The village of Wilson, at one time known as Ferry Switch, was named in honor of Mr. Wilson, who was one of the first settlers in this area. He constructed a large sawmill. A general merchandise store was built by Mr. MacIntyre and mill employees constructed several homes in the village. Mr. Wilson served as the first postmaster of the village which was in Spalding Township until the township division in 1902.
The Spalding Lumber Company and the Iron Cliff Company of Negaunee carried on lumbering operations in this area. In 1898, Wilbur and Kellogg establish a pole yard.
The demand for transportation of forest products became great enough so that the Chicago and Northwestern Railway officials constructed a depot and employed men to work twenty-four hours of the day. Mr. Sparks was the first depot agent. Mr. William Burkardt, who has acted as the depot agent since 1918, is still employed, although railway officials have made plans to discontinue the depot service for lack of business.
A church was built by the Methodists about 1890 but this later burned. The Episcopalians have a church in this vicinity. When the first school was opened in 1881-82 the term was only three months. With consolidation in the township the Wilson school now has three teachers for grades K-6.
Mr. William Kell started a business in dealing with horses. Mr. William Kell, Jr. is now continuing the business.
The first cheese factory was erected in 1910 by William Belfry. It is now owned and operated by Mr. Helmer Olson. The village blacksmith shop is now owned and operated by Mr. John Plansky.
The first general store was destroyed by fire in 1935. Mr. William J. Roberge constructed a new fireproof store on the same location later the same year.
The area surrounding the village of Wilson is today regarded as a first-class farming district. Many farmers have developed splendid herds of pure-bred dairy cattle.
Lumbering operations from second-growth forests are carried on by the farmers during the winter months. The farming and lumbering operations enable the residents to earn their livelihood.
Source: Menominee County Book for Schools, edited by Ethel Schuyler. Menominee, Michigan: Office of County School Commissioner, 1941.