Black and white photograph of seven men

Charles Wilson Sr.

On September 17, 1857, Charles Wilson Sr. was born to Robert Knox and Isabelle Cook Wilson in Brigham City, Utah. In his youth, Charles and his siblings helped their father dig ditches to drain the swampland and create rich farmland in the northwest portion of the city. The ditches diverted water from Box Elder Creek into irrigation canals to water the newly planted orchards in the northeast section of the community.

Charles courted Mary Jenet Bywater, and on October 12, 1882, they were married. Robert turned the family farm and house over to the couple. Charles had made all the adobes for the house, hauling mud from Willow Springs. There was no electricity, no piped water, and no toilets. Charles installed a swing between two of the large trees for the children. The couple successfully raised grapes, among other ventures. Charles would make his children flutes out of the willows while they were young and green. In the fall, Charles would kill a couple of hogs for meat in the winter and keep the pigs’ bladder to blow up so they could play football. One summer Charles won an award during Peach Days for the “largest and most choice of Alberta peaches.”

In late 1916, Charles was diagnosed with a kidney ailment. Even though he was in a lot of pain, his children said he would sing to them “little Scottish songs, complete with an accent.” Charles also wanted Mary to sit by him. They were still a devoted couple and were blessed with 10 children. Charles passed away on June 12, 1918.

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Charles Wilson, Sr.

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