History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Walter C. Wilson
WALTER C. WILSON was born at Arkwright, Cnautauqua County, New York, on the 28th of December, 1824. He came to Iowa in 1854 and with his brother, Sumler, purchased the site of Webster City. A small tract of the land had been platted and given the name of New Castle. The Wilsons changed the name to Webster City and at once proceeded to erect buildings, including a mill and hotel. They improved the roads, bridged the Boone River and set about securing a division of the large county of Webster, which at that time included the territory now embraced in Webster and Hamilton. Walter C. Wilson was elected to the Legislature in 1856 and secured the passage of a bill by the General Assembly, with the aid of the citizens of Fort Dodge, by which the county was divided and Hamilton County established. Homer had been the county-seat but was now left so near the division line that the county-seat of Hamilton was established at Webster City and that of Webster removed to Fort Dodge. For many years the Wilsons devoted their energies to building up Webster City. In 1878 Walter undertook the building of a railroad from Webster City to Lehigh on the Des Moines River for the purpose of developing coal mines. He secured the building and equipment of the road and built up a large coal trade. On the 16th of August, 1900, he was killed in an accident on this road.