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Benton County, Iowa ~ Biography and Family Information

William Williams

Source:  Pictorial and Biographical Memoirs of
Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana
  Chicago. Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers. 1893.
Pages 161-162.
William Williams was born in Rockbridge County, Va., near the Natural Bridge, April 1, 1822, and two years later his parents, William and Mary (Sanders) Williams, moved to Botetourt County, Va., where the father, who was a cooper, made barrels for a flour-mill. The parents were natives of Virginia and Pennsylvania respectively, and the father was a soldier in the War of 1812. Twelve children were born to their union, as follows: Powhatan; Mildred, who married Samuel Morricle; Hector; Adeline, deceased, was the wife of William Zimmerman; Nancy, deceased, married Mr. Kitterman; David; Malinda, deceased, was the wife of Preston Jones; William (subject); John, killed in the Confederate service; Susan, deceased, who was the wife of Early Dickinson; Demaris, deceased, was the wife of Mr. Kitterman, and Matthew died from the effects of a wound received in the Confederate service; he was the husband of a Miss Saurs. The father of these children died in Virginia in 1842 and his wife followed him to the grave in 1856.

Until sixteen years of age our subject remained in Botetourt County, and during that time only received about two terms of schooling. He worked with his father and five brothers at the cooper trade until January, 1849, when he started for California. He reached St. Louis and found the prospect for getting an outfit so poor that he and 100 others abandoned the trip. He then came to Marion County, Ind., and for three years was engaged in making barrels. In 1852 he bought eighty acres in Perry township and tilled the soil there for three years when he went to Iowa and bought 100 acres of land in Benton County. One year later he returned to Marion County, Ind., and purchased forty acres in Perry township. On this he erected a house and made his home there until 1863, when he sold it and the following year bought eighty acres of Andrew Shirk, in Section 15, Range 4 east, and paid $27 per acre, all green timber.

In September, 1864, Mr. Williams was drafted and assigned to Company H, Seventeenth Indiana Infantry, and served nine months. He participated in the following battles: Red Mountain Iron Works, near Selma, and at Selma. From there they went to Montgomery, Ala.; thence to Columbia, Macon, Ga., and Oglethorpe, Ga., where they remained about three weeks, and in the latter part of June Mr. Williams returned home. The next day, June 21, he commenced cutting the wheat he had put in in the fall when drafted. In 1865 he bought ten acres at $75 per acre, and a year or so later he purchased the balance of the forty acres for $65 per acre. In 1893 he bought forty acres at $60 per acre and all his land is cleared except about twenty acres. In 1892 Mr. Williams raised about 1,100 bushels of wheat. He raises from twenty to twenty-five acres of corn per year that averages about seventy-five bushels to the acre. In 1893, on seven acres, he raised 400 bushels.

In politics Mr. Williams has ever been a decided Democrat. He joined the Missionary Baptist Church in Virginia when nineteen years of age and has held membership in the same ever since. His wife is also a member of that church. He has always refused office, both in army and civil life and the church, except to serve as trustee in the latter. He was never sued in his life, and never sued but one man when he had to pay the costs. He then decided that he had done with law.

Mr. Williams was married December 26, 1850, to Miss Elizabeth J. Sanders, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Obenchain) Sanders, and twelve children were given them: George E., married Miss Martha McClain, and they have three children, Joel E., Clarence E. and Katy V.: Sarah, died when about ten years of age; John W., died in 1888, married Miss Ruth Girton, daughter of Ad. Girton, and left one daughter, Carrie J.; Flora B., died June 22, 1861, when an infant; Mary E., died August 7, 1865, when an infant; Charles A., born June 13, 1865, and died August 13, 1877; Nora F., born October 9, 1868; Laura A., born July 17, 1866; Owen, born March 19, 1871, married Miss Sadie Toon, daughter of Lewis and Dicey (Collins) Toon (they have one son, Charles); Ida B., born September 11, 1873, married Oscar Morgan, May 12, 1892; Katie, born January 14, 1876, died August 13, 1877, and Artie May, born August 12, 1877.

John Sanders, father of Mrs. Williams, was born in Rockbridge County, Va., and he was there married to Miss Elizabeth Obenchain. He was a blacksmith by trade and came to Indiana in 1848, settling in Marion County. Later he moved to Benton County, Iowa, and there died about 1864. His wife died in 1886. Five children were born to them, as follows: George, who married Miss Elizabeth Wheatcraft, resides in Indiana; Elizabeth J., subject's wife; John W., who married Miss Sarah Kerns and now makes his home in Iowa; Mary V., married Robert Kirkpatrick, and is now a widow residing in Texas, and Edward J., who married Miss Emma Watson and resides in Iowa.

Transcriber's Note: John & Elizabeth Sanders are listed in the 1870 Benton County, Iowa census, Taylor Twp, p. 246b, so he obviously lived much longer than 1864.

Note from Connie Springs: John , s/o William Williams, was not killed in Civil War. He married Ketura Dickerson, d/o James T. Dickerson & Permelia Reed. He died in Washington County, VA.

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