JOHN DAVID WILSON 8-26-1858 - 2-24-1924: was the oldest son of James Madison (Matt) and Rebecca Stuart Wilson. He was born near the site of the Ransom Wilson home during those hectic days preceding the Civil War and was only three years old when his father went away to the War never to return, and had to become the male head of his father's house early in life for even his grandfather died when he was only twelve years old. Spite the rigors of reconstruction his mother kept her little brood together to maturity and lived to nurse her grand children. Upon reaching 21 years of age he married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Lewis and Sarah Reich Long and went to live on the farm of Rev. Sam Long, who was for some years pastor of the Vernon Church. He is also listed among the teachers of the Hopewell Public School. Rev. Long’s farm was on the trail that later became the Barnes Road and is the same that passed into the hands of Dave and Mary. Their house was where the Barnes Road crossed the Southbound Railroad. Here Aunt Mary blessed Dave with six boys and two girls: James Madison,II, 9—6—1880; Sallie Victoria, 10—31—1883; Orville, 4—8—1886; Felix Frank, 5—2— 1889; John David II, 12—22—1892; Ollie May, 9—7—1895; Robah Russell, 3—14—1898; Conrad Samuel, 3—7—1903. The four older children started to school at Hopewell but when a school was built on the grounds of New Friendship Baptist Church they all tansferred there. In 1890 when this Church erected a new brick edifice, it is said that the Methodist Presiding Elder informed Vernon Church that if it did not keep ahead of Friend— ship in community popularity he would sell the church building from over them. At any rate it was sold and a few of the members built a New Vernon Church some miles east in Davidson County but with no day school near to assist in the educational and community life, it has not yet become strong. The rest of the menbers joined the Baptist but a splinter group protesting the Missionary and Sunday School attitude of New Friendship called themselves Primitive Baptists and bought the old Vernon property but were fifty years in getting it paid for. When the last payment was made, the Methodist Bishop found no Hardshell or Primitive organization capable of receiving and holding Real Property so a deed for the church grounds was issued to the Abbotts Creek Hardshell Baptist Church eighteen miles away. About 1960 the Hardshell Baptist house of worship which they had seized from Sandy Creek Association in the Rise of Hardshellism of 1837, burned and they tried for a time to do all their worshiping at Vernon but that has not proven satisfactory. Abbotts Creek has rebuilt and is now trying to have Sunday morning worship at Abbotts Creek and Sunday afternoon worship at Vernon but being hardshells, even this is not working and they are not willing to sell out to Friendship who would like to use it as an upper cemetery and chapel. The Vernon influence has definitely gone to Friendship. The Dave Wilson family moved their membership to Friendship but continued to bury their dead at Vernon.
Dave Wilson provided well for his family and every member has contributed liberally toward the good of the community. In the early days of the 20th Century the biggest contests among the schools of these two counties, (Davidson and Forsyth) was spelling matches. Orville and his cousin Florence were the undisputed spelling champions. The Webster Blueback Speller was the authority and Orville just could not be tripped on any word in the book even when the referree sometimes jumbled his pronunciation. Dave Wilson lived to see all his children reach maturity and passed away in 1924. Aunt Mary lived on until 1940. They are buried at Vernon.