Del Norte Historical Tour

#47. Adair Wilson House


Judge Adair Wilson built this beautiful house in 1879.  Rev. White of the Presbyterian Church later remodeled it.  At one time it was said to have a cupola; the walls were plastered with a lime and horsehair plaster.  It is typical architecture of the 1870-1880 period of time.

Wilson’s family history goes through the military to include grandfathers on both sides of his family who fought in the Revolutionary War.  Adair Wilson was the third of seven children.  He received his education in the Masonic College in Missouri, and graduated with his degrees in 1858 at the age of 17.  He studied law under his uncle who was a Supreme Court judge in Missouri.

In 1860 he came to Colorado, and then on to San Francisco, California to practice law with another uncle for two years.  They then went to Virginia City, Nevada where they went into the newspaper business.  Mark Twain was in the newspaper business at the same time.  He returned to Missouri in 1867 to take care of his father’s estate.

In 1872 Wilson arrived in Pueblo, where he practiced law for another year before coming to Del Norte.  In 1875 he was elected the first member of the territorial council from the San Juan country, and served during the last sessions of the legislature of the territory.  In 1886 he was elected State Senator from the San Juan District.  In 1887 he opened an office in Durango to practice law.