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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Wilson, Ronald Bonar

by William S. Powell, 1996

18 Nov. 1883–11 Sept. 1947

Ronald Bonar Wilson, newspaperman and journal editor, was born in Greenville, the son of Lewis Henry and Jackie Anne Caroline Smith Wilson. After attending The University of North Carolina (1901–3) and North Carolina College of Agriculture and Engineering (1903–5), he lived for several years in Charlotte, where he was employed by the Elizabeth Manufacturing Company (1905–6) and Stone-Barringer, a book company (1906–7). He then became editor of Textile Manufacturer (1907–8) and Real Estate Record (1909). During this time he also was a sergeant in the First North Carolina Light Artillery.

Wilson was managing editor of the Asheville Citizen (1910–11), publisher of the Brevard News (1911–12) and the Statesville Sentinel (1912–13), and editor of the Rocky Mount Daily Transcript (1913). Later in 1913 he became editor and owner of the Waynesville Courier, where he remained until he joined the Raleigh News and Observer as state news editor in 1917. During the four years he resided in Waynesville Wilson was secretary of the Haywood County Democratic executive committee. For a time in 1918 he was city editor of the Wilmington Dispatch ; later in the year he was an instructor at the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Engineering.

Wilson next became assistant to the secretary of the North Carolina State Board of Health, a post he held for fourteen years. He appears to have entered wholeheartedly into this work, becoming a member of the North Carolina Conference for Social Service, American Public Health Association, North Carolina Tuberculosis Association (of which he was a director), National Tuberculosis Association, and Southern Conference on Tuberculosis (vice-president). Through his writings published in state papers, he made significant contributions to health care in the state.

On 11 Mar. 1909 Wilson married Anna Jackson Morrison. They had no children. He was a member of the Masons, the Pythians, and the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Raleigh. He was buried in Macpelah Church Cemetery in Lincoln County, his wife's home community.


Alumni Files (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolian (1924).

Raleigh News and Observer, 12–13 Sept. 1947.

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