James French Wilson (born August 14, 1892, in Stewartsville, Indiana) was a UC Davis professor and influential member of the Davis community. His area of expertise was animal husbandry and is considered a pioneer in the sheep and wool industry.
Professor Wilson received his B.S. degree from the University of Wyoming in 1913, His M.A. from the University of Missouri in 1916, and an honorary LL.D. degree from the University of Wyoming in 1944. He joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1916 and continued in this position, interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Army during World War I, until 1919. In 1919, he was appointed assistant professor of animal husbandry at UC Davis. Professor Wilson played an important role in the classroom and in the field in developing an awareness of the importance of wool quality for the varied uses of wool in manufacturing.
Professor Wilson was also active in the Davis community. He was the first chairman of the City of Davis Planning Commission, Yolo County Boy Scout commissioner, director of the Davis Chamber of Commerce, American Cancer Society area chairman, Yolo County Club member, president of the UCD Faculty Club, and served as chairman of the Davis civic defense and disaster committee during World War II. He was honored as Davis Citizen of the Year in 1975 and as Rotarian-of-the-Year in 1974.