Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Family's Own Official Santa Claus -- Uncle Gus Wilson

We have an offical Santa in the family. Augustus M. Wilson, known as "Uncle Gus", is the 2nd cousin to our direct ancestor, William B. Wilson. This is a 1922 newspaper article about "Uncle Gus" Wilson. Gus even has a long white beard like Santa.
The McKinney Examiner. Dec. 28, 1922, Vol. 37, No. 7. (McKinney, Collin County, Texas)
Tom Shewmake Given A Farm.
"Talk about luck — but Tom Shewmake who runs a little store about a mile northwest of the city on the pike is one of the luckiest of men. On Christmas day, Tom and his good wife were given a fine rich, black land farm of 56 acres which is located in the Roland community, 7 miles northwest of the city. UNCLE GUS WILSON was the Santa Clause in this case.
This giving away of farms is a habit with “Uncle Gus,” and one out of which he is getting oodles of happiness. For several years past he has been quietly, but judiciously giving away much property such as land, securities, cash, autos, etc. Many worthy persons have been “remembered” by “Uncle Gus”.
He is a pioneer settler of the Roland community. He became possessed of much land in his younger days. Having never married, he has no family to whom to leave his wealth. Like Andrew Carnegie, Uncle Gus believes it a sin to die rich, at least he acts that way, and to us it seems he is using mighty good judgment in his gifts. Those to whom he has given presents...are always worthy people. Some are tenants on his farms. Some had borrowed of him and shown their sincere honesty and manhood. Others he had quietly noticed were “doing their bit” uncomplainingly, and those are the people Uncle Gus likes.
In the case of Tom Shewmake, the writer has known Tom since he was a bare-footed boy in this city. Tom’s people were poor, but hard workers and honest. His brother lived on the farm of the writer’s father for many years. We knew him as absolutely honest and loyal. Tom we have known as a friendly, hard worker. He and his good wife have not only reared their own children, but from time to time have cared for and given homes to 8 little orphan children. They are willing to divide their last crust with the homeless. Uncle Gus, we take off our hat to you. Tom, here’s hoping you don’t let your good fortune spoil your good heart."

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