Wilson was born in Chariton, Iowa in Lucas County, a rural area in the south-central portion of the state. He studied organ, violin and composition with Frederick Grant Gleason at the Chicago Music College. He then studied in Leipzig, Germany with Max Reger. Upon return to this country in 1911, he taught at the Atlanta Conservatory and conducted the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1916, he moved to Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia.
In 1918, Wilson took a job as consulting editor for the National Academy of Music in New York City, where he remained until his death at the age of 55. Today, his works are mostly in manuscript and includes five symphonies and a great deal of chamber music. The suite From My Youth, Op. 5 was published in 1911 and premiered by the Sitting Trio.
- "Biographical information from ArkivMusic.com". Retrieved 17 September 2006.