John McMillan Wilson

I was born on September 10, 1825 in Union Township, Indiana, which makes me the only native of Indiana in our group. Ours was a proud family of Scots. My mother can trace her lineage to Sir William Wallace himself! I also entered Miami University that fall of 1846. I was out front of Main that cold January night in 1848. We showed Ol’ MacMaster! They called it “The Snowball Rebellion.” I don’t know if I’d go so far to call it a rebellion, but it was a very fine prank. They certainly didn’t catch me that evening, but eventually that streak of rowdiness in me disappeared, and I eventually went on to deliver an address on “Liberalism and Absolutism” at my graduation in 1849.

I proposed to Robert that we have a gathering, a Convention, of our beloved brotherhood, and we did. In December of 1851, Phis from Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky gathered in Cincinnati. The younger Phis called me “Old Dad” and “Pop Wilson,” even though I was only twenty-six years of age. At the start of the War Between the States, I enlisted as a recruiting officer in the Union Army. I mustered young men from both Ohio and Indiana to serve in the Grand Army of the Republic. I settled in Benton, Illinois about 30 miles northeast of Carbondale. There, I died of “dropsy” on July 19, 1874.