Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 323] residing on Railroad Street, Mahoningtown, is an engineer on the P. & W. R. R., a position he has occupied since Aug. 15, 1891. He was born in Petersburg, Ohio, May 15, 1867, and is a son of Craig D. and Elizabeth (Pontius) Wilson. Craig Wilson was born in Beaver Co., Pa., in the fall of 1819, and is now residing on his farm near Petersburg, Ohio; he was a son of John and Nancy (Hemphill) Wilson. His wife, who was born in Petersburg, Ohio, was a daughter of John and Elizabeth Pontius, the former a native of Erie, Pa., who died at the age of seventy-six.

Of ten children in the parental family, Robert F. is the seventh in seniority; he remained at home until he was twenty years of age, attending the schools of Petersburg till he was eighteen. The first work in which he was engaged for himself was on the public lands between Youngstown and Sheffield, where he worked two years. In January, 1888, he began railroading, in the employ of the P. & W. R. R. as brakeman for one year, then as fireman for two years, and on Aug. 15, 1891, was given charge of an engine with a run between New Castle Junction, Akron, Ohio, and Allegheny City, Pa. From his first connection with the railroad he has won and retained the confidence and esteem of his employers by his faithful discharge of the duties incumbent upon him, and by efficient, intelligent service, that has left no room for complaint.

He was married in Youngstown, Ohio, Oct. 22, 1891, to Mary McWilliams, who was born in Mt. Jackson, this county, a daughter of Thomas P. and Melissa (Jones) McWilliams. Thomas P. McWilliams, who was a son of James and Ann (McCloskey) McWilliams, was a prominent blacksmith of Mahoningtown. This union of our subject and wife has been blessed with two children: Helen and Fred. He and his amiable and excellent wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Wilson is a member of Starlight Lodge, No. 224, Knights of Pythias of Petersburg, Ohio; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Division No. 411, of Painesville, Ohio; and Excelsior Lodge, No. 121, Protected Home Circle, of Mahoningtown. Our subject has made his home in Mahoningtown since his promotion to the post of engineer, and although necessarily absent much of the time on his runs, he is claimed as a citizen of the community, and is held in high esteem by his neighbors and acquaintances.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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