The hunt for information on Joseph B. Wilson has been an interesting one. It started with his gravestone in Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky. A search of The Courier Journal revealed a small notice about Capt. Joseph B. Wilson’s death in Orlando, Florida, on February 2, 1915. It stated Joseph was formerly in the livery business in Bowling Green, was born in Butler County, Kentucky, and married in Grenada, Mississippi. The body was brought to Bowling Green for burial. This was a man who did not stay in one place for very long!
At some point before 1860 Joseph Wilson moved to Pike County, Mississippi. We cannot determine why he made this decision, but he is listed in the 1860 census with the J. R. Quinn family, aged 28, born in Kentucky, a merchant. Quinn was also a merchant, with several other men living in his household: H. E. Murphy, 24, merchant from Kentucky; W. C. Wells, 18, merchant clerk, from Mississippi; P. R. Eubanks, 25, trader, from Virginia; Suel Mann, 44, carpenter, of Maine; and Thomas Tailer, 23, carpenter, from Mississippi. Shortly after this date Joseph met and married Malissa Jane Thompson, 1842-1870.
Joseph Wilson listed in the Confederate ranks as a 1st Lieutenant in Company H, 39th Mississippi Infantry.
Joseph B. Wilson was a 1st Lieutenant in Company H (Dixie Guards), 39th Mississippi Infantry, Confederate Army, during the war.
He enlisted May 5, 1862, at Summit, Mississippi, for three years. He was captured during the siege of Port Hudson, New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 9, 1863, and confined at the Custom House by General Banks as a prisoner of war.
He was forwarded to Johnson’s Island, Ohio, October 13th. He remained a prisoner until after the war, and was released on oath June 11,1865.
When he took his Oath of Allegiance to the United States, June 11, 1865, Johnson’s Island, Ohio. His place of residence was given as Harrisonburg, Louisiana. He was 25 years of age, with dark complexion, dark hair, hazel eyes, 5’ 8”.
One of his papers lists him as on the list of absent officers accounted for in French’s Division, Stewart’s Corps, Sear’s Brigade.
On the 3rd day of September 1862, he was paid $180 from the three-month period of June through August of that year. Was this piece of paper really worth $180, or coming from the Confederate treasury was it of any value?
Son Joseph was born during the war, 1863. Two daughters were born after his return.
In the 1870 census for Pike County, Joseph was a farmer, 30; Malissa, 28. Three children were born to their union – Joseph, 7; Mary, 4; and Annie, 1. Malissa died later in the year, leaving Joseph a widower with three children.
January 8, 1873, Joseph Wilson married Mrs. Martha Apolis McSwine, a widow, nee Mullen, with two children of her own, Mary and Robert.
By the 1880 census of Granada County, Mississippi, except for the oldest son, Joseph Wilson, Joseph and Apolis, his two daughters, their two sons, and her two children from her first husband, live together. Joseph was a farmer during his years in Mississippi.
The family moved to Muscogee County, Georgia, by 1900. Joseph is once more in the livery business. Son Mullen, 25, is a stable salesman, son John Y., 21, is a stable clerk.
In 1910 Joseph, Apolis and her son Robert moved to Orange County, Florida. What prompted this move? A warmer climate? We do not know how healthy Joseph Wilson was after his years at Johnson’s Island Prison.
As was mentioned at the beginning of this blog, Joseph B. Wilson died February 2, 1915, in Orange County, Florida.
The Orlando Sentinel, Orange County, Florida
Wednesday, February 3, 1915
Death of Beloved Man
Capt. J. B. Wilson Died Yesterday Morning at His Home on South West Street
The funeral services for Capt. J. B. Wilson, who died at 5 o’clock yesterday morning, were conducted yesterday afternoon from the late home on South West Street, Rev. John W. Stagg officiating. Many beautiful floral offerings were in evidence. Capt. Wilson had been in ill health for several years.
The deceased was a native of Kentucky, having been born at Morgantown, January 5, 1839. He removed to Mississippi and engaged in agricultural pursuits. For the past six years he has been a resident of Orange County, living for a time on the Apopka Road near Lake Ivanhoe. Recently he moved to Orlando, occupying a residence at 411 South West Street.
He is survived by his widow and two stepchildren, Mrs. Anna Warren and Robert McSwine. Capt. Wilson had many friends in Orange County and Orlando who were greatly shocked to hear of his sudden death. The sympathy of a very large circle of friends is extended to the bereaved family.
The remains were shipped to Bowling Green, Kentucky, last evening for interment, the Rev. Dr. John W. Stagg accompanying them to that city.
There must be a mistake in the two children left after their father’s death. Mary Ada McSwine, daughter of Martha Apolis McSwine, is buried in Fairview Cemetery with Joseph Wilson. She died in 1884. It must have been Joseph’s daughter, Anna Wilson, that married a Mr. Warren and was still living at her father’s death.
Robert McSwine is also buried in the same cemetery. He died the same year as his stepfather, at the young age of 44.
Martha Apolis Mullen McSwine Wilson lived on until 1933, when she died at the advanced age of 87. She is buried with her husband and two children in Bowling Green.
Categories: Family Stories