An American Family History

Nancy Ann Smith Wilson

Tazewell County, Illinois was formed out of Peoria County in 1827.

Lucas County is in south central Iowa. It was founded in 1846 and the county seat is Chariton.

In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

Illinois became a state in 1818. A large influx of American settlers came in the 1810s by the Ohio River.

Nancy Ann Smith Wilson (Nan) was born on October 6, 1853 in Meigs County, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Josiah Smith and Sarah Pitts. Nancy Ann was named for her aunt, Nancy Ann Cross Smith Massengil.

About 1865, she and her family went by flatboat down the Tennessee River from Tennessee to Tazewell County, Illinois. About three years later they moved on to Chariton, Iowa.

She married Robert Lee Wilson when she was 21 years old on August 9, 1874. Robert Lee Wilson was born in Ohio on June 7, 1848. He was the son of John Thompson Wilson and Maria Stone.

Robert Lee Wilson
Robert Lee Wilson

Josiah S. Wilson was born October 28, 1875 in Lucas County. He married Gerda Lang on August 21, 1901. Their children were Elma, Theo, Phillip, Vera, Laura, Marie, Donavon, Cleta, Lyle, Marvin, Keith, Hollis, and Edna. He died on January 16, 1959. 

Olive M. Wilson Roberts born February 13, 1878 in Lucas County.  She married Thomas Roberts on November 14, 1906. Their children were Beulah, Mildred, and Lloyd. She died October 7, 1970. 

Elizabeth E. Wilson Johnson was born on January 13, 1880 in Lucas County. She married Fredrick Manson Johnson on November 14, 1901. Their children were Virgil, Hallie and Charles.

The family appeared in the 1880 census in Dallas Township, Marion County, Iowa. The household consisted of Robert L. who was 32, Nancy who was 25, Josiah S. who was 4. Olive M. who was 2, and Elizabeth E. who was 5 months. Robert was a farmer.  Nancy's sister Mary E. was also part of the household. She was 23. 

Lucious W. Wilson was born on November 29, 1881 in Wayne County. He married Lella Smith on June 4, 1912. They had one child: Mae. He died on January 18, 1951. 

Sarah Jennie Wilson McGhee was born on January 27, 1884 in Wayne County. She married Clifford McGhee on October 14, 1905. They had two children; Velma and Cleo. She died on January 1, 1975. 

Harlan E. Wilson was born on January 29, 1886 in Wayne County.  He married Hazel Crist on June 25, 1911. They had three children: Florence, Edythe, and Ruth. 

Charles Walter Wilson was born on May 30, 1888 in Lucas County. He married Elizabeth Ann Williams on October 10, 1908.  They had Ralph, Gladys, Fern, Earl, Pearl, Bessie, Herald, Gerald, Fred, Glenn, Charles, Genevieve, Dean, Dale, and Edythe. He died on July 25, 1972. 

Roy H. Wilson was born on November 14, 1890 in Lucas County and married Maud Baker on March 27, 1920. They had three children:  Donna, Larry and Gary. 

Ida B. Wilson was born on December 30, 1892 in Clarke County and died on December 13, 1898. 

Robert died on October 2, 1895. 

Bessie L. Wilson Frizzell was born on January 9, 1896 in Clarke County and married John L. Frizzell on April 30, 1916. They had Roy, Kenneth, Robert, Verla, and Fern. 

At the time of the 1920 census Nancy Ann was age 67 and living with her daughter Bessie's family in Franklin Township, Clarke County, Iowa.  At the time of the 1930 census Nancy was still with her daughter Bessie in Jackson Township, Clarke County, Iowa . 

Nancy Ann died July 9, 1938 and is buried in the Friends cemetery near Smyrna. Clarke County.


Children of Josiah Smith, Sr.
and Sarah Pitts
  • Elizabeth Jane Smith Frank
  • Allison Woodrow Smith
  • Nancy Ann Smith Wilson
  • Mary Ellen Smith Widaman Dixon
  • David Henry Smith
  • Josiah Allen Smith
  • John Smith
  • George Washington Smith
  • William Smith
  • Ida Belle Smith Hoops
  • Sarah Catherine Smith Hoops
  • Charles Elmer Smith
  • Cora Edna Smith Downard
  • wilsons
    Nancy Ann and her children
    East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.

    In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

    The 1890 census materials was lost in a 1921 fire.




    Mrs. Nancy Ann Wilson
    Funeral services for Mrs. Nancy Ann Wilson who passed away at the home of her daughter Mrs. John Frizzell, near Osceola, Saturday, July 9, were held from the Christian church at Woodburn, Monday at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Elmer Clark in charge.

    A mixed quartet, Mrs. Bertha Christ, Mrs. Mabel Christ, Horace Olive and Paul Crist, sang "There Will Be No Disappointment in Heaven,"  "My Mother's Hands," and "Rock of Ages" with Mrs. Horace Oliver presiding at the piano.

    Acting as Pallbearers were several grandsons: Theo Wilson, Lloyd Roberts, Virgil, Hallie and Charlie Johnson and Roy and Kenneth Frizzell. Internment was made in the Friends cemetery near Smyrna.

    Nancy Ann, the second daughter of Josiah and Sarah Smith was born near Nashville, Tenn., October 6, 1853 and quietly passed to her reward at the home of her daughter, Mrs. John Frizzell after a lingering illness of many weeks, July 9, 1938 at the age of 84 years, 9 months and 3 days.

    At the age of 12 years she came with her parents to Illinois and later moved to Iowa, where she resided until her death.

    She confessed Christ as her Lord at the age of 16 years and united with the Christian church later transferring her membership to the United Brethren church at Smyrna, where she has faithfully served her Lord and Master.

    She united in marriage to Robert Lee Wilson, August 9, 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson went to house keeping on a farm near Dallas, Iowa. To this union were born ten children, Josiah S. and Charles W. of Oregon:  Lucious W., Roy H. of Woodburn; Harlan E. of Osceola; Mrs. Jennie McGhee of San Diego, Calif., Mrs. Olive M. Roberts, Mrs. Elizabeth E. Johnson of Woodburn; Mrs. Bessie Frizzell of Osceola, and Ida B. deceased at the age of six years.

    In the spring of 1862 they came to Clarke county, residing on a farm until the death of her companion, Oct. 2, 1895. She remained on the farm and reared her family of small children enduring many hardships together until they had their own homes. Later she made her home with her daughter Bessie, where she was tenderly cared for by her children until her departure, where all was done that loving hands could do.

    She also leaves to mourn her departure two brothers David of Kansas and George of Griswold, and three sisters, Mrs. Ellen Dixon of Osceola, Mrs. Catherine Hoops of Wyoming, and Mrs. Cora Downard of Des Moines;  Forty-five grand children and twenty-three great grand children and other relatives and friends.

    Grandmother Wilson was of an honest and loving disposition, always cheerful and very thoughtful of others, ready to sacrifice all in her ability to make others happy.

    She was a kind and loving mother and will be greatly missed by all.



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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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