59 – William B. Wilson

1: What is your full name?
William B. Wilson.

2: Mr. Wilson, where do you reside?
In Jackson County, Missouri.

3: Here in Independence?
Yes sir.

4: How long have you resided here?
Oh, off and on, nearly all my life.

5: How old are you Mr. Wilson?
I am fifty six years of age.

6: And you have resided here most all of your life, I believe you stated?
Yes sir.

7: Where did you live in your boyhood?
Most of the time here in Independence.

8: Were you born here?
No sir, but I was quite young when I came here.

9: At what age did you come here?
Three years of age.

10: Where did you live when you came here?
In Independence.

11: At what point in Independence?
Down here by Waggoners mill.

12: Where is Waggoners mill situated?
It is situated on Spring Street.

13: Where is it with reference to the Westport road?
It is east of the Westport road.

14: That is Waggoners mill is east of the Westport road?
Yes sir.

15: Where is it with reference to the Missouri Pacific Depot yards?
Do you mean the main line depot?

16: Yes sir?
Where we stayed is east of that.

17: How far east of that?
About a quarter, – a little over a quarter of a mile from that part is where we lived.

18: That is a little over a quarter of a mile east of the main line of the Missouri Pacific railroad?
Yes sir. We lived there on Spring Street, a little east of Swope’s place, – Logan Swope’s place.

19: Now I present to you a map marked exhibit “A. S. O.”, and ask you if the street near about the middle of that map, running north and south is called Spring Street?
What is that?

20: I asked you if that street running north and south there near about the middle of that map should be called Spring Street?
Yes sir.

21: That is Spring Street?
Yes sir.

22: What property would this be here as designated within these blue lines?

23: You may answer the question?
I don’t know what it would be called.

24: Well would you be acquainted with the property within these blue lines if you lived any where on Spring Street? That is if you lived any where on Spring Street east of this property?
I would know where it is now of course.

25: Well when you see on the map here a blue line that part of it would represent the Westport road, would it not?
Yes sir.

26: Do you know where Nebraska Street is in this city, – or Union Street?
Yes sir.

27: Do you see a blue line on this plat or map that would represent that street?
Yes sir.

28: You know where the main line of the Missouri Pacific depot grounds are, do you not?
Well I should say I do.

29: Do you recognize a blue line on this map that would represent the line of that railroad?
Yes sir. Well now I could not tell you whether it runs right along the line of that railroad down there or not.

30: Of the Lexington branch of that railroad, I mean?
Well it is some where near it, – that is it there is it not. I think that is it there. That is where it ought to be anyway.

31: now Mr. Wilson, with reference to the blue line marking the eastern boundary of this map, can you locate a point known as Woodson’s house, – Woodson’s residence?
Yes sir, – let me see.

32: It is not within the blue lines at all, but with reference to it?
What do you want to know.

33: Can you find the point at all, that represents the place where the old Woodson house or residence was located?
Well I can’t find it. I don’t think I can find it.

34: Well Mr. Wilson, can you recognize a line on the map representing Walnut Street?
Yes sir.

35: Does Walnut Street run through here, or is it connected with the property represented within these blue lines?
It runs through it.

36: Where would you locate the old Woodson residence with reference to Walnut Street?
Well, let me see, – he used to live down near where we were raise, down near the mill. Do you mean where he built the new house? Is that what you want?

37: Yes sir, – where did he build the new house, and where did it stand with reference to Walnut Street?
Well it was some where along here on this piece of ground.

38: Now was it in this piece of ground or on the one east of it?
Well now I could not say. Let me see, – I think it was on this down here.

39: Well suppose you recognize this green plat here, – this pinlk piece of ground here on the north side of Walnut Street as Woodson’s & MaxWell’s addition, where then would you recognize that new Woodson house as being?
I think it would be south of it.

40: Well would it be east or west of it?
Let me see sir. I can not tell from this plat, for it seems to be sort of left-handed to me this way.

41: Well this is the way to place the map? This is north and that is south, and this is east and that is west. Now would it be east or west of that?
Well I could not say exactly. Now this is Walnut Street you say?

42: Yes sir, that is Walnut Street?
This is Walnut street running to the west.

43: Now west of pleasant street where would it be?
That is running north and south.

44: Now where is Nebraska street, or Union street running north and south?
Yes sir, that is Union street there.

45: Now where was Woodson’s residence, – the brick residence, – with reference to Pleasant street?
It was west of Pleasant street.

46: Well how far west of Pleasant street was it?
Yes sir, it is west of Pleasant street.

47: Well that is what I want to know, – state about how far west of Pleasant street it is?
I guess about three hundred and fifty years.

48: Now where was it with reference to Walnut street?
It was south of Walnut street I think.

49: It was south of Walnut street?
I think so. That is the one running over by George Shore’s.

50: Yes sir?
Well that would be south of Walnut street probably a quarter of a mile.

51: Then would you locate that residence within these blue lines or outside of them?
This is west?

52: Yes sir?
And this is south?

53: Yes sir?
What is that?

54: That is the quarter section line?
This is Union street.

55: Yes sir, – how far would it be from that?
I don’t know how far it would be from Union street. I don’t hardly think that it would go over within the blue lines.

56: If the blank space within the blue lines that don’t show any additions should be the Christian pasture, now where would the Woodson residence be?

57: Answer the question?
It would be east of it. I think, – yes it would be off east of it.

58: And would not be within the blue lines?
No sir.

59: Now assuming that the blank space that is within the blue lines should not be known as the Christian pasture?
Yes sir.

60: The old Christian house is east of that?
Yes sir. You mean the old Woodson house I suppose?

61: Yes sir, the old Woodson house is east of that?
Yes sir.

62: That is east of the blank space within the blue lines?
Yes sir.

63: how far east of it?
Well about two hundred yards.

64: Now was there any enclosure, – how long ago was there an enclosure, if there was one, – west, -immediately west of the Woodson residence?
Well that has been enclosed as far back as I can remember.

65: Well how far back can you recollect?
Well I was going to school in 1846 and 1847 and it was enclosed then.

66: It was enclosed in 1846 and ‘7?
Yes sir, that was the time i was going to school, and I recollect that it was enclosed then.

67: At that time how far was the enclosure run from the blue lines immediately east of the blank space? Where would the enclosure go running west and south of Walnut street?
In what way?

68: In the way I have described, – how far would that enclosure that you then knew, extend at that time?
It would go over to the Old Westport road.

69: The blue line here is representing the Westport road does it not?
Yes sir, and from there it went south as far as I can remember. I mean north, up Walnut street.

70: How far south did it go?
It went down to the railroad. There was a rail fence down there where the railroad is now that was known as the Davison property.

71: So then was the space represented on this map here and represented by the blank space, and within the blue lines, south of Walnut street and North of the blue line representing the line of the railroad, and east of the blue line representing the Westport road and west of the blue line marking the east of the tract on the map all esclosed? the witness on the ground that it is incompetent, and immaterial and leading.
I think it was.

72: Then if it was enclosed, at how early a date was it encloded?
I could not say.

73: How old were you when you know it to be enclosed first?
About twelve or thirteen years old, or ten or eleven, along there somewhere.

74: How old were you when you lived there?
At the time I was living near it do you mean?

75: Yes sir, how old were you when you lived there?
Twelve or fourteen.

76: Were you that old when you came there?
No sir.

77: When you first came there how old were you?
I was living there when I was about twelve, and from that on up.

78: That was when you first came here?
Yes sir.

79: I thought you said you came there when you were about three years old?
No sir. I was that old when we first came here to this county, and we moved up to High Grive place when we first came here, and from there down here to this place, and then back again. We did not at first live down there.

80: The part that you say was enclosed, you found it enclosed at what time?
Well when I went to school there it was enclosed. I remember that, and I went to school in 1846 and 1847 and 1848.

81: Where did you go to school?
We used to go to school out there to Rock Creek.

82: Do you know who owned it at that time?
No sir.

83: Do you know when Woodson built the brick residence there?
Yes sir, I know pretty near it.

84: Well when was it?
He commenced it in the fall of 1847, I think. If I am not greatly mistaken it was in the fall of 1847 that he commenced building it.

85: Do you know whether it was completed or enclosed at that time?
Yes sir.

86: It was completed?
Yes sir.

87: Do you know who exercised ownership over it then?

88: Woodson exercised the right of ownership over it then?
Well I expect he did, he had charge of it.

89: How long afterwards did Woodson have charge of it?
I don’t know.

90: What is your answer?
I don’t know exactly how long it was, but it was for some time.

91: Well can you state that he had charge of it in 1850?
I don’t know.

92: Do you know of any body but Woodson having charge of it?
I don’t know of any body but Woodson and Swope. Woodson and Chrisman I mean.

93: Do you know at what time Chrisman had charge of it?
No sir.

94: Do yiu know whether he took charge of it after the war or before the war?
Yes sir.

95: Well which was it?
Chrisman took charge of it after the war.

96: Do you know whether or not he obtained it from Woodson?
Yes sir, he got it from Woodson.

97: Do you know where the Woodson and Maxwell addition is?
Yes sir.

98: Is it on the piece of ground within the blue lines?
Yes sir.

99: It is within these blue lines?
Yes sir.

100: Can you state whether any one lived on the Woodson and Maxwell addition prior to the war?
I don’t know.

101: What is that, – I did not quite catch that.
I say I don’t know whether they did or not.

102: Prior to 1860 I would say?
Well yes, there was a few persons living out there.

103: You say there were a few persons living out there?
Yes sir.

104: Do you or did you know of any one who exercised ownership, – the right of ownership over Woodson’s and Maxwell’s addition or any part of it prior to the war?
No sir, – well yes I did too, – I knew of several persons who were there right on the corner where Warneke’s house is.

105: Do you know the names of any of these parties? A
I know a man be the name of Dunn.

106: He lived there?
Yes sir.

107: About where would that be on this map?
Right about there.

108: That would be on what lot?
It was on the corner of Lexington and Union streets.

109: Was Nebraska street ever called Union street?
What is that?

110: What the street that is marked “Nebraska” street, was that ever called “Union street”?
I don’t know.

112: What is that?
I say I don’t know whether it was ever called Union street or not. I know it was called, it is known now as Union or Gilpin street.

113: Well you say that some one lived on this addition right there?
Yes sir, right there in that corner.

114: Just right in that corner or angle?
Yes sir.

115: What angle would that be with reference to the bounds of the plat, this being north and this being east?
It would be in the north east corner of the addition.

116: On what street would it be?
Lexington and Union.

117: Well if Union street is called Nebraska street here, it would be Nebraska street would it not?
Yes sir, Nebraska or Gilpin.

118: Do you know of any body else who lived in there on Woodson and Maxwell’s addition?
No sir, I don’t know of anybody that owned any property in there.

119: Well did you know of anyone living in there whether they owned property of not?
I can’t recall any names, but I think there was.

120: Well right away after the war was there anybody living in there?
Yes sir, there were parties living in there, but I don’t know the names of the parties.

121: How long ago has it been since people began to settle in there, that is in Woodson’s and Maxwell’s addition?
Well it was since the war.

122: Well how soon since the war, how early after the war was it?
Immediately after the war.

123: That is all. Take the witness. Cross examination by P.P. Kelley,

124: You stated, I believe that your name was William R. Wilson?
Yes sir, that is my name.

125: Now Mr. Wilson did you say you have been here since you were two or three years old?
Here in this county?

126: Yes sir?
Yes sir.

127: That was when you were two or three years old?
Yes sir. I moved from Clay County over on this side of the river when I was three years old.

128: And you have been here ever since?
Yes sir.

129: How old are you now?
Fifty six years old.

130: You have been here about fifty three years then in this county?
Yes sir.

131: If you are fifty six years of age now, that would make you arrive here in what year?
You have the dates and you can reckon it up.

132: Well that would bring you here in 1839 would it not?
I don’t know.

133: Well if you are fifty six years of age now that would make the date of your birth in 1836 would it not?
Yes sir, I expect so.

134: And if you were three years of age when you came here, that would make it 1839 when you first came here?
I was born in 1836 and we lived out on the prairie, moved out there after we first came here, and lived there I don’t know how long, and then we moved back here to Independence again, and my father was in business here.

135: He was in business here in Independence?
Yes sir.

136: Do you remember hearing anything said here about that time, about the Mormons, and their having been driven away from here?
Yes sir.

137: You heard about that?
Yes sir, certainly I did.

138: There was a good deal of talk here about that time about that occurrence, was there not?
Yes sir, considerable.

139: Did you hear anything about the temple lot property?
Yes sir.

140: You knew where it was located?
Yes sir.

141: And have known ever since you have been here?
Yes sir, ever since I was big enough to know anything I might say.

142: How long has it been since you have heard it called that?
Called what?

143: The “temple lot”?

144: It has always been called that ever since you have been here?
Yes sir.

145: Well if anybody had come to you during any of that time and asked you to point out what was called the “temple lot” could you have done it?
Yes sir.

146: Where would you have done to have done that?
I would have gone out there by the Mormon church and pointed out that lot across the street that is enclosed.

147: Do you know where that little church is not that belongs to Mr. Hall?
Yes sir. I know the church or building, I think, that you mean, but I don’t know who it belongs to. It is there in the lot that we call the temple lot.

148: If anybody, any stranger or any other person from a foreign land had came to you and wanted to see the sacred spot that was designed for the temple, you would have gone and showed it to him if he had asked you?
You sir, if I had time.

149: And you would have showed him that piece of ground that is enclosed down there, that has that little church building on it?
Yes sir.

150: Have you ever showed it to anybody?
Yes sir.

151: Many a time?
What is that?

152: I asked you if you have not many a time shown that lot to people as the temple lot?
Yes sir.

153: And told them it was the temple lot?
Yes sir.

154: Provided that property had not been designed and marked off by a fence would you have been able to designate the identical property that is now fenced as the temple lot?
Well there was no fence about it until a few years ago.

155: Well could you, would you have been able to point out the identical boundaries?
Well I don’t know that I could point out any boundaries, except that it was known as the temple property. Every body knew it by that name, and pointed it out as that, but at the same time, while I knew it was the temple property I don’t know that I could have gone to work and pointed out its exact boundaries. I know though that it has been known as the temple lot ever since I have been here.

156: This identical piece of ground that is now enclosed up here, and has the little church building on it?
Yes, sir, that is what I have always understood was the temple lot, – it was always so called ever since I have been big enough to know anything. I remember that right well.

157: Would you have been able to designate that particular spot of ground as the temple lot at the time before there was any streets lais out or opened up through there?
Yes sir.

158: You could?
Yes sir, I could have got on the groun without any trouble, but I could not have given any boundary to it.

159: When you first knew it there was, there was not any streets laid off there?
No sir, nothing of the kind.

160: Was there anything in the way of a street there?
Nothing but that road.

161: Nothing but that road?
That was all.
We called them roads then.

162: What road do you refer to?
The Westport road.

163: Well was there any Walnut street there then?
No sir.

164: Well was there, or was there not, this ground that is now fenced in so far as the streets are concerned, identified with the balance of the property within these blue lines?
I don’t know just exactly how far it extended west or how far it came east, but I remember, -I know right well that on that point of land there along the Westport road, and right across the street from there the Moron stone church is now, that that point of land there was always and called the “temple lot”. I know that right well, for that was always designated as the “temple lot”.

165: Do you know how far that extended south?
No sir.

166: There was nothing marking the southern boundary?
No sir.

167: Nor east?
I don’t think there was.

168: There was nothing marking the southern or eastern boundaries?
Nothing that I recollect. There were no stones up there marking any boundary at all.

169: And only the Westport road would mark the boundary on the north?
Yes sir, that was all.

170: That is all.

171: Wait a moment. Now I want to ask you if it is not true that the ground on that particular spot as designated and marked on that plat as the “temple property” slopes in every direction on the compass?
Yes sir.

172: And if that is not the summitt?
No sir.

173: That is the highest spot?
Yes sir, that is the highest spot.

174: The highest spot thare is designated on that map?
Yes sir.

175: And you could tell when you were on the highest spot?
Yes sir.

176: You don’t know how many acres there was?
No sir. I don’t know anything about how many acres there was or anything of the kind. I just know that it has always been called the temple lot since I have been here, and that is all I do know. Every body here knew that it was claimed to be the sacred spot that was to be the place for the temple.