Ott Neubert Wilson


OTT NEUBERT WILSON, of Kittanning, the leading shoe merchant of that borough, has been engaged in that business most of his active life and in that connection alone has attained high standing in Armstrong county. But he is probably better known as owner of one of the finest stock farms in this section, his property in East Franklin township having been developed under his direction into a notable establishment.

Mr. Wilson is a native son of Armstrong county, born May 22, 1863, in Manor township. His grandparents, Robert and Eleanor (Hilburn) Wilson, were possibly natives of Ireland, and had a family of thirteen children. He was a pioneer farmer in Manor township, Armstrong Co., Pa., owning 200 acres of land. He died when about sixty years old, a member of the Presbyterian Church, and was buried in Manor cemetery. He married a second time, but had no children by that union.

Isaac Newton Wilson, son of Robert, was born near manor Church in Manor township, and there received his education. He had considerable musical ability, and taught music, but farming was his principal occupation through life. He married Clarissa Bowser, also a native of manor township, daughter of Matthias and Margaret (Williams) Bowser, pioneer settlers of the township, and they have had the following children, all born in Manor township: Margaret died when three days old; Alvin E. is a farmer of manor township; Ott Neubert is mentioned below; Edwin is deceased; Olive is deceased; Charles R. lives at Erie, Pa.; William F. lives at Franklin, Pa.; Harry M. is also a resident of Franklin; Clara T. is the wife of H. F. Iseman, a farmer of Manor township. The father died in Manor township in 1864, at the comparatively early age of thirty-eight years, and the mother continued to reside there, dying at the age of fifty-four. They were members of the Kittanning M. E. church, and he was a Republican on political questions.

Ott Neubert Wilson received his schooling in Manor township, and began work as a boatman on the Allegheny river, later working as such between Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Louisville. He than became clerk in a general store in Beaver county, Pa., whence he came to Kittanning to take a position in his present store, than conducted by J. S. Bowser & Co., Mr. Bowser being his uncle. After a year and a half as clerk he bought the stock, continuing the business on his own account. He has remained at the same location, No. 217 Market street, and by his satisfactory business methods has enlarged his patronage steadily until now he has the leading store of the kind in the borough, with an up-to-date stock which includes all the standard grade shoes in the market for which there is any demand in this locality. The manner in which he has built up his trade within the last few years gives evidence of his alert business qualities, which, however, have not been confined to this one field.

In 1906 Mr. Wilson bought 130 acres of fine land a mile and a half from Kittanning, in East Franklin township, and this place, in his hands, has been converted into one of the finest stock farms in the county. He has made liberal outlay for improvements and development, but timely operations and good judgment have put the establishment on a profitable basis, and it is not only a good business investment, but affords Mr. Wilson much pleasure. Its proper management requires skillful attention to details, and entails much thought, yet the results are such that he can view them with pride, and he feels his efforts are well paid. There are now three distinct sets of buildings on the place, each including a modest but comfortable tenant house, occupied by employees. Six stables contain forty box stalls, and all of the equipment is thoroughly up-to-date, built and cared for on the lines which modern experience has shown to be most advisable for the care of high-class stock. Mr. Wilson makes yearly trips abroad for the purchase of a carload of thoroughbred Percheron and Belgian horses, which he breeds and deals in, making his sales in all parts of the United States. He also has a fine herd of Jersey cattle, raises Berkshire hogs, and in 1913 put up a modern poultry house, 10 by 36 feet in dimensions, at a cost of $250, to afford facilities for raising White Wyandotte chickens. He has made many experiments advocated by progressive agriculturists, with successful results; was the first man in Armstrong county to raise alfalfa, of which he cuts three crops a year; and has planted seven acres of apples and peaches on his place, now having a promising orchard. He is prominently associated with the various organizations which promote such interests and advocate wise progress, belonging to the Percheron Society of America, the American Importers' and Breeders' Association, of Plainfield, Ohio, the American Association of Importers and Breeders of Belgian Draft Horses, and the Kittanning Fair Association, of Kittanning, Pa., of which latter he is president. Fraternally he belongs to the Masons and Elks. Though not active in politics he is interested in the success of the Republican party, and his religious connection is with the First Presbyterian Church of Kittanning, of which he is an elder.

On March 23, 1893, Mr. Wilson married Lurene Rumbaugh, a native of Kittanning, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Rumbaugh, and they reside at No. 315 North McKean street, Kittanning. They have had three children: Elizabeth, Josephine and John, the latter dying when seven months old. The daughters are attending public school.

Source: Pages 591 - 592 , Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 1999 by Connie Mateer for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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