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Introduction Part 5


Daniel, who was five years younger than George Follett, was a very young child when the family moved to Yates County, New York. He attended the public schools of Milo, the town where they lived. While still in his teens he commenced teaching and at the same time began the study of medicine. The teaching of medicine at that time was not highly structured as it is today and consisted largely of individual physicians teaching students chosen by them. He studied with a Dr. Spence of New York and later was under the instruction of Drs. Whitney and Huston of Yates County. He received his diploma from the Medical Society of Yates County. His biographer says, "he has been the beloved physician in many a household, where his presence has brought healing and all regard him as a safe friend and a wise counselor. He is a man of superior intellectual culture and rare strength and sweetness of character. He has often been called upon to fill important offices of responsibility and trust in the county and township... the people having such confidence in him that when the Legislature passed an act for approprating 5,000 acres for the improvement of highways, he was appointed to locate the land, sell the same, and expend the proceeds." Dr. Daniel Wilson, his wife, and son are buried in what is known now as the Sorter Cemetery, located in Ovid, Michigan, on the property originally settled by Reuben and Sabrah Wilson.

Louis T.N. Wilson was probably the last child born to Sabrah and Reuben Wilson. He was born in New York, 24 September 1819. He was only nine years old when his brother George left home. At fourteen years of age, he apprenticed to a Mr. Halstead, Coldwater's pioneer clothier, and learned the tailor's trade. While working there he affiliated with the Methodist Church and studied for the ministry with Rev. Philo H. Crippen of that church. He was ordained by the Official Board of the Methodist Church as a minister. Not long afterwards, he entered the law office of Lt. Gov. of Marshall, a town near Coldwater. He completed his study of the law under George. A. Coe of Coldwater. He was admitted to the Bar of Branch County. The following description of his work in the courtroom comes from the Coldwater Republican at the time of his death: "he loved the profession and followed it with enthusiasm. He loved its contests and its triumphs and could submit, under protest, to its defeats. He was a fierce fighter from the start to the finish of a trial, contesting every point in it. Having a remarkably retentive memory, with a quick perceptions, his thorough reading of the law rendered him a formidable adversary to cope with. He was quite familiar with all the weapons in the legal armory and could bring the most effective into service on a moment's notice. He was a brilliant forensic fencer and withal capable of handling the gravest and most important constitutional question arising, with the same facility he would a technicality. Impulsive, aggressive, and passionate - with strong convictions and the courage to follow them - he was very liable to mix up cause, client, and opposing counsel as all wrong and send them down together before his impetuous onslaught."

"His command of language was wonderful and the manner in which at times he would use invective, pathos, ridicule, and argument in a cause was marvelous. But under all this fiery outside beat a kindly, generous heart, quick to sympathize with those who suffered and even prone to heal the wounds he himself had caused."

In 1875 he moved to Minneapolis and was associated with Thomas Lowery in the practice of law. He returned to Coldwater in 1877. He died there April 26, 1887.

We know that there was communication between George Follett Wilson and his brothers Daniel and Louis. Virgil Angelo, George's son, spent some time in Coldwater studying law with his Uncle. Henry Clinton was there at the same time. (Letter of V.A. Wilson in Jones Papers Collection at the University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, N.C.) In the Journal (entry 29 December 1829), Dr. Wilson mentions receipt of a letter from Coldwater, possibly from Louis, saying that Daniel had left home and their parents, no longer able to work, needed help. There is no record of George Follett's ever having returned to visit his family in New York or Michigan. There is no record of any of the family visiting in the South, though there is verbal tradition that Louis did one time visit in Bethania. Virgil Angelo's wife, Martha, told her granddaughter, Sadie Wilson, of the visit.

Just four years before his death, Dr. Wilson removed his family to Doweltown (now Yadkinville) to a lovely home which he named "Wildwood." The property adjoined that of Theopholis Christian Houser, his brother-in-law. Both homes still stand and have been well maintained through the years. Just to the West of the Wilson home is the family cemetery where Dr. Wilson and many of the family are buried.

George Follett Wilson, by his life of dedicated service, his personal example of exemplary character, and his dedication to the search for knowledge and understanding through independent thought and life-long study and reading, has left a goodly heritage. His Journal will bring into bright focus the true worth of this life lived over a century and a half ago.