FAMILY OF COLONEL LEONARD WILLIAMS AND NANCY ISAACKS
COL. LEONARD H. WILLIAMS was born about 1798 in Georgia or Tennessee, and died April 14, 1854 in McLennan/Navarro/Limestone/Hill County, Texas. He married (1) NANCY ISAACKS about 1818 in Arkansas Territory-perhaps Lawrence County, Arkansas. She was born about 1798 in Cherokee Village in Georgia or Tennessee, and died about 1835 near the Williams Ferry, Texas, Coahuila, Mexico. He married (2) MARY JANE WARE 1836. She was born 1817 in Arkansas or Missouri, and died after 1880. She was possibly a daughter of Hardy Ware and Drucilla Brooks, however, Drucilla's probate in St. Louis County, Missouri does not name her as a child.
Notes for COL.
TAKEN FROM OLD
NORTHWEST TEXAS, HISTORICAL-STATISTICAL-BIOGRAPHICAL, NAVARRO COUNTY, TEXAS
1846-1860 COMPILED BY NANCY SAMUELS AND BARBARA KNOX, PUBLISHED BY FORT WORTH
Williams (son of Thomas and Priscilla) was born about 1798 probably in Tennessee
and died 1854 in McLennan County, Texas according to a descendant; lived in
Nacogdoches, Cherokee, Houston, McLennan, Limestone and Navarro (Hill) Counties.
His Mexican surname is said to have been Guilean or Goen.
On Municipality of Nacogdoches census his family appears to have been
enumerated as: Leonardo Goen (age
32), blacksmith; Ramon (age 32) wife?; and children Sale (17), Tomas (15),
Prisilie (13), Pole (11) Leonardo (9) and Melinde (5).
Leonard H. Williams is
said to have married wife 1, Nancy Isaacks, 1/2 Cherokee of Chief Bowles' tribe,
who died in 1836 leaving 8 children; his wife 2 was Jane Ware by whom he had 3
On July 5, 1842, Sam
Houston appointed Henry E. Scott, Ethan Stroud, Joseph Durst, and Leonard Williams
commissioners 'to treat with any and all Indians on the frontiers of Texas.'
In September of 1842, Stroud, Williams and Durst reported they had been
at Boggy Depot in the Chickasaw Nation, had entered into a treaty with 4 tribes
at a Caddo village, and that plans were underway to meet with hostile Indian
tribes to get them to go to Waco Village to enter into a treaty.
They authorized Luis Sanchez to raise 15 men to accompany him 'to the
three forks of the Trinity' to escort Indians desiring to make a treaty Sanchez
appears on the 1835 Williams Settlement census, also on the Municipality of
The Peace Act of
January 14, 1843, provided for a Bureau of Indian Affairs to be attached to the
Department of War and Marine, for Indian agents to be appointed, and for trading
posts to be established. By March
1843, efforts were intensified to bring Indians in for councils and treaties.
During this time, Thomas I. Smith, E.H. Tarrant and G.W. Terrell also
served as Indian commissioners. At
the Treaty of Bird's Fort in September 1843, Tarrant and Terrell signed as
commissioners, L. Williams was a witness, and Luis Sanchez was an interpreter.
Williams served as a commissioner, interpreter, agent and supplier.
At a treaty at Tehuacana Creek, October 1844, Williams, Luis Sanchez and
Jesse Chisholm signed as interpreters; commissioners were Thomas I. Smith, James
C. Neill, and E. Morehouse.
During 1844, Leonard
Williams' residence was in Houston County.
He then became a resident Indian agent at Torrey's Post No. 2, below Waco
Village (see Chapter I). It was
during that time that Rev. Noah T. Byars (qv) was hired as blacksmith and
armorer for the Indians at Post No.2 and resigned or was relieved from his
duties, because of a disagreement with Williams. Byars was followed by blacksmiths E.B. Cogswell and Jesse
Sutton (qv). Williams drew his last
salary as an Indian agent in February 1846.
About this time, he and his family, and other relatives, settled in the
Mount Calm area (present Limestone/Hill County).
His son Thomas appears on RCTxR1s 1846-48; both are on the 1850 census of
Williams' widow, Jane,
and 3 youngest children appear on the 1855 School Census of Limestone County
(District 7). Jane was on the 1860
census of Limestone County and the 1870 census of Hill County.
About 2 miles southwest
of Mount Calm, Hill County, is a cemetery known as Pitts Cemetery, where some
members of the Williams, Billington, Stockman, Roberts, Middleton, and Holloway
families are buried, some in unmarked graves.
A red granite historical marker states:
'Leonard Williams, born Tennessee 1800, served in the Army of Texas,
participated in the storming of Bexar, trader and interpreter among the Indians,
died 1856 (sic). Erected by the
State of Texas in 1957.'
On Highway 31, near
Mount Calm, is a historical marker which states: " Colonel Leonard Williams (1798-1854), heroic
frontiersman and soldier. Was made
a colonel by his friend, President Sam Houston.
After being a Comanche captive was a diplomat and Indian agent.
Settled near here 1845 (sic). Built
the area's first tank, using a scraper of cowhide.
Wife was Nancy Isaacs. They
had 6 (sic) children. (1967)
Historical Survey Committee.'
' Where Mount Calm now is, there was a lone cabin (about 1850).
A man named Williams lived there. About
one mile south of his house was a hill, and below that Christmas Creek
Nancy Isaacks, wife of Leonard H. Williams, and Mary Isaacks, wife of his brother William Williams, are said to have been related to Richard Fields, a 1/2 breed Cherokee chief, who, as an old man, led his tribe into east Texas in 1820, attempted to get land for his people, and finally negotiated with the Anglos to form a Fredonian Republic. The Cherokee disapproved, and Fields was one of those ordered executed by Cherokee chief Bowles in 1827. He left a wife and 7 minor children; wife was the daughter of a French trader, François Grapp, of Natchitoches, Louisiana."
The following account
of Col. Leonard Williams attempt to bargain with the Comanches for Cynthia Ann
Parker is taken from INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS BY J.W. WILBARGER, PUBLISHED
IN 1889. Mr. Wilbarger tells that
this account of the life of Cynthia Ann was taken from a book by James T.
DeShields called "Cynthia Ann Parker"
Ann Parker (we will anticipate the thread of the narrative).
Four long years have elapsed since she was cruelly torn from a mother's
embrace and carried into captivity. During
this time no tidings have been received of her.
Many efforts have been made to ascertain her whereabouts, or fate, but
without success; when in 1840, Colonel Len. Williams, an old and honored Texan,
Mr. Stoat, a trader, and a Delaware Indian guide named Jack Harry, packed mules
with goods and engaged in an expedition of private traffic with the Indians.
On the Canadian
river they fell in with Pa-ha-u-ka's band of Comanches, with whom they were
peaceably conversant. And with this
tribe was Cynthia Ann Parker, who, from the day of her capture, had never seen a
white person. She was then about
fourteen years of age and had been with the Indians nearly 5 years.
found the Indian into whose family she had been adopted, and proposed to redeem
her, but the Comanche told him all the goods he had would not ransom her, and at
the same time 'fierceness of his countenance, ' says Col. Williams, 'warned me
of danger of further mention of the subject.'
But old Pa-ha-u-ka prevailed upon him to let them see her.
She came and sat down by the root of a tree, and while their presence was
doubtless a happy event to the poor stricken captive, who, in her doleful
captivity, had endured everything but death, she refused to speak a word.
As she sat there, musing perhaps, of distant relatives and friends, and
the bereavements at the beginning and progress of her distress, they employed
every persuasive art to evoke some expression.
They told her of her playmates and relatives, and asked what message she
would sent them, but she had doubtless been commanded to silence, and with no
hope or prospect to return, was afraid to appear sad or dejected, and by a stoical
effort, in order to prevent future bad treatment, put the best face possible on
the matter. But the anxiety of her
mind was betrayed by the perceptive quiver of her lips, showing that she was not
insensible to the common feelings of humanity."
TALK CHEROKEE COUNTY, TEXAS QUARTERLY FEB. 1994 - ORIGINAL LANDOWNERS
(PATENTEES) OF CHEROKEE COUNTY, TEXAS
Williams - Donation grant
FROM A DOCUMENT
AT THE MOUNT CALM LIBRARY-MT. CALM, TEXAS
I hereby certify
that Leonard Williams came personally before me George Gill a Justice of the
Peace for Lawrence County White River Township and did acknowledge the above
instrument to be his own act and deed made and seal March 6th/8th 1819.
(Signed) George Gill JOP, Received and recorded March 23, 1819 (Signed)
Rich Searcy? clk
FROM AN EARLY
FAMILY HISTORY WRITTEN BY DAN WILLIAMS AT THE MOUNT CALM LIBRARY
Some of the early
settlers were Col. Leonard Wm's, Bill, Tom & Leonard H. Wm's, William
Elliott, Hiram Estes, Aaron Estes, Isaac Roberts, Napoleon B. Steddum, Nathen
Middleton, Job Crabtree, Green Berry & George J. Hardwick, W.W. Boren, Solomon
Rugle, Manson Sned, Jim Elliott, Wilson Hutchison, Robert S. Patton, John
Hutchison, Brook Wms., Peter Lee Graham, Brook Lee George Packwood, B.M. Hunter,
H.F. Dabney, R? L. Hubert, ---Holloway, Gid Johnson & many others.
Ezekeil J. Billington organized the first church in 1855.
Mt. Calm was a Confederate Post office during the Civil War and J.C.
Blackburn was Postmaster.
The Civil War
took most of the men of the Confederate Army.
Many didn't come back. My
great grandfather, Aaron Estes and great Uncle George Wm's were killed during
the Battle of Atlanta, Ga. The
Civil War years and afterward were very hard ones.
No cash money and no market for cattle until about 1870 when the cattle
drives north to the railroad in Kansas. Most
of the cattle were unbranded during the war years and this caused much trouble
over ownership in the decade after the Civil War.
Pembrooke (Tobe) Estes was killed on the street at Old Mt. Calm in 1869
over an unbranded maverick. His
brother, Tant Estes, killed a man in old Mt. Calm and was saved from being
killed by my Grandmother, Narcissus Estes Wms, who jerked him thru a window of a
store. She hustled him to the back
of the store, gave him her horse and he rode west to near Bold Springs, got a
fresh horse from his brother in law, Lee Wms, and escaped to west Texas.
He left an oil and cattle estate valued at $6 million that went to four
Methodist institutions in the 1950s.
was a Methodist circuit rider at old Mt. Calm in the 1870s and his son John
Wesley Harden used the area for a sanctuary when the Yankee bluecoats and state
police got too close on him. Charles
A. Zachary of Nashville, Tenn. opened a store in old Mt. Calm and John Wesley
clerked for him some. Alfalfa Bill
Murry, afterwards governor of Oklahoma, taught school there a year.
The Cotton Belt Railroad built through form Tyler to Waco in 1883.
Charles A. Zachery was the first to move his store to the railroad in
Notes for NANCY
LEONARD HOUSTON WILLIAMS BIO. INFORMATION
TAKEN FROM THE
HANDBOOK OF WACO AND McLENNAN COUNTY, TEXAS
Houston Williams was born in Georgia in 1798, the son of Thomas and Priscilla
(Brooks) Williams. The family
emigrated west of the Mississippi River in 1810.
In 1822, Williams was living on the Angelina River near Nacogdoches.
During the Fredonian Rebellion, he served under Peter Ellis Bean and in
1826 received a sitio of land in the Nacogdoches District for his service.
He operated the Williams Ferry and Trading Post on the old San Antonio
Road Crossing of the Neches River.
In November of
1835, he participated in the storming of San Antonio de Bexar.
From March to September of 1836, he served with Samuel L. Benton's First
Regiment of Texas Rangers. He was
with John H. Reagan at the battle of the Neches in 1839 and was appointed a
resident Indian agent in 1840. Two
years later he was made one of four commissioners to treat with the Indians by
Sam Houston, and in 1843 he helped to negotiate the treaty of Bird's Fort.
He served again
as a commissioner at the Comanche council at Techuacana Creek in April of 1844.
During the spring of that year, he assumed the position of Indian agent
at Torrey's Post No. 2. He also had charge of an overland freight line from Houston
to the Waco Indian Village.
married twice. His first wife was
Nancy Isaacs who died in 1835, and his second wife was Jane Ware of Arkansas.
He was the father of eleven children.
He died in April of 1854 on Williams Creek in McLennan County.
Grant Foreman, INDIANS AND PIONEERS (1836); Marion Day Mullins, FIRST
CENSUS OF TEXAS 1829-1836 (1959); Nacogdoches Archives (M.S., Archives, Barker
History Center, University of Texas at Austin); Walter Prescott Webb, (ed.)
HANDBOOK OF TEXAS, II (1952); Gifford E. White (ed.) 1840 CENSUS OF THE REPUBLIC
OF TEXAS (1966); Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker (eds.)
WRITINGS OF SAM HOUSTON, 1813-1863 (1940); Dorman H. Winfrey and James M.
Day, INDIAN PAPERS OF TEXAS AND THE SOUTHWEST, 1825-1916 (1966) by Dan
FROM A HISTORY OF THE
WILLIAMS FAMILY BY DAN WILLIAMS FROM THE MOUNT CALM LIBRARY - 1996 (ORALLY GIVEN
BY DAN WILLIAMS, WRITTEN BY MRS. TANT WILLIAMS, SR., COPIED BY TANT WILLIAMS,
JR. APRIL 1995)
Leonard and Bill
Williams were born in Tennessee, probably near Nashville (corrected to
Chattanooga) as they knew Sam Houston there before they renewed friendship in
Texas. The next time they appear in
history is in 1816. They were
living near Choteau's Trading Post in Oklahoma Indian Territory with the
Cherokees. The "Bowl" was
chief at the time. Major Bradford,
U.S. Army, filed a report with the Secretary of War that an army of 600
Cherokees and 11 white men, including Leonard and Bill Williams, their future
father in law, Isaacs, under John McLemore and the "Bowl" completely
wiped out an Osage Indian town near the present site of Claremore, OK; some 100
men, women and children were killed and 104 prisoners taken by the Cherokees.
August Choteau reported that the town and crops were burnt and 25 white
scalps recovered from the village. Major Bradford's report strongly condemned
the action and the whites who aided the Cherokees.
He said the whites were more savage than the Indians.
Regardless of who was right or wrong, pressure from the U.S. Army
probably was the reason for Leonard and Bill to enter Texas (Pecan Point) at
Nacogdoches about 1819 or 1820 with their half-breed wives, Nancy and Mary
It was Spanish territory at the time of the first mention of Leonard listed as "Leonardo" in the early census. Soon afterwards Leonard and Bill were captured by Comanches or Kiowas (probably Pa-hua-ka and his Keeches). For two years they remained captives of this nomad tribe that ranged from Northern Mexico to the Arkansas River in Kansas and Colorado.
CHILDREN OF COLONEL LEONARD WILLIAMS AND NANCY ISAACKS
Mary Polly Williams
CHILDREN OF COLONEL LEONARD WILLIAMS AND MARY JANE WARE
© L.L. Kight 2002