Clabe Wilson’s Siblings

Five children were born to Daniel Ross Wilson and Georgia (Williams, Davis) Wilson. (Georgia was married and divorced, with a son born in 1882, who lived with her parents. See below.)

I have no photos of Dan and Georgia Wilson together, or either of them with family members.

Dan Wilson died in 1909, Georgia in 1917. Their youngest, Fonnie and Verna, were orphaned when they were 14 and 10.

Here are the Wilson children:

Rectha, Clabe, and Alice Wilson, Guthrie County, Iowa
Verna and Fonnie Wilson

Fonnie and Verna Wilson had stayed with their older sisters some even while their mother was still living. They moved to The Retreat in Des Moines with her until it was decided that Georgia was getting much worse.

Georgia was transferred to the Clarinda State Hospital where she died two weeks after being admitted there.

The courts named a legal guardian to oversee funds from the sale of Georgia’s house in Panora, and rental of the farm. Fonnie finished her schooling in Guthrie Center, if I remember right, and worked in Des Moines. Verna lived mostly with Rectha in Colorado, but she eventually got a job in Des Moines. I’m amazed at the resilience of these two young girls.

Here’s a little about each one when they were older:

Claiborne Daniel Wilson (b. 1888) 

Clabe and Leora were married and had two small sons, when his mother died. Verna lived with them for a time, before she moved to Colorado to live with Rectha. Clabe and Leora had seven children.



Rectha (Wilson, Jordan) Kansgen

Rectha Mae Wilson (1890)

Rectha was married to Leora’s uncle, Fred Jordan. They had two sons, the oldest named Leonard Clabe Jordan. They moved to Colorado, where another son was born. Rectha was widowed there. She remarried (to Wilbur Kansgen) and had four more children.




Alice Madeline Wilson (1891)

Alice (Wilson) McLuen

Alice married Ed McLuen and lived at Stuart. They had a son and three daughters. One of her granddaughters said that Alice seemed like an unhappy woman.




Florence Fern “Fonnie” Wilson (1903)

Fonnie (Wilson) Kiggen

Fonnie married Joseph Kiggen in Des Moines and moved to Massachusetts, where their six children were born. Fonnie returned to Iowa and visited Clabe and Leora (and probably her sisters Alice and Verna) at least twice.





Verna Pauline Wilson (1907)

Joanne and Verna (Wilson) Parrot

Verna married Ralph Parrott. They lived in Des Moines and had a daughter, Joanne.







The older step-brother,  Fred Davis, married and had four children.

In wonder where this photo was taken. Was it at their mother’s in Panora? How I’d love to see the photos on top of this piano! I can tell that the wedding photo toward the right is of Clabe and Leora.

Thanks to distant cousin, Dave Anderson, who’s been skillfully hosts the Harris-Smith/Williams-Rogers Family Tree Facebook page and has generously shared details with me.

The more you know about your grandparents, the more you will know about yourself. – Rick Friday


    • I was amazed that I could do that. I hadn’t really thought about what happened to the sisters until I was working on the chapter about Clabe’s mother. I’ve connected with one of Alice’s granddaughters, but she’s the ONLY one.

  1. Enjoyed the post and photo’s. I was hit with a wave of sadness reading Fonny moved away and only visited 2 times. That just seemed so sad to me.

    • I wish I knew why, but the younger girls were closer to the one who moved to Colorado so early. I think she could have helped all feel like “family.”

    • A granddaughter of Alice’s came to a book signing, bringing copies to sign for her three siblings, who all live out of state. I hope to get the next book done so she can take (free) copies to them in September! We’ll see. I think those Depression years complicated things, especially with two sisters out of state. But Clabe and Alice weren’t close after Alice’s husband objected to some of Clabe’s claims for reimbursement after his mother died. Clabe withdrew the claim rather than cause more trouble, but those two families were never close, even though they lived 5 miles apart.

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