THOMAS WILSON, FREELAND, PA.
WILKES BARRE RECORD OF THE TIMES, APRIL 18, 1890.
The community was shocked
Monday to learn that Thomas Wilson —whom nobody knew was sick—had died
suddenly in Freeland. The sad event took place on Sunday night about 11
o'clock. Mr. Wilson had been ailing with a cold for many weeks, but on the
Thursday preceding his death he was suddenly taken ill at the new banking
institution, Citizens' Bank of Freeland, of which he had been elected
cashier only a month ago. Medical aid was summoned, but his condition was
not considered fatal, though he suffered intense pain and had to be kept
under the influence of opiates. The cause of death is given as pneumonia,
though that is not the diagnosis arrived at by the physicians, who, so far
as can be learned, attributed it to some abdominal obstruction.
Mr. Wilson was a native of
the north of Ireland, and came to this country when a mere lad. He came to
Wilkes Barre from Summit Hill, and made a reputation as a most honorable
business man. This reputation he ever maintained, and those who knew him
best say they would not have hesitated to trust their all in his care.
He had a natural aptitude
for banking, and became cashier of the First National Bank of Wilkes Barre,
a position which he filled with entire satisfaction, retiring in 1879. He
had invested rather heavily in local real estate; but hard times coming,
he had difficulty in meeting his payments. He therefore voluntarily turned
over his entire property to his creditors, not keeping out a home or even
a dollar for himself. The handsome home, costing $23,000, is now owned by
William S. McLean. Mr. Wilson then went to Colorado and sought to repair
his shattered fortunes, but he subsequently returned and engaged in the
real estate business in Wilkes Barre. In this he was succeeding when the
new bank at Freeland, of which Joseph Birkbeck, of this city, is a leading
spirit, offered Mr. Wilson the cashiership, and the same was accepted. Mr.
Wilson went to his new post a few weeks ago, and at once became a general
favorite in Freeland. It seemed as if life was opening up anew to him, and
when here last week he seemed a young man again. But he was not an old
man—only sixty-two on the 24th of last January. During his brief illness
he was attended by the most skilled medical practitioners of Freeland, and
on Sunday he was visited by two of the local clergy, who held services in
his room. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Wilson was twice
married. His first wife was a daughter of the late Alexander McLean and a
sister of William S. McLean. Two sons are the issue of that union : Leslie
Wilson, in the grain business in Scranton; and Thomas Wilson, who is
lumbering at Lenoir, N. C. His second wife, who was with him during his
illness, is Harriet, daughter of one of Wilkes Barre's old-time
physicians, Dr. Latham Jones. A daughter, Annie, was born to them, and she
survives to mourn.
Mr. Wilson was a grand,
good man; of quiet demeanor and unostentatious walk in life; yet his
energy was unbounded and his integrity was unquestioned.
Note.—We have not yet been
able to obtain sufficient facts for the obituary notices of other members
of our Society who have departed this life; but hope to secure them in
time for the next edition of this volume or for succeeding volumes.