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Mrs. J. Rufus Wilson

In each human soul an ideal is hidden. "The supreme tragedy of life is the failure to find it," says Phillips Brooks, the poet-preacher, whose views  on the art of living have uplifted millions.

Early in February, 1933, Mrs. Wilson revealed, in a gripping address at the woman's City Club, Little Rock, an ideal that thrilled her listeners with its possibilities. Her feasible plan calls for a world citizenship through education of the masses to an understanding of all people which ultimately should result in universal peace.  Mrs. Wilson has found her ideal and is working for its realization in many ways, one as a contributor of an outline of study on international relations to the University of Arkansas Extension Service. For eight years she had charge of Department of International Relations of the Arkansas Federation of Women's Clubs.

But this versatile woman's idealism follows many channels, some not so broad, of course, as a profound peace plan. She is a devoted wife, a generous mother, and a cozy homemaker. Through her church she has answered god's call to nobler living; her clubs are an outlet for the treasures of her mind freely given to help others find happiness in life. she is an author of scenarios, short stories and essays, with her thought riding the words like a good horseman his steed. She is a leader of patriotic and civic endeavor and her sage counseling has garnished many projects beneficial to the community and State. Mrs. Wilson has in preparation, to be off the press soon, what she considers the best works of her life. It is directed reading of the Bible, based on a key verse and key word system. This will eliminate haphazard reading and enable the veriest novice to follow the life of the Saviour and all Biblical characters connectedly and with greater interest.

Mrs. Wilson is a true daughter of  proud Arkansas, born at New Edinburg on Aug. 7, 1883. She is the granddaughter of the late Charles P. and Rebecca Williams and the Rev William F. and Phoebe Fowler, both influential families of earliest Arkansas. her parents were Dr. T.A. fowler who departed this life on Oct. 25, 1927, and Mattie P. (Williams) fowler, who passed to the Great Beyond Dec. 6, 1891. Mabel Irene Fowler's girlhood was spent in the tranquility of a happy farm home, blessed with parental love and rich with the products of the fields. She was educated at venerable Ouachita College; and she broadened her studies, without leaving her pleasant home again, by correspondence work with the Universities of Chicago and of Columbia. With mind enriched by learning, and projecting the visions of ambitious youth, Mabel Fowler engaged in teaching and became a success in the honored profession.

J. Rufus Wilson came into her life and was accepted as the ideal man to storm the portal of her castle in the air they were married at Magazine, Ark., on April 21, 1905. Of this happy union three children were born, Thomas Wilson, Charles Wilson and John R. Wilson. Mr. Wilson is a prominent attorney of El dorado and their home is at 700 West Main Street. Mrs. Wilson's rules of living are in the form of a motto given to her by her grandfather Williams, which has been her guidance through the years. It is "be kind, open-minded, understanding and fair."


Source:  Among Arkansas Leaders, pg. 58.  Submitted by Belinda (Brown) Winston.