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Submitted by Niles Historical Society

He was born in Connecticut and moved his business from Connellsville, PA to Niles in 1920. His unique contribution to Niles was that he gave unlimited time and thought to his duties as a citizen. He was a chairman of the citizens committee for the South Main Street Viaduct, headed eight successful WWII bond drives, and for thirty years guided the development of the Niles parks and a member and chairman of the commission. He was the “Father of City Parks” and is memorialized by Wilder Field at Waddell Park.

In 1924, Mr. John Wilder, Niles industrial leader, was president of the Niles Kiwanis Club founded in 1920. He was largely responsible for involving all Trumbull County Kiwanis clubs in this new venture. They set up a Fresh Air Camp for special children. The camp was established to provide a healthy atmosphere for children from 6-12 years old who needed dental work, had nutritional deficiency, or might be susceptible to tuberculosis infection.

Wilder Metal was constructed in 1922 by John Wilder on Route 46 between Niles and Evansville and was one of Niles’ fabricating plants with production discontinued after WWII.