Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wilson House, Union County, GA

Photographer facing East
On the north side of Pat Haralson Drive, across from the rolling hills that are now home to Butternut Creek Golf Course, you may be able to find the remnants of Cicero and Roxie (Smith) Wilson's farm. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson raised four daughters and two sons along this road that is currently an area with commercial establishments (such as a dental office, the Sawmill restaurant, a town home development, Davenport Trucking), interspersed with single family homes, but in the early 20th century it was primarily farmland. The road begins in the city limits of Blairsville, and winds its way west until it brushes the eastern limit of Lake Nottely at Hwy 129 North.

Photographer facing NE
Born on March 25, 1885, in Hall County, GA, Mr. Wilson's family moved to Union County when he was five. Coincidentally, Pat Haralson Drive was named for the man that would become one of Mr. Wilson's teachers when he attended Fairview School.

Mr. Cicero Wilson

Roxie Smith was born September 27, 1887, and married Mr. Wilson in 1910. Their four daughters were Imogene, Montine, Ella Ree, and Audrey; the two sons were Woodrow, and James Ford.

Mr. Wilson worked for a time as the superintendent of the County's Pauper's Home (also known as The County Poor Farm), a place for indigent men to live out their lives. There is a good article about the Pauper's Home here, written by Ethelene Dyer Jones, a prolific author on Union County history.

At the age of 50, he took up farming, perhaps at the subject location in this post.  Sadly, Mr. and Mrs.Wilson twice had to face a parent's worst fear, the death of not one, but two of their children.
Back L-R, Montine, Ella Ree; Front L-R, Woodrow, Imogene

Wilson Farm Outbuilding, photographer facing north
Both Woodrow and James Ford served during World War II in Europe. Sadly, Woodrow was killed during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, and Imogene passed away in 1963 at the age of 46.

The following quote is from the Union County Heritage book,

"When Grandpa Wilson was 11, he got kicked in the head by an old mare. The dent stayed in his head his whole life.....Whenever Grandpa Wilson bought anything, he paid the money all at once. He never owed any money to anyone. Once when he was small, he drank milk and got sick. He never again drank milk. All he ever drank was water and juice. He never drank coffee, tea, or soft drinks. Grandpa died in 1980 after his 95th birthday. Grandma Wilson died two years before him."

Charolette (Adams) Conley, one of their 33 grandchildren informed me that Mr. Wilson was a Mormon, and Mrs. Wilson was a member of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. He was also known to have never had a drivers license. If he wanted to go somewhere, he'd simply start walking in that direction, and eventually someone would stop and give him a ride. He could also cane the bottom of chairs and make cane baskets.
Wilson Family, back, L-R Montine, Ella Ree, Woodrow, Imogene, James Ford, Audrey, front Cicero and Roxie

As I mentioned above, with 33 grandchildren, and 63 great-grandchildren (as of 1980), I'd say the Wilson's certainly did their part in adding to the legacy of Union County.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting story and nice to hear some history about this wonderful place.