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John Williams


Posted By: J. Breen (email)
Date: 10/2/2020 at 12:32:40

Death of John Williams

John Williams, the Negro who lived many years about a mile south of town, died Saturday morning, December 4, aged as near as we can learn about 65 years. He was born a slave, and came north at the close of the war with Rev. Wilson, who was at one time pastor of the First U. P. church. He was a good deal of a hermit, having lived alone for years. He made his living raising garden truck and fruit, which he peddled around town. There was nothing black about him but his skins, for his conduct was a white as snow. He was thoroughly honorable and his credit was good for anything he wished to buy in any store. Mrs. Weedwright, an aged lady who lived near him, had been caring for him a portion of the time since he took sick, and C. S. Miller would take down such delicacies as a sick man would relish. He had little, if any, commerce with his own race, preferring white people always. In clearing up the house just before he had become unconscious, Mrs. Weedwright, found nearly $300 hid in odd places, old boxes, old boots, et., about the room. Judge Ryan appointed C. S. Miller administrator. There are no known heirs and the probabilities are that his estate will revert to the state.

He was a regular attendant at the First U. P. church and the church buried him Monday. In his lowly life there is much to be commended, and many of much greater pretensions could find much in this humble old Darkey’s walk worthy of emulation.

Source: Washington Democrat, December 8, 1897

John Williams's grave marker in Elm Grove Cemetery reads: Born in Virginia, Sold in Mississippi, Came to Iowa in 1864, His honest soul returned to God. December 3, 1897

John Williams Headstone

Washington Obituaries maintained by Joanne L. Breen.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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