This photograph of Edward M. Wilson was found in Vol. V - VI of his newspaper-journal The Daleite.

Edward M. Wilson Collection

Processed by Michael Kozak
Spring 2008


Table of Contents

Collection Information
Volume of Collection:
Two Boxes.
Collection Dates:
1837, 1858-1903, 1918, 1937.
Some brittle documents. Use photocopies unless authorized by Librarian / Archivist.
Reproduction Rights:
Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History.
Other Finding Aids: Record in National Union Catalog Manuscripts Collection On-Line


Wilson family posing in front of A.J. Wilson's house. Photograph found in Vol. 7-12 of The Daleite.


Historical Sketch
   Edward Mayne Wilson was born August 16, 1866, in Dale Township, McLean County. His parents were Adoniram Judson Wilson and Ellen E. (Cornell) Wilson. He was the third of nine children.
   From an early age, Wilson showed great interest in writing and recording events in and around Dale Township and greater McLean County. In 1881, at the age of 15, he began writing a journal he called The Times. This journal, like all that followed, was written newspaper-style using banners, headlines, and columns. He continued with The Keystone Monthly, The News, The Dale, and last, The Daliete. He was an accomplished amateur artist, and these journals include wonderfully detailed pencil and pen sketches of landscapes, buildings, and humorous scenes of college life.
   While at Illinois State Normal University, Wilson served as editor of the student newspaper The Vidette. From 1892 to 1895, he worked for The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington's longtime newspaper. On May 17, 1894, he married Lettie B. Rutledge of Heyworth, the daughter of Owen C. and Lettie. A. (Batershell) Rutledge. Lettie passed away a little over a year later on July 3, 1895, and is buried at Heyworth Cemetery. She left a young son, Lyndon Rutledge Wilson, who was born months before her death.
   After the death of Lettie, Edward moved to Chicago and worked for The Record-Herald, one of the city's many daily newspapers. There he met Mary E. Lawrence, and they were married September 11, 1897 in Belvidere, Boone County, IL. They had one son, Edward, born on February 6, 1899.
   In 1901 the Wilsons moved to Denver because they were both suffering from tuberculosis. Edward died on May 5, 1903, and Mary followed a few months later. Edward Wilson's body was brought back to McLean County and he is buried beside his parents at East Twin Grove Cemetery in Dry Grove Township.
   According to a Wilson family history written in 1917, Lyndon lived in Champaign, IL, while Edward lived in Oak Park, IL. Edward Wilson died in February 1973. At the time, he was living in River Forest, IL.


Scope and Contents Note
   The collection materials consist of Wilson's journals written from the age fifteen until 1903, the year of his death. The collection also contains articles he wrote for The Pantagraph, newspaper articles and genealogy information.


Box and Folder Inventory

Box 1

Folder 1:
Biographical Material
Biographical sketch of Edward M. Wilson
Brief biographical information from Wilson Family History, 1918
Biographical sketch in Portrait and Biographical Album of McLean County, Ill, 1887
Handwritten last will and testament of Edward Wilson, March 30th, 1858
Marriage License for Mr. Edward M. Wilson and Miss Mary Lawrence (Wilson's second wife), October 4, 1897
Listing of Judson A. Wilson and Edward M. Wilson in the 1880 United States Census for Dale Township, McLean County, Illinois
Listing of Lettie Rutledge (Wilson's first wife) in 1880 United States Census for Heyworth, McLean County, Illinois
Genealogy Family Group Sheet for Adoniram Judson Wilson (father)
Handwritten lineage showing John Alden ancestry
March 19, 1937 letter written by Frank L. Wilson (son) regarding Edward M. Wilson diaries
Eunice Foskett Paper, a 10 pg. biographical sketch of Edward M. Wilson


Folder 2:
Newspaper Articles
Advertisement for "W. & C. Wilson's Great Show", May 5, 1877.
"Married in May," the marriage of Mr. Edward M. Wilson and Miss Lottie B. Rutledge, Pantagraph, May 18, 1894.
"Funeral of Mrs. E. M. Wilson" Pantagraph, July 5, 1895.
"Life's Journey Ended, The Funeral at Heyworth, Yesterday of Mrs. Edward M. Wilson," Pantagraph, July 6, 1895
"Died in Denver, Edward M. Wilson is called," Pantagraph, May 6, 1903.
"Laid to Rest, Last Rites Over Remains of Edward Mayne Wilson Yesterday," Pantagraph, May 9, 1903.
"Mrs. Ellen E. Wilson Dies at 98; Traced Her Lineage to John Alden," Pantagraph, January 20, 1937.


Folder 3:
Letter written to his uncle by Edward Wilson relating travels, November 31, 1837.
Poem sent to unidentified person as promised, December 1842.
Letter to Edward Wilson from Florence W. Wilson discussing family history, April 30, 1858 (with envelope).
Letter to Kate Loop by her sister, Murmur, requesting she take Ed if something should happen to her, November 20, 1902.


Folder 4:
Published Writings
"Tom Scavenger's Thanksgiving," Pantagraph, November 24, 1887
"The Old Clock," Pantagraph, December 15, 1887
"In Pioneer Times," Chapter 1, Pantagraph, June 13, 1888
"In Pioneer Times," Chapter II, Pantagraph, June 20, 1888
"In Pioneer Times," Chapter IV, Pantagraph, July 6, 1888
"Movin' into Town," Pantagraph, June 6, 1899
"Life on the Farm," Pantagraph, January 29, 1900


Folder 5:
The Times View Sample
November 30, 1881 through January 31, 1882.
The Times is journal in newspaper format that was handwritten and published semi-monthly. It was written with three columns and then two columns. The journal included social news, a New Years resolution, history and articles on chicken bones, art and birds with detailed illustrations.


Folder 6:
The Keystone Monthly View Sample
November 1882 through April, 1884.
It was a weekly through August 16, 1885.The Keystone Monthly is journal in newspaper format, hand-printed, three-column style about the local happenings, socials, deaths, the history of Dale Township, including school news, weather, holiday celebrations, a novel in ten chapters and nature with illustrations.


Folder 7:
The News View Sample
August 23, 1882 through March 21, 1883.
A journal described by the author as "A bi-Weekly newspaper well written and containing all the news of Dale Township & c."


Folder 8:
The Dale View Sample

Written from 1884-85.
The Dale is a handwritten journal giving the history of Dale Township and its surroundings. It discusses topics including Indian tribes, biographical sketches of early settlers, maps and beautifully detailed sketches of the area landscapes and animals. written from 1884-85.

Box 2

Folder 9:
"The Daleite" Vols. I and II View Sample
September 1, 1885 and September 1, 1887.
The first two volumes of The Daleite, a hand printed journal, contains commentary about poetry, two novels, Mackinaw River, Dale literary society, the author's time at Illinois State Normal University, sketches, and farming.


Folder 10:
"The Daleite" Vols. III and IV View Sample
September 1, 1887 and September 1, 1889.
The second two volumes of The Daleite, a hand-written journal including articles about Normal University, teaching, an autobiography, fiction, Peoria, Twin Grove, poetry, social notes, illustrations, cartoons, and index.


Folder 11:
"The Daleite" Vols. V-VI View Sample
September 1, 1889 and September 1, 1891.
The third two volumes of The Daleite, a hand-written journal with an autobiography, trip to LaSalle, IL, Normal University, social notes, poetry, book reviews, serial story, mills in McLean County, and poetry.


Folder 12:
"The Daleite" Vol. 7-12 View Sample
September 1, 1891 and September 1, 1897.
The five volumes of The Daleite, a hand-written journal including articles on a trip to Fenner, New York, Lincoln reminiscence, biography of Samuel Lander, riding a steam train, working for The Pantagraph, Heyworth and natural gas, 1893 Worlds Fair, marriage, Nathan Low, Kelseys Army, the death of Edward's first wife, birth of son, Baby Bliss, looking for and finding newspaper work in Chicago, trip to Iowa 1858, remarriage, fiction, poetry, and social notes.


Folder 13:
"The Daleite" Vol. 13-17 View Sample
September 1897 to August 1902.
The last four volumes of The Daleite, a hand-written journal with articles on remarriage at Belvidere, IL story of modern Job, poetry, history of Wilson family in 10 chapters, wartime editor, moving to Denver, Colorado, the heirs of Jonas Grimshaw in 11 chapters, (last few pages type written).


McLean County Museum of History Collections and Research