WILSON, James, a Representative from Iowa; born on a farm in Ayrshire, Scotland, August 16, 1835; immigrated to the United States in 1852 with his parents, who settled in Norwich, Conn.; moved to Iowa in 1855 and located in Traer, Tama County; attended the public schools and Grinnell (Iowa) College; engaged in agricultural pursuits; taught school; member of the State house of representatives 1867-1871, serving as speaker in 1870 and 1871; regent of the State university 1870-1874; elected as a Republican to the Forty-third and Forty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1873-March 3, 1877); member of the Iowa Railway Commission 1878-1883; presented credentials as a Member-elect to the Forty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1883, until the closing day, March 3, 1885, when he was succeeded by Benjamin T. Frederick, who contested his election; director of the agricultural experiment station and professor of agriculture in the Iowa Agricultural College at Ames 1891-1897; was Secretary of Agriculture in the Cabinets of Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft, and served from March 5, 1897, to March 3, 1913; editor of the Agricultural Digest; died in Traer, Iowa, August 26, 1920; interment in Buckingham Cemetery.
BibliographyWilcox, Earley Vernon. Tama Jim. Boston: The Stratford Co., 1930.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present