Robert John Wilson (1901-1986)

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He was born in Brooklyn NY in October 1901 to Margaret Dunlap McNeal (1865-1950) and Samuel Hugh Wilson (1855-1903) and was their only child. His father died in April 1903 and shortly after that, he and his mother returned to her father's home on Washington Heights in Newburgh NY. Robert attended Liberty Street School in Newburgh, and then the old Newburgh NY Free Academy. Among his boyhood adventures were accompanying his grandfather John McNeal to Boston to attend a GAR Convention, and riding on a motorcycle with his half-uncle Clayton McNeal at the Childs family estate in New Jersey, where he injured his ankle. During his time in high school, America's role in World War One began, and Robert secretly (without his mother's knowledge) took a job tossing rivets at a local Newburgh shipyard which was constructing Liberty Ships. When this was discovered by the truancy people, his mother then sent him to a private school in Valhalla NY for discipline but relented after a year, and he was permitted to return, eventually graduating from the high school in Newburgh with the Class of 1921. He first took a job with the Metropolitan Tobacco Corp. in NY City (a local distributor for Camel Cigarettes), and then a clerical job with Con Edison on 14th Street in NYC, staying at a YMCA in Manhattan. Then in 1922, he returned to Newburgh and obtained a clerical job with the duPont Fabrikoid's factory office. In 1925, he met and married Margaret Elizabeth Jackson (1902-1979) of Courtney Avenue in Newburgh.In 1926, their daughter Barbara Jean was born, and in 1934, their son Robert John Wilson Jr (1934) came along. In 1935, he was sent on assignment to call upon duPont distributors in Cuba as an assistant sales manager at duPont's Fabrics Division export department. Shortly after the end of World War Two, in 1947, he was sent by the company to reestablish distributor relationships in Western Europe, and travelled to England, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. In 1948-49, duPont consolidated its sales office to Wilmington DE and Robert moved there with his wife and son. In 1950, he was sent on assignment to Puerto Rico to confer with duPont distributors there. And later in the 1950's, he was sent on frequent trips to Canada to help the newly separated duPont of Canada to establish itself. After 44 years with the company, Robert retired in 1966 and returned with his wife to NY State, to New Windsor, just outside of Newburgh. When his wife passed away in 1981, he moved to a small apartment in Newburgh, just a few blocks away from his daughter's home. In failing health by 1986, he died in November of that year.

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