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History of Benton County, Iowa
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910; Luther B. Hill, Ed.

Pages 617-619

JOHN I. WILLIAMS, practically retired from active life, though he still resides on part of his farm in section 3, Taylor township, has followed farming all his active life. He was born in Randolph county, Indiana, October 11, 1838, and is a son of Stephen and Mary Ann (Buckmaster) Williams, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Delaware. They were married in Indiana. Stephen Williams came to Benton county, Iowa, in 1855, locating first in Cedar township, just south of LaPorte, and later moved to Taylor township, near Vinton. He spent the last years of his life retired in Vinton.

John I. Williams lived with his father until after his marriage, and then started farming on his own account. He was one of seven children, and came with his parents to Benton county in 1855. They were both of Welsh descent and lived on a farm before removing to Indiana, where they were among the early settlers; they lived in Randolph county, Indiana, until their removal to Iowa. In religious belief they were Quakers. Stephen Williams died about 1886, at the age of sixty-six years, and his wife died in 1882, also at Vinton, at the age of sixty-three. Their children were: John I.; Joanna, wife of W. A. Wallace, of Vinton; George W., a prospector, living in Alaska; Thornton, also of Alaska; William, who died in Wyoming about 1900, a ranchman; Stephen, of Dakota; and Nannie, wife of C. W. Odell, of Forest-grove, Oregon.

John I. Williams was still a boy when he came to Benton county, and has spent most of his life here. He has lived forty-three years on his present farm, and owns two hundred and sixty acres of well improved, fertile land; the farm is now operated by his two sons, S. D. and W. I. Williams. He has always paid close attention to the conduct of his farm, and has reaped success as a result of his energy and industry. He started with very small capital, and became one of the substantial farmers of the county. Politically Mr. Williams is a Republican, and both he and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal church at Vinton.

In 1864 Mr. Williams married, in this county, Lennie M. Coutts, born in Jefferson county, Ohio, July 31, 1839, daughter of Jacob and Eleanor (Johnson) Coutts, both natives of Pennsylvania, where they were married. Jacob Coutts was a millwright by trade, and in 1849 went to California, where he spent five years and was financially very successful. He afterward located in Eldorado township, Benton county, Iowa, and named that township. He was born in 1800 and died at the age of eighty-eight years, having spent the last three years of his life in Vinton. His wife, died in Ohio about 1846, leaving six living children, namely: Rev. Jacob, a Presbyterian minister who died in Ohio; Manuel, a farmer who died at Vinton; Melissa, widow of David Calkins, now a resident of Nebraska; Matilda, wife of Levi Weaver, of Concordia, Kansas; and Martha, wife of Thomas Sherman, of California; and Lennie M., Mrs. Williams, the fourth child. Mrs. Williams was reared in Ohio to the age of sixteen years, and then came to Benton county with her father. Mr. Williams and his wife have four children, as follows: Mary Ellen, who married Hiram Torrence, who owns a farm in Buchanan county, Iowa; Stephen D., born May 29, 1869, is a farmer of Taylor township; William I., born November li, 1871, lives in Taylor township; and Annie, wife of Robert Jamieson, of Buchanan county. Stephen D. married Minnie Waterstradt, and they have two children, Esther and Harold; he has just built a handsome home. William married Edna Henderson, and they have one child, Lura. Mr. Jamieson and his wife became the parents of five childern, namely: Ruth, Mary, Walter, George (deceased) and Marlin.

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