rice) (daughter) - 1859
7. Correspondence Charles G. Wilson - 1862-1863
8. Correspondence Charles G. Wilson (son) - 1864-1865
9. Correspondence Charles G. Wilson - 1866-1867
10. Correspondence Charles G. Wilson - 1868-1888
11. Correspondence Charles W. Rice (grandson) - 1896-1901

Box 3


1. Tax Receipts: James Wilson - 1843-1862
2. Tax Notices - 1847-186
3. Taxes - 1891-1899
4. Bills and Receipts - 1839-1869: rent, services; subscriptions, investments, etc.
5. Bills and Receipts - 1896-1899: utilities, purchases, etc.
6. Bills and Receipts - 1900-1904
7. Banking and Legal Miscellaneous - 1848-1902
8. Correspondence M. Allen - 1860-1868
9. Real Estate Toledo, OH; Iowa - 1884-1899
10. Business Correspondence - 1900-1904
11. Real Estate: Ohio, Kansas, Iowa

Box 4


1. Bank and Account Books - 1841-1861
2. Miscellaneous Account Books, Property Records - 1834-1894
3. Bank and Account Books - 1873-1893
4. Canceled Checks - 1856-1901
5. Empty Stamped Envelopes