John Marshall Wilson (1847-1918), a Civil War Veteran and Justice of the Peace, spent his entire life working in his native town of Canarsie, within the independent Township of Flatlands. Flatlands consolidated with the City of Brooklyn in 1896; two years later Brooklyn consolidated with the City of New York.
John Marshall Wilson, before serving as a Justice of the Peace of the Town of Flatlands, fought in the Civil War. At the war’s end, Wilson became a judge as well as president of the Canarsie Board of Education. Judge Wilson assisted in preventing a smallpox epidemic and retrieved coal from a sinking ship off the coast of Canarsie, helping avoid a heating crisis during a coal strike. During his life, Justice Wilson received the title of “Canarsie’s Leading Citizen” from his neighbors. In 1918, at age 71, Justice Wilson died of pneumonia in the same house he resided in his entire life.