In the best developmemt of San Joaquin county Thomas E. Wilkinson has borne an important part. For many years he has been identified with its agricultural interests, and while promoting the material welfare of the community has also given an active and liberal support to those measures which tend to advance its intellectual and moral status. He was born in Grant county, Wisconsin, June 1, 1849, being a son of Thomas and Emma M. (Carlow) Wilkinson, the father of English extraction. The latter's parents were natives of England, and their son, Thomas, Sr., was born on the high sea during their journey to America. He was reared in Albany, New York, and in 1850 made the journey to California, via Cape Horn, and for a time after his arrival was engaged in gold mining. Subsequently he began work at his trade of brick-laying, plastering, etc., and made his home near Woodbridge, where his death occurred on the 4th of June, 1865.

Thomas E. Wilkinson crossed the plains to California with ox teams in 1861, with his mother and other members of the family, joining the father in San Joaquin county, and afterward the family took up their abode near Woodbridge. His early educational training ws received in the public schools of San Joaquin county, but this has been greatly supplemented in his later life by practical experience and by extensive reading and study. Since the early age of fourteen he has practically made his own way in the world, and from his youth has given his entire attention to agricultural pursuits. His homestead farm consists of one hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land, all of which he has placed under an excellent state of cultivation, and twenty acres of the tract is devoted to vineyard purposes, while on the remainder he is engaged in general farming, his fields returning to him rich rewards for the care and labor he bestows upon them. He is also the owner of one hundred and sixty acres near Acampo. By well directed efforts he has attained success in business affairs, has gained the respect and confidence of men, and is recognized as one of the distinctively representative citizens of San Joaquin county.

On the 31st of August, 1873, Mr. Wilkinson was united in marriage to Clista Dustin, a native daughter of California, and of their six children, five are now living, namely: Emma, the wife of Arthur L. Norton, of San Francisco; Evaline, wife of C. F. West, of Sacramento county, California; Edgar, who resides near Acampo; and Ira Ivan and Lauren E., at home. The deceased son bore the name of Willis A. In his political affiliations Mr. Wilkinson is a Republican, active in campaign work and laboring earnestly for the adoption of the principles which he believes will best advance good government. For several years he has been a member of the San Joaquin county Republican central committee, for the past ten years has served as a deputy county assessor of San Joaquin county, for twelve years served as a member of the board of trustees of the Telegraph school district, and under a former law was for eight years road overseer of Liberty township. In his fraternal relations he is a member of the Masonic and odd Fellows orders at Woodbridge. He enjoys the regard of his fellow men, and is widely and favorably known in San Joaquin county.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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