Historical Details

Wilson, Dave F.

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 01/21/2021


By Dona  Eddy

David F. Wilson was born Nov. 7, 1888 to Francis W. and Martha Ann Hanop Wilson at Arena, Wisc. He grew to manhood here. He died Feb. 6, 1972.

He homesteaded in 1910 and proved up in 1915 in Harding County, Mont. He maried Margaret Schied at Bowman, N. D. Sept. 1914, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Schied. To them were born two children, (Louise) Ollie Wilson Jan. 16, 1916 and Earl Wesley Wilson May 31, 1917.

They had moved to Olive, Mont. where he established a hardware store. Here Margaret became very ill with the flu and passed away during the flu epidemic of 1918.

In time he moved to Douglas, buying a home there in hopes of keeping himself and his children together. It was difficult to find and keep a woman which would care for the children and keep house. He had two different housekeepers. The second house­ keeper stole many of his valuable household items.

His sister, (Grace) Mrs. Henry Wilson, came out to help him. She had arthritis and left for Thermopolis for treatments. Later, undergoing surgery for removal of her teeth, she passed away.  Her daughter, Irene, had come to help while her mother was gone and stayed on for awhile after.

He then took his two children back to Minnesota to his wife's parents.

In about 1920 Grace Richardson met Mr. Wilson through her sister Opal. On Feb. 14, 1922 David F. Wilson and Grace Richardson were married in the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Richardson by Rev. Powell of Keeline. They went to Wisconsin for their honeymoon and picked up his two children bringing them back to his original home in Douglas.

Children born to Grace and Dave Wilson were:  Ruth Merle Wilson Snow, Apr. 6, 1925; Grace Ellen Wilson Powers born Nov. 28, 1926; Lorraine Opal Wilson Wasserberger Nov. 2, 1931; and Mrs. Davenne Myrtle Glandt, March 15, 1937, all born at Douglas.

Mr. Wilson worked for Charlie Clark in the tin shop as a tinner.

His sister-in-law by his first marriage sent them clothes she didn't want. Mrs. Wilson made them over for their children and herself.

During the depression they never had to have help or go to the W.P.A.  Mr. Wilson made $15 a week wages. Mrs. Wilson raised a large garden and canned everything that grew in it.    You could buy a dressed pig for $3. Mrs. Wilson said we always had plenty to eat. I canned almost every pigeon we had in the pigeon loft. We had squab and we had as high as 22 squab at one time to clean, eat and can.    They had chickens, pigeons and rabbits.

When Lorraine was born, Dr. Hilton told us to get a goat, as we had problems of get­ting things to agree with Grace Ellen. We used goat milk for the whole family having about three goats at a time.

After spending 18 1/2 years in Douglas they bought the tin shop owned by Hugo Payne in Lusk in 1937. It had little business at the time, but it did have tools. Sam Langford had run the shop. It took us a good year to build it back into a business.

That first year we moved to Lusk was our hardest year as there was very little money and we had bought a business!

Mrs. Payne told her husband, "Hugo, don't sell it because Mr. Wilson has a family and he can't make a living here.”

We often wondered from time to time if the business would grow enough and if we could keep it going.

We rented a little place back of what used to be Payne's Hardware. First it had been a feed store.

Joe's Bakery then went up for sale and we bought it moving across the street. When they wanted to build the addition to the hospital, we sold the old shop, buying this lot, cleared it and built this build­ing in 1957 and we are still here.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Wilson, David (11/07/1888 - 02/06/1972) View Record
Obituary Wilson, Grace (06/05/1902 - 05/07/1996) View Record