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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Mrs. Julia A. Wilson

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[This information is from pp. 238-240 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Mrs. Julia A. Wilson, one of the best known temperance workers in Jefferson, Schoharie County, N. Y., was born in this town in January, 1828, daughter of John and Laura (Hamilton) Nichols. She is of New England ancestry on both sides. Her great-grandfather Nichols, whose name was Daniel, was a resident of Western Massachusetts. Her grandfather, Ezra Nichols, came to New York from Williamstown, Mass., settled as a pioneer at North Harpersfield, Delaware County, N. Y., and through energy and perseverance became the owner of a good farm containing about two hundred acres. He resided in that town for the rest of his life. Ezra Nichols married Elizabeth Knapp, of Danbury, Conn., and his children were: Daniel, John, Clemon, Eli, Sarah, and Chloe. Daniel died in Harpersfield; Clemon died in Jefferson, at the age of ninety-four years; Eli died in Madison, Ohio; Sarah became Mrs. Knapp; and Chloe became Mrs. Dixon.

John Nichols, Mrs. Wilson's father, was born on April 18, 1787, and was five years old when his parents removed to Delaware County. During his early years he resided for a while in Dutchess County. He settled in Jefferson in 1818, having resided with his father for some time previous to coming here. When his farm was ready for permanent occupancy he went to Connecticut for his bride, with whom he began life in a new house and on a new farm. His industry and thrift enabled him to accumulate a large amount of property, and this he divided among his children, his real estate alone amounting to twelve hundred acres. John Nichols lived to be ninety-five years old. He was fond of reading, and was a good mathematician. He also possessed considerable musical ability, and taught a singing-school in his neighborhood for a number of years. Charitable and affectionate in his disposition, he was considerate of the feelings of others. His firm belief in the immortality of the soul was the result of long and patient study of the Bible. In politics he was a Republican. His wife, Laura, who was a native of Danbury, Conn., became the mother of seven children, namely: Susan, born in 1822; Franklin, born in 1824; Wesley, born in 1826; Julia A., the subject of this sketch, born in January, 1828; Clara E., born in 1832; Cynthia L., born in 1834; and George H., born in 1836. Susan, who died in 1845, was the wife of Joseph Hallenbeck, a farmer. Franklin, who settled as a farmer in Altona, Knox County, Ill., married Margaret Multer. Their children are: Walter, now residing at the old homestead in Altona, Ill.; George, a farmer of Summit, N. Y.; Nathan and Irving, who live in Illinois. Wesley died in 1834. Clara E., who is a graduate of Musicdale Seminary, Salem, Conn., and was for some time engaged as a teacher of music at Level Green Institute, near Suffolk, Va., and at Goldsboro College, N. C., was married in 1857 to the Rev. John Q. Evans, of Harpersfield, N. Y. Mrs. Evans has two children, Thomas D. and Florine, both of whom possess remarkable musical talent. Mr. Evans died in 1895 at Larned, Kan. Cynthia L. Nichols, who is unmarried, resides in Jefferson. George H. married Maria Titus, and has three children — John, Clara E., and Fred, all of whom are married.

Julia A., now Mrs. Wilson, was graduated from the New York Conference Seminary, Charlotteville, in 1852. She studied painting in Cobleskill, N. Y., and, having completed her preparations for educational work, she went to Suffolk, Va., where she taught painting at a young ladies' seminary, and was at one time its principal. She afterward taught French and mathematics at the Goldsboro (N. C.) College, remaining there until compelled by failing health to return North, when she relinquished her work with reluctance. She married Henry Wilson in 1855, and has resided in Jefferson continuously to the present time. She has had two children, neither of whom is living. Mrs. Wilson is one of the most active members of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Jefferson, having served as recording secretary and as corresponding secretary, also as a delegate to several State and county conventions. She is a charter member of the local lodge, Independent Order of Good Templars, in which she is a Past Vice-Templar, and is its treasurer at the present time. She belongs to the Patrons of Husbandry, and is Chaplain of the local grange. Mrs. Wilson is an active member of the Presbyterian church, and for years has devoted a great deal of her time to Sunday-school and other religious work.

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