Robert Wilson 1828-1875 and Diadema Ward 1838-1891

The following information comes from the Civil War pension file for Robert Wilson and Marty's research into records in Washington, D.C. Marty did a lot of research on the Wards and the Wilsons.

Robert and Diadema were the parents of Sarah Wilson who married Francis Marion Hill and parented Herbert Bradford Hill, the grandfather of Milford Lee Hill and Thomas Hill.

Robert Wilson who was born in 1828 in Wood, Clark Co., Indiana. His father was Thomas Wilson.

Diadema Ward was born in 1836 in Wood, Clark Co., IN. Her father was Peter Z. Ward who was born in 1792 in New Jersey and died on April 1, 1873. He was buried in Bennetsville, family graveyard in Clark Co. IN. Diadema's mother was Rhoda Pate born in Virginia in about 1802 to Jeremiah Pate. She died between 1860 and 1863.

Robert and Diadema married on July 2, 1854 in Jeffersonville, Clark Co., IN. The ceremony was performed by the Reverend Captain Montgomery of Jeffersonville, Indiana.

These facts are from the 1870 Census of Mexico MO, Linn Township, page 3. Pension files of Diadema after the death of Robert, who was a civil war veteran. Marty also studied the censuses of 1860 for Sullivan Co. IN; 1870 Audrain Co., MO; 1880 Cherokee Co. KN; 1900 Morris Co., KN.

In 1870 Robert Wilson was listed as a 42 year old farmer, born in 1828 in Wood, Clark Co., Indiana.

Diadema was 32 years old in 1870. She died on June 8, 1891 in Lexington, Lafayette Co., MO. Their children were:

Alfred P. Wilson, 15 years in 1870 born July 16, 1855 in Wood, Clark Co. Indiana

Samuel C., 13 years in 1870 born January 27, 1857, in Sullivan Co. Indiana; married Martha E.

Zelah J., 11 years in 1870 born May 13, 1860 in Sullivan Co. in Indiana; married Robert Benn in Socorro, New Mexico.

Phebe Isabella, 8 years in 1870 born March 13, 1862 in Sullivan Co. Indiana. Died May 26, 1884 in Denver, Colorado.

Ruth Alice, July 28, 1864, Sullivan Co., Indiana. She married a Mr. Bronson and then Vernon Maulsby. She died on November 11, 1949.

Diadema Caroline, 4 years in 1870 born August 6, 1866, in Sullivan Co. Indiana. She married E. A. Draper on January 14, 1883.

Robert A., 2 years in 1870 born in Sullivan Co. Indiana on January 30, 1868.

Sarah Rebecca Wilson was born on January 24, 1870 in Mexico, Audrain Co. MO. This is the line we are following.

Marty found a letter that Diadema Wilson wrote from Olathe, Kansas to "Goviner Cleavling" on November 4, 1888. It goes: Allow me to umble my self as i am in neead of asistance, not very able to work and i am told by Mr Kennedy that i am entitled to a pention he claims to be a U.S attena he has bin lloking up my case for 2 years & now he wants me to furnish him with money to get the proofs of the children which i am the mother of eight children by Robert Wilson ho volenteeard in feb 1865 if I remeber rite in the 43d ind Rigment and i can giv the age state and county whair all my children was borned and the date of our marriage Robert Wilson was married to a Diadema Ward july the 2d 1854 in clark couty ind by reverant captian montgamry of jefferson ville ind and as i am not able to furnish the money to get the proofs i will giv the ages and births hear

A. P. Wilson borned in clark co ind july the 16th 1855

S. C. Wilson borned in sullivan co. ind january the 21 1857

Zelah j Wilson borned sullivan col. ind may 13th 1860

Phebe i Wilson borned sullivan col. ind mar the 13th 1862

ruth A. Wilson borned sullivan co ind july the 28th 1864

diadema C. Wilson borned sullivan co ind aug the 6th 1866

R. A. Wilson borned sullivan Co. ind. jan the 30, 1868

Sarah R. Wilson borned Audrain Co. Mo. jan the 24, 1870

All these must be in washington on record and what more proof is needed for we was in good circumstances in sullivan co. ind since he came from the army he was never like him self afterwards and in the year 1875. Sept the 27th in joplin MO when god releaved him of this unfriendly world to try the realityes of a hither one i hope and left me to strive and mannage to rais the little ones they are all married but one & I dont want to be a burdan to eny of them as none of them ar rich now if you can see that Mr Kennady is my atternay and asist him with the proofs of 6 children all that was under 16 at robert Wilsons deth i supose you have meny such letter as this but not a more deserving one if i am entitled to a pensian pleas answer and oblige you most sinceer servent

Diadema Wilson

pleas excuse my boldness

Direct olathe

johnson co Kansas

A friend who now lives in Joplin wrote to me: "I called the Joplin Genealogical Society and this is what I found out. There was no newspaper in Joplin until 1876 (a few issues) and 1879 (a little more regularly) so there would be no mention of your great great grandfather. Death certificates were not issued until the 1890's in Joplin. Most of the people who died at that time were buried in an old cemetery that was closed in the early 1900's. Families who lived in the region and could identify the graves of their ancestors moved the bones to another cemetery. Most graves were unidentified and even the wife of the founder of the city was never identified or moved. Your great great grandfather's bones are probably still there in what is now a baseball field used by the Boys Club of Joplin (an organization that helps boys without fathers or role models, etc.). The woman I spoke to said your were extremely lucky to have the letter from your great grandmother and there probably will be not other documentation in this area. About the time your great great grandfather died, Joplin was a booming mining town and many people moved into the area for jobs or in the hope of striking it rich. He may have found employment or tried prospecting. When Diadema applied for a widow's pensions, that was just about the time there were made available. At the time of your great great grandfather's death, the pensions did not exist yet."

During the civil war Robert served as a private in Company E, 43rd Regiment Indiana Volunteers. He enlisted on February 17, 1865 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was mustered out with the company at Indianapolis, Indiana on June 14, 1865.

According to the testimony of John Hamilton of Sommersville, Texas County, Missouri, who says he was present with the command, while in the line of his duty, at or near Indianapolis, Indiana in the winter of 1865, Robert Wilson contracted diarrhea. he was nable for duty all of that winter and no until we were mustered out next summer. He was in the Regimental Hosptial at Indianapolis. In Summerville, Missouri on November 3, 1892, he wrote that Robert Wilson was sick in the winter and spring of 1865 at Indianapolis and was sick and discharged, but he does not remember what was the matter with him and had not seen him since his discharge.

According to William M. Weir, 45 years old and a resident of Pierceville, Finney County, Kansas. In about April 1865, Robert Wilson become disabled with chronic diarrhea which was cause by exposure and lack of proper food and change of water. He was treat by the regimental surgeon. He says that he was personally acquainted with Robert Wilson for about 5 years before he went into the army and knew him to be a sound man. Weir was a Sergeant in his comapny and acted as orderly part of the time and made the sick call and was bery familiar with his case. he also lived near him for 3 years after the war and knew that he suffered with the disease during that time and then he moved west.

The family's attorney wrote on August 11, 1898 that Robert Wilson "died in a small place where no records of death were kept of a public nature".

Time line for Diadema

Diadema moved a lot. So it is good to establish a time line for her.

July 2, 1854, married Robert Wilson

1870-71, Mexico, Missouri

February 4, 1889, Birmingham, Clay Co. Missouri (Postcard from lawyer)

July 27, 1882, married Thomas McNamara in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her sons Samuel C. and Robert A. were at the wedding. They were married by Re. NH Gale of the Methodist Epsicopal Church.

April 1, 1887, a letter to Washington DC from Kansas City, Missouri

On October 21, 1890, Diadema informed the Commissioner of Pensions that she had moved from 1511 College Ave, Kansas City, Missouri to 506 E. 11th St, Kansas City, Missouri.

November 3, 1890 lived at 506 E. 11th St of Kansas City in the County of Jackson and the State of Missouri.

On February 11, 1891, Diadema informed the Commissioner of Pensions that she had moved from General Delivery, Kansas City, Missouri to 21st and Charlotte St. 506 E. Kansas City, Missouri.

March 21, 1891, in a letter to Washington DC from Kansas City, Missouri, she writes "... i am not well and deserve my pension if ever a soldiers widow did in this unfrendely world of ours did all will be well on erth with us one hundred years from now." She gives as her address no. 21st and Charlotte Sts, Kansas City, MO.

On June 8, 1891, she died of peritonitis in Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO.

On April 1, 1887, Diadema wrote a letter from Kansas City, Missouri to Commissioner John Black of Washington DC: "Do not think me bold or interding i am not atall well and would lobe to noe if my claim Widow No 348.657 Robert Wilson Co in E Regt 43 ind vul will ever be of any value to me ia m disouraged and not able to do very much work if ever their was eny one deserved a pension cerinly do i try to keepe up carrage to your Honor i ask a erly reply, very respectfuly yours, Diadema Wilson

The Pension files have a 1892 letter from Mrs. Margaret Humphrey, the widow of Dr. Wesley Humphrey in Kansas City, MO. She wrote: "I find by referring to my Husband's Books that he treated a family by the name of Robert Wilson while we were living at Mexico in the years of 1870 & 1871 but is is in the Ledger & and I have not the Day Book to refer to, so of course cannot tell whether it was Mr Wilson or some other member of his family and unless you have evidence that it was himself it we do you no good."

On September 27, 1875, Robert died of chronic diarrhaea and piles which he was to have contracted while a soldier. He died in Joplin, Missouri.

According to Sara's file in the retirement home, after the death of Robert, Diadema went to work for the railroad as a telegrapher. Judging by her English, I am not sure that she could really have been a telegrapher. We know that she and her children Sarah, Zelah, Samuel C. moved to Socorro, New Mexico. One date I have for that is 1882.

Diadema married Thomas McNamara in Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 27, 1882.

In an affidavit dated November 3, 1890, Diadema, aged 54 years and a resident of Kansas City in the County of Jackson and the State of Missouri, whose postoffice address was 506 E. 11th St, said: "I am the late widow of Robert Wilson, above named, and the claimant in this case and in reply to call no. 14 and 15 would state that doctors Wesley, Humphrey, Valentine, Martin and Shoots, who treated my said husband from his discharge and return home from the Army are dead. I am also informated by a Crishman, M.D. of Graysville, Indiana, that Dr Weir who treated my husband is dead. I think Dr R H Crowder treated him, but am not sure. Will endeavor to obtain his affidavit. I also think that a Dr Coffman of Sullivan, Ind. treated him. Will try and get his affidavit. The above named are the only physicians I have any recollection of who treated him after his return home from the army.

Diadema, according to an affidavit of her attending physician, J. E. Tucker M.D., a citizen of Lexington in the County of Lafayette and State of Missouri, dated 1892, he had been a practicing physician for 14 years and was acquainted with Didema McNamara, widow, for about 2 days and was the attending physician at the time of her death, that she died on the 8th day of June 1891, that she died of peritonitis.

What Happened to Robert's and Diadema's Children ?

Samuel Cruthers and Mattie Pickering

Sherie Petersen (her husband is a descendent of Jeanette Ruth Wilson) informs me that "Mattie Pickering, wife of Samuel C. went to Kansas in a prairie schooner. Sewed clothes, and blankets. She made patchwork quilts for all of her grandchildren. The prarie scooner was a wagon with skies instead of wheels so as to not to sink into the rich damp soil of the prarie. Due to being near the Rocky Mountains, the soil was full of little streams bubbling up form the artesian water table. The Pickering line had congenital visual problems. She used to sew in the morning and then when the sun was in the right place in the sky went to school. Was a pioneer child and never got past the 3rd grade. Samuel C. was a carpenter who helped to rebuild the Adventist Church. He built a home."

In October 1890, Samuel was living in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri.

Census 1900 District 100, Council Grove, Morris Co.,KS

Head of Household, 455/456 Samuel C. WILSON Jan 1857 44 M12 IN IN IN

Martha S., wife Jan 1862 38 M12 6-4 IN OH IN

Ruth G., daughter Apr 1892 8 MO IN IN

Robert R., son Oct 1893 6 KS IN IN

Vesta L., daughter Nov 1895 4 KS IN IN

Samuel A., son Dec 1898 1 KS IN IN

 On October 22nd, 1892, Samuel C. Wilson, resident of Liberty in the County of Clay and State of Missouri submitted an affidavit saying: "I am the son the Robert Wilson deceased, who was a Priv. of Co. "E" 43rd Indiana Vols. and know that he was not employed in the military or naval service of the United States subsequent to his discharge from the siad service on the 14th day of June 1865.

Census 1910 Kansas SEDGWICK 1-WD WICHITA Series: T624 Roll: 456 Page: 62



Head of household 59/58 Samuel C. Wilson 52 m22 IN IN IN

Matty wife 47 m22 6-4 IN OH OH

Ruth, daughter 18 MO IN IN

Roy, son 16 KA IN IN

Velma/Vesta, daughter 14 KS IN IN

Arthur, son 11 KS IN IN

Census 1920 Kansas SEDGWICK 1-WD; WICHITA Series: T625 Roll: 549 Page: 98


1920 S. C. WIlson 62 IN IN IN

Mattie I. wife 57 IN OH IN

A.W. or G.W. Pickering brother-in-law 73 wd IN OH IN

Charles nephew 26 KS IN MO

Census 1930

Name: Samuel C Wilson

Age: 73 years

Estimated birth year: 1856

Birthplace: Indiana

Relation to Head-of-house: Head

Race: White

Home in 1930: Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas

Image Source: Year: 1930;

Census Place: Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas, Roll: T626_720; Page: 25A;

Enumeration District: 45; Image: 0254.

Head of household, 1634/663 Samuel C. Wilson 73 m30 IN IN IN

Mattie, 2 wife 68 M25 IN IN IN

Name: Roy Wilson

Age: 36 years

Estimated birth year: 1893

Birthplace: Kansas

Relation to Head-of-house: Head

Race: White

Home in 1930: Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas

Image Source: Year: 1930;

Census Place: Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas;

Roll: T626 721; Page: 19A;

Enumeration District: 70; Image: 0543. hh469/469

Roy Wilson 36 m21 KS IN IN

Minnie wife 28 m18 KS MO WI

Robert son 9 CO KS KS

Jack Son 7 KS KS KS

Kenneth Son 6 KS KS KS

Census 1920 Kansas SEDGWICK 1-WD; WICHITA Series: T625 Roll: 549 Page: 98


hh1807/132/141 Hazen Kelsey 23 MI MI MI

Ruth wife 27 MO IN IN

Dalla son 11/12 KS MI MO

Name: Hazen Kelay

Age: 31 years

Estimated birth year: 1898

Birthplace: Michigan

Relation to Head-of-house: Head

Race: White

Home in 1930: Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas

Image Source: Year: 1930;

Census Place: Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas;

Roll: T626_721; Page: 23A;

Enumeration District: 70; Image: 0551.

hh712/563/564 Hazen Kelay 31 m21 MI MI MI

Ruth wife 37 m25 MO IN IN

Dallas son 11 KS MI MO

Melva J dau 7 KS MI MO

Donna dau 2 7/12 KS MI MO

Zelah J.

Zelah was born on May 13, 1860. She married Robert Benn in Socorro, New Mexico. They had three children. In letters from her father's pension file, her mother describes her and one of her sisters as invalids due to "spinal fever" and in another letter, Zelah describes herself as paralyzed. Zelah died on March 15, 1904 and is buried near her sister Ruth and her husband Vernon Maulsby in Maple Grove Cemetery, Witchita, Kansas. See the Zelah Wilson page for a picture and more information.

Phebe Isabelle

She was born in March 13, 1862 and died on May 26, 1884 in Denver, Colorado.

Ruth A. Wilson Bronson

She was born on July 28, 1864 and died on November 11, 1949.

A postcard from the lawyer dated October 24, 1892 shows her living at 1621 Court Place in Denver, Colorado. From Denver, she wrote a letter to the Commisioner of Pensions on November 12, 1892:

"Sir, My Father Robt A Wilson was a Soldier in the Late War being in Company "E" 43 Vols of Indiana being very much aflicted from exposure while in the war of whitch he Died. My Mother aplied for a Pension I am not Shure but I think Eight years ago which appciant was parts in the hands of T H Kennedy, 216 Amercian Bank Building Northwest cor uf 8th + Delaware St. Kansas City Mo. My Mother's name being Diadema Wilson what I want to Say is that I am unable to get any information in regards to this claim Mr T H Kennedy wrote to me the first uf this March Saying the claim had been allowed and also my Sister of Loop City Neb Saw in the Paper My fathers + mothers name in the Pension list So that I Strongly Suspect want of good faith on the Part of Mr Kennedy. Now I write to you in the Hope that I may reserve Some definite information as one of the Minor children of the deceased Soldier and as one of the heirs of his widow Diadema Wilson also Since deceased. I feel an intrest of corse in knowing uf any money been Paid on this account can you hlep me? I have since married and So have other minor heirs; but if any money is due us of cors we sant it and I will be very grateful to you if you can give me any definite information touching Deceased my Father or Mother or any of our claims. My address is as below had he not told me that the claim had been allowed I never would have thought of pening you now he says it is not allowed I fear the investigation but I believe in giving justis to all. Respectfully yurs Mrs Ruth Bronson Court Place Denver Colo.... Please let me know at your earliest convenience

On December 18, 1892, She wrote to Green B. Raum, Washington DC: Hon Sir, as I have not heard any thing from My letter written serveral weeks ago I will write agan in regards to Mrs Diadema Wilson claim widow of Robt A Wilson of Co E 43rd Regiment Vol Indiana. I wish you would see in regards to the claim my mother applied Seven years ago and can not find out any thing from our atty Th H Kennedy Kansas City Mo he will not Send me the no of myy Mother's claim but he says this the the no of the minor heirs 431-725 case of Robt A Wilson Co E 43d Regiment Indiana Vols of curse if he is a fraud you no doubt will be able to find out he tell some strange things So we are most complelled to doubt his word. Indeed I would be very glad to hear from you as early as pasable and oblige very Resp Ruth Bronson, 1621 Court Place, Denver Colorado.

On October 23, 1894, she wrote from Wichita Kansas, Hon Commissioner of Pension, As I forgot to tell you in the letter I wrote you in regards to the claim of Diadma Wilsons widow of Robt A Wilson of Co E 43rd Inf Vols of Indiana We I mean my family saw in the news paper that was Published in the year of 1888 or 89 I am not shure but it is one or the other that the claim had been alowed Now if you will Pleas look it up you will do me a great favor. I am a Dauhter of the above names now married Resp yours Ruth Bronson 1722 N Main st Wichita Kansas. PS if this man T H Kennedy has done anth thing wrong you shal be well paid by me for yur trouble.

1900 District 277,Wichita Ward 1,Sedgwick Co,KS

hh311/47/64 Ruth Bronson Jul 1864 35 div 3-2 In IN IN

Nettie dau Aug 1892 7 KS NY IN

Edna dau Jul 1893 6 OK terr, NY IN

Maulsby, Verne 1861 living with her

She married Verne Maulsby in 1902 found marriage record in Sedgwick CO,KS, was living in Wichita,KS in 1910 and 1920

Name: Ruth Maulsby

Age in 1910: 40

Estimated birth year: abt 1870

Birthplace: Indiana

Home in 1910: 1-Wd Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas

Race: White

Gender: Female


Ruth Marleby (Ruth Maulsby)

Age: 44 years

Estimated birth year: abt 1876

Birthplace: Indiana

Race: White

Home in 1920: Wichita Ward 1, Sedgwick, Kansas

Home owned: Own

Sex: Female

Marital status: Widow

Relation to Head of House: Head

Able to read: Yes

Able to Write: Yes

Mother's Birth Place: Indiana

Father's Birth Place: Indiana

Image: 233

Ruth and her husband Vernon Maulsby in Maple Grove Cemetery, Witchita, Kansas. She died on November 11, 1949. He was born in 1860 and died on May 8, 1909.

Diadema (Dema) Caroline Wilson Draper

She was born August 6, 1866.

Census 1900 District 185, Elm, Sherman Co.,NE

hh38,38 Edward A. Draper Dec 1857 42 M 18 IL OH OH

Diadema C. wife Aug 1867 32 m18 5-4 IN IN IN

Nellie C. dau Dec 1883 16 Ne IL IN

Ida R. dau Nov 1898 11 NE IL IN

Mary E. dau March 1892 8 NE IL IN

Edward R. son Dec 1893 6 NE IL IN b 14-dec-1893 Loop City,NE

Owen Bowman boarder Mar 1882 18 MN KY IN

Son's name is also Robert E. Draper

see 1920 District 4, Graybull,Big Horn Co,WY

1910 dist 10, Basin 8-Dist, Big Horn Co,WY

Edward Draper 52 m1-27 Il OH IL

Dema wife 42? m1-27 4-4 IN IN IN

Ida B. 21 Ne IN IL

May E. dau 18 NE IN IL

Edward A. Son 16 Ne In IL

Census 1930 District 14,Greybull Town, Big Horn Co,WY

HH54/59 Edward A. Draper 72 25 Il OH OH

Dema C wife 63 m 16 IN IN IN

On May 29, 1901, Diadema testified about her father behalf. She was 34 years old and a resident of Loup City, Sherman County, Nebraska. She said she was acquainted with Robert Wilson from 1869-1875. She said that she knew that during each and every year he was afflicted chronic diarrhea. He was in great suffering and this was the immediate cause of his death of September 27, 1875. He saw him when dead. She says that she also knows that his widow died on June 8, 1891. She saw her dead and attended the funeral. She says that she knows that the widow did not marry after the death of Robert Wilson (this part is crossed out). She names these children who were under 16 at the time of his death: Zelah J. born May 13, 1860; P. B. born March 13, 1862; R. A., born July 28, 1864; Diadema C. born August 6, 1866; Robert A. born January 29, 1868; Sarah R. born January 24, 1870.

Robert A. Wilson

Robert was born in January 29, 1868.

An affidavit dated July 22, 1890 shows Robert A. Wilson living at 1511 College Ave, Kansas City, Jackson County, Mo.

On October 21, 1890, he was living at 506 Eazst 11th St. in Kansas City.


Sarah was born January 24, 1870. She married Francis Marion Hill in Socorro on November 4, 1885. There is a picture and a lot of information about her on the page entitled Francis Marion Hill (1857-1919) and Sarah Rebecca Wilson (1870-1957)