WILSON, James, a Representative from Iowa; born on a farm in Ayrshire, Scotland,
August 16, 1835; immigrated to the United States in 1852 with his parents, who
settled in Norwich, Conn.; moved to Iowa in 1855 and located in Traer, Tama
County; attended the public schools and Grinnell (Iowa) College; engaged in
agricultural pursuits; taught school; member of the State house of
representatives 1867-1871, serving as speaker in 1870 and 1871; regent of the
State university 1870-1874; elected as a Republican to the Forty-third and
Forty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1873-March 3, 1877); member of the Iowa
Railway Commission 1878-1883; presented credentials as a Member-elect to the
Forty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1883, until the closing day,
March 3, 1885, when he was succeeded by Benjamin T. Frederick, who contested
his election; director of the agricultural experiment station and professor of
agriculture in the Iowa Agricultural College at Ames 1891-1897; was Secretary
of Agriculture in the Cabinets of Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft, and
served from March 5, 1897, to March 3, 1913; editor of the Agricultural Digest;
died in Traer, Iowa, August 26, 1920; interment in Buckingham Cemetery.
BibliographyWilcox, Earley Vernon.
Tama Jim. Boston: The Stratford Co., 1930.