Sunday, December 21, 2014

Goldburn Hiram Wilson (1864-1941)

From the 1905-06 Official Manual of the State of Missouri.

   A five term member of the Missouri State House of Representatives, St. Louis resident Goldburn Hiram Wilson was also a physician and educator, being a professor of chemistry at the Marion-Sims Medical College in the early 1890s. A native of Illinois, Goldburn H. Wilson was born in the city of Rock Island on April 29, 1864, being the son of Thomas and Sarah E. Quick Wilson.  He removed with his family to Henry County, Missouri at age five and would attend the public schools local to that county.
   Wilson entered upon study at the State University of Missouri at Columbia in 1882, and after four years at that college continued in the study of medicine at the St. Louis College of Physicians. A graduate of that school in the class of 1889, Wilson shortly thereafter journeyed to Oklahoma but soon after returned to Missouri, establishing his medical practice in St. Louis. In the succeeding years "success came rapidly" to Wilson, with the 1909 edition of "St. Louis, the Fourth City" noting that:
"In handling the many complex problems he showed marked strength and ability, and the public soon came to recognize that he was most careful in the diagnosis of a case and correct in applying remedial agencies to the needs of his patients."
   In 1892 Goldburn Wilson took on the position as professor of chemistry at the now defunct Marion Sims Medical College, remaining in that post until 1894, when he accepted the same professorship at the Women's Hospital Medical College. His professorship at the latter college concluded in 1895 and in 1896 married to Laura Phillips, with whom he had two sons, Goldburn Hiram Jr. (died 1935) and Thomas Phillips. In November of that year Goldburn H. Wilson was elected as one of St. Louis' representatives in the Missouri State Assembly, serving in the sessions of 1897-1899, 1899-01 and 1901-03. During the last named session Wilson held seats on the house committees on Life and Accident Insurance and Fraternal Associations; Private Corporations; Public Health and Scientific Institutions; Public School Textbooks and Rules.
  After several years in the legislature Goldburn Wilson wasn't a candidate for renomination in November 1902, but two years later decided to once again enter political life, running for his old seat in the assembly. He would win the election in November 1904, garnering 11, 377 votes on election day.  During the 1905 session he would serve as Speaker of the House Pro Tempore and in November 1906 was elected to his fifth term in the house. Recognized as one of the most able members of the assembly, Wilson's terms received prominent mention in the Vol. II of St. Louis, the Fourth City, which relates that:
"He was one of the champions of and was largely instrumental in securing the passage pf the pure food laws. He has stood for practical advancement and reform, placing the public welfare above partisanship and the interests of the commonwealth before personal aggrandizement."
  In the final year of his legislative service Wilson served as part of the Missouri delegation to the 1908 Republican National Convention in Chicago. Little is known of the remainder of Wilson's life, excepting that he died in St. Louis on October 31, 1941 at age 77. He was later interred at the Valhalla Cemetery, also located in St. Louis.


Goldburn H. Wilson, portrait courtesy of ancestry.com.

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