Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WILLIAM R. WILLIAMS resides on
a farm seven miles east from Hatton. Born in Franklin county, Illinois,
June 4, 1835, he was the son of John R. and Sarah (Adams) Williams, the
former a native of Tennessee and the latter of North Carolina. The
parents removed to Illinois when young, and later established a home in
Missouri. However, after a brief space in that state they again removed,
going to Linn county, Kansas, where both died. The father was a farmer
and was also a Baptist minister.
William R. Williams is a member of a family
originally comprising twelve children. He received a good education
in the common schools of the states of Illinois and Missouri, and at the
age of twenty-one he left school and engaged in teaching in Kansas.
In 1861 he enlisted in what was called the Enrolled Militia of Kansas,
and served throughout the Civil War. During his service he was engaged
in the battles of the Big Blue in Jackson county, Missouri, Westport, Mine
Creek and several less important fights and skirmishes. During a
portion of his enlistment he was sergeant of his company, which was detailed
to defend the state, and after the war his company was engaged in fighting
the Jay Hawkers for six months.
Upon leaving the army Mr. Williams engaged
in farming and in buying and selling live stock, which business he followed
ten years. He came west in 1887 and located on a homestead, later
buying three hundred and twenty acres where he now lives. He also
rents a section of school land. He has his land all under cultivation
and in an advanced state of improvement.
In 1868 Mr. Williams was married to Elvina
Street, who died in 1875, leaving a family of six children, John R., Andrew
J., Mary E., Anna B., Florence E. and James R.
In 1876 Mr. Williams was again married, his
wife being Mrs. Amy Morrison, widow of J. W. Morrison. Mrs. Williams'
parents were Roswell and Maria (Winfield) Fairchild, natives of New York
state. They settled early in life in Ohio, later removed to Illinois,
where Mrs. Williams was born, and finally established themselves in Kansas,
where both have since died. They were parents of six children, Edwin
L., Lucina, Silas W., Jane, Fannie and Amy, twin sisters.
Mrs. Williams was married to J. W. Morrison
in 1871, and one child, Estella, married to J. S. Kenney, is the issue
of this union. By their last marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Williams have
had born to them two children, William A. and Emma M.
Mr. Williams is a Republican. He has
been school director about thirty years, and was instrumental in the organization
of his home district.
He is a member of the F. and A. M. fraternity,
and altogether one of the most highly respected pioneers in the Big Bend