By Cathy Callopy
Jilson, born a slave, may have been a brother to Nancy Mcgruder or related in some way as both of them came to Mississippi in the same group in the 1820s. James Dinsmore purchased him and later took him to Louisiana when he moved there in 1829. When Dinsmore left for Kentucky, Jilson and his family remained in the Deep South. At some point in the 1850s, Jilson and his wife, Eliza, and their family were sent to work on Dinsmore’s farm in Saline County, Missouri. During the Civil War, they moved again to Kentucky where they stayed until after Dinsmore’s death. In the mid-1870s, Jilson used money James had left for him to buy a house in Rising Sun. He chose to be buried in the Dinsmore family plot near his daughter and granddaughter when he died.