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Elias H. Williams

WILLIAMS

Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 2/27/2009 at 20:54:32

Clayton County Centennial Edition, July, 1936.

Elias H. Williams

In the early forties there came into this territory, from New England, Elias H. Williams, a graduate of Yale a scholarly man of legal and classic attainment. In 1845 we find him a member of Capt. Wilsonís Dragoons, a military company that patrolled the neutral ground between Ft. Crawford and Fort Atkinson to see that the ancient feuds of the Siouxs, Foxes and Winnebagos did not jeopardize the white manís personal safety. In this company were many pioneers who later made accords in the arts of peace that overshadowed their military services.

Elias H. Williams was a man of vision and thought in due time that prairies would become the granaries of the nation, and he possessed himself of 2800 acres, heading and abutting the branches of Robertís Creek, rich in the humus of decayed vegetation, that escaped the prairie fires. But the community and the courts recognizing the marked qualifications of Williams, placed him on the bench of the district court, and from thence to a seat on the supreme court of the state.

The passing years brought him to an era of railroad expansion, and with marked enthusiasm he entered the business of a contractor and later of building lines of railway feeders. Communities and congress had taken on an infatuation, and subsidies and land grants were made as the inducement for more railways. Judge Williams and Stickney were not in on this plunder and Wall Streetís instincts not being altruistic railways could not be built on shoestring capital.

In his declining years the judge retired to his pioneer home and with his vineyard, his library and his friends, he measured life in its fine associations, with the yardstick of a philosopher, conscious of his service to the commonwealth that he had served before his birth.


 

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