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Riley Joseph Wilson (November 12, 1871 – February 23, 1946) was a Louisiana educator, attorney, and legislator in the first half of the late 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. A Democrat, Wilson served in the United States House of Representatives from 1915 until 1937. He was defeated for renomination in 1936.

He was born near Goldonna in Winn Parish, the traditional In 1894, he graduated from Iuka Normal Institute in Iuka (Tishomingo County), Mississippi. He was the principal of Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, the seat of Catahoula Parish, from 1895–1897. Wilson studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1898. He opened his practice in Harrisonburg.

Prior to his service in the U.S. Congress, Wiley was a district attorney, state judge, and a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1900–1904. He succeeded a Populist state legislator, Henry Breithaupt.

Wilson and Governor Oramel H. Simpson were the two unsuccessful candidates for governor in the 1928 Democratic primary. They lost to the legendary Huey Pierce Long, Jr., at the time a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

One of Wilson's congressional aides was State Representative Rupert Peyton, who served from 1932-1936. Peyton was also a Shreveport journalist and historian. Wilson spent his later years in Ruston, the seat of Lincoln Parish, where he died at the age of seventy-four. He is interred at Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Walter Elder
U.S. Representative from 5th District of Louisiana

Riley Joseph Wilson

Succeeded by
Newt V. Mills
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Breithaupt
State Representative from Catahoula Parish

Riley Joseph Wilson

Succeeded by
E.B. Cottingham


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