Notes for Byrd Lincoln Wilson

A Wilson Family Tree

Notes for Byrd Lincoln Wilson

Unknown newspaper (possibly the Fruita Times), 7 Jan 1931, pp. 1, 4 (obtained from Richard & Lauretta Gillen):


Funeral services for the late B. L. Wilson, pioneer newspaper man of Colorado, who for many years edited the Mesa County Mail at Fruita, and later was engaged in the grocery business in the lower valley town, will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Starks-DeYarman funeral home in Fruita. Interment will be in Elmwood cemetery near Fruita.

The death of the veteran newspaperman, who enjoyed a wide acquaintance throughout the entire western slope and also in Denver, and many other Colorado points, occurred suddenly Monday night at the Park hotel in Fruita, where he had boarded for several years. After eating his supper, he had gone to a bathroom in the hotel, and it was there his lifeless body was found. Death was attributed to heart disease. He had been in ill health following an influenza attack suffered about three months ago. He was 70 years old.

Coming to Colorado in the early 70's, when he was but a boy, Byrd Lincoln Wilson virtually grew up with the newspaper industry of the state. As a boy, he worked in the mines of the San Juan district, and later worked in farming districts around the present location of Durango, which had not then been established as a city.

His entry into the printing business came to Mr. Wilson as a helper in newspaper offices of the mining camps of western Colorado. Among the shops in which he was employed was the Ouray newspaper edited by David S. Day, one of the most famous of the earlier Colorado editors.

In 1880, Mr. Wilson went to Leadville, working in mines there during the "boom" days. From there he went to Denver, where, according to friends at Fruita, he was employed for nearly 30 years in the composing department of the Rocky Mountain News, serving as foreman of the advertising composing room. For about 10 years he was employed in the mechanical department of the Denver Post.

Mr. Wilson came to Fruita about ten years ago, taking over the editorship of the Mesa County Mail. He continued in that post until about two years ago when that paper was sold to new owners. He then entered into partnership with L. E. Gredell in a grocery business in Fruita, the partnership continuing until his death.

Mr. Wilson is survived by his widow, who was in the hotel at the time of his death. The only other survivor among his immediate relatives, so far as could be learned today, was a brother in Texas, whose address is not known. An older brother who died a few years ago, was Judge Adair Wilson, who many years ago served as district judge in the southwestern part of the state and later as judge of the state court of appeals.

During his long residence in Denver, Mr. Wilson served at one time as president of the Denver local of the typographical union and was the leader in organizing a benefit association in connection with the union, the association still being in existence. He was a member of the Masonic and Knights of Pythias lodges. He was prominent in political circles in Mesa county for several years.

Mr. Wilson was born in Saline county, Missouri, on July 12, 1860.

The name on his death certificate (obtained from Richard & Lauretta Gillen) is Byrd Lincoln Wilson. Cause of death listed as arteriosclerosis myocarditis. Place of death just listed as Fruita, Mesa Co., CO. Occupation listed as grocer.
Headstone says Byrd L. Wilson, 1860 - 1931.

Information about the marriage of Byrd and Mary is inconsistent and confusing. In the 1900 census, he and Mary are listed as having been married for five years, which would make their marriage about 1895. In the 1910 census, he and Mamie are listed as having been married for two years, which would make their marriage about 1908 (it also seems to indicate that it was Byrd's first marriage and Mamie's third). In the 1930 census, Byrd's age at first marriage is listed as 38, which would be about 1898. I will put about 1898 for now, but it is very uncertain.

1870 census
Listed as Bird L. Willson, age 10, born in Missouri, living with brother B.H. Willson and family. Attended school within the year.

Note: Some of the information in these pages is uncertain. Please let me know of errors or omissions using the email link above.    ...Mike Wilson

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