c. 1880 photograph of four-year-old Charles Wadleigh Wilson; taken by the Y. A. Kroneberger studio at 35 West Third Street, Chester, Pennsylvania.
From online research, hopefully correct: [if not, please let me know]
Charles Wadleigh Wilson was born 12 December 1876 at, I believe, Chester, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Osgood Wilson and wife Isabella (Cornog) Wilson.
His paternal grandparents were Joseph and Ann T. (Osgood) Wilson, born in Delaware and Pennsylvania respectively. His maternal grandparents were Robert Gamble Cornog and Eleanor Jane (Harp) Cornog, both born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Here's an interesting account of Charles' father, Joseph Osgood Wilson, and grandfather Joseph Wilson in the Biographical and Historical Encyclopedia of Delaware County, by Winfield Scott Garner and Samuel T. Wiley, 1894
JOSEPH OSGOOD WILSON, the master mechanic of the Arasapha Manufacturing Company, and a veteran of the civil war, was born November 27, 1843, at Dupont's Powder works, now known as Rockland, New Castle county, Delaware. His father, Joseph Wilson, was a native of England, who grew to manhood in that country, and after obtaining a good education, learned the business of cotton manufacturing, and married an English lady named Ann Mather, by whom he had one son, William, who still resides in England. Mrs. Wilson died about 1826, and through grief over that bereavement, Mr. Wilson determined to leave his native land and come to America. Arriving in this country he first settled at Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where he lived for a number of years. During this time he made the acquaintance and married Ann T. Osgood, a native of Massachusetts, whose father, Major Richard Osgood, was a commanding officer in the State militia, and took an active part in public affairs. About 1830 Mr. Wilson removed to Philadelphia, where there was greater demand for skilled labor, and entered the employ of Stephens & Son, cloth manufacturers of that city. Later he removed to Brandywine, and last of all to Chester, still connected with the business of Stephens & Son. He continued to reside in this city until his death in 1865, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. Politically he was an old line whig and a great admirer of Henry Clay. He was for years an active party worker,and an enthusiasticsupporterof American institutions, evincing an almost unbounded patriotism though so recently a citizen of England. In religion he was an Episcopalian, and was also a member of Washington Lodge, No. 2, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Philadelphia. Being a man of bright intellect and fine education, he took an active part in all local affairs, and was highly respected and loved by all who knew him, for his high moral qualities and unimpeachable integrity of character. By his marriage to Ann T. Osgood he had a family of eleven children, five sons and six daughters: Mary A. (1), deceased in infancy; Mary A. (2), became the wife of Daniel Scanlan; Sarah, married Samuel L. Scanlan, a brother of Daniel; Ruth, Emily, deceased in childhood: Richard (1), deceased in infancy; Richard (2), Eliza, Joseph O. (i), deceased in infancy: Joseph O. (2), the subject of this sketch: and John H. Mrs. Ann T. Wilson died March 12, 1892, on her eightythird birthday.
Joseph Osgood Wilson was reared in his native county of New Castle, and attended the public schools of Christiana Hundred until his thirteenth year, when he began devoting his attention to technical studies connected with engineering and machinery. At seventeen he began an apprenticeship at his present trade, in order to learn the practical part of engineering, with Miller & Allen, corner of Broad street and Morton avenue, in the city of Chester. Here he remained for three years until after the breaking out of the civil war. He at once attempted to enlist in the Federal service, but was refused on account of his youth, and later enlisted in the navy as fireman on the sloop of war Tuscarora, which carried eight guns — two thirty-pound Parrots, one eleven-inch Columbiand, one hundred-pound Parrott, and four sixty-eight pounder guns. This vessel was built in the short space of ninety days, and was in commission just one hundred days from the time its construction began. It was commanded by Capt. James M. Fraley, and was one of the fastest cruisers in the service. It was employed on the south Atlantic coast, chiefly between Fortress Monroe and the Gulf of Mexico, in maintaining the blockade of southern ports. Mr. Wilson continued to serve on board this vessel until after the collapse of the Southern Confederacy, and no part of his career has given him greater satisfaction, or been a source of so much just pride as the service he rendered his country in the time of her sorest need. He has indeed always been public spirited and patriotic, ever ready to do his duty and always anxious for the maintenance and perpetuation of American institutions. After the close of the civil war Mr. Wilson returned to Pennsylvania and resumed work at his trade, entering the employ of Charles A. Widener, of Chester, as engineer and machinist. He remained with Mr. Widener for one year, and then became engineer for a Maryland gold mining company, who were operating near Green's Landing, at the falls of the Potomac river. In September, 1866, he returned to Chester and became engineer of the Algodon mills in this city, where he remained for a period of five years. He then went to Salisbury, Massachusetts, where he worked at his trade for a short time, after which he once more returned to Chester, and has lived here ever since. He was engaged in setting up cotton manufacturing machinery for various companies in this city after his return, and was in the employ of several firms as engineer and machinist. In 1890 he accepted his present position with the Arasapha Manufacturing Company, and has since that time devoted his energies exclusively to their busi
Charles appears in the 1880 Census of Chester with parents and siblings. I also found his World War I draft enlistment card, showing that he was an unemployed laborer at Lompoc, California in September of 1918. I didn't find any other records for a Charles Wadleigh Wilson, and there's a plethora of Charles W. Wilsons born about the same time in Pennsylvania to throw me off track.
ness. Being endowed with tact and ability, together with great energy of character, Mr. Wilson has profited by his wide experience, and has become one of the best engineers and machinists of this city.
Politically Mr. Wilson is a republican, and an ardent supporter of the principles of his party. He is a member of Wilde Post, No. 25, Grand Army of the Republic, and of Providence avenue Methodist Episcopal church, in which latter he was one of the originators, and has long taken an active part, and is now treasurer of its board of trustees and a member of its board of stewards.
On April 8, 1869, Joseph O. Wilson was united by marriage to Isabel Cornog, a daughter of Robert G. Cornog, formerly of Norristown, but now deceased, and a former resident of the city of Chester. To Mr. and Mrs. Wilson has been born a family of nine children, two sons and seven daughters: Sarah L.', Ellea nor J., Frank O., Charles W., Anna T., Mary P., Isabella, Josephine and Charlotte.
If you have any corrections, additions or insights regarding the information presented here, please leave a comment or contact me directly. I'd especially like to know of Charles' later life.
A map of Chester, Pennsylvania:
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