ILLIAM WILLIAMS, one of the pioneers of Coles County, is a retired farmer, residing on section 6 (11, 10), Hutton Township. He is the son of Norris and Elizabeth (Miller) Williams, and was born Feb. 21, 1815, in Breckinridge County, Ky. Norris Williams was a native of Pennsylvania. He passed his early life at the homestead there, and soon after his marriage to Miss Elizabeth Miller, who was also a native of that State, he removed with his young wife to Kentucky, and was one of the early settlers of Breckinridge County, where he purchased land and was successfully engaged in farming for many years. and where his death occurred March 21, 1847. Their family consisted of nine children: Delilah, born in 1809, is the wife of R. Harley, and resides in Breckinridge County, Ky.; Mahala was the wife of Enoch Waltrip, and both died leaving a family of four children; Susan was married to John Waltrip, and both are also deceased, leaving a family of three children; William, the subject of this sketch; Harrison, deceased, married Miss Lucinda Hall, and one child of their family is now living; Mealy, the widow of Hiram Nugent, has a family of nine children and resides in Kentucky; Annie, deceased ; Finis married Delilah Tucker, and both died, leaving a family of seven children; John married Miss Hannah Scott, who died leaving two children. |
William Williams remained at the homestead in Kentucky until the autumn of 1836, when he came to Coles County, Ill. Although the country was little more than a wilderness at that time, the successful close of the Black Hawk War was already attracting many settlers from the East, and there were many indications apparent of the future prosperity of the State. Mr. Williams entered forty acres in Hutton Township and purchased thirty-nine more, where he has since resided. He cleared and improved his land, and has brought it to a high state of cultivation; it is well tiled, and his residence and farm buildings are excellent and well appointed. June 8, 1837, the year following his settlement in this county, Mr. Williams was married to Miss Mary A. Waltrip. Mrs. Williams was the daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Waltrip, and was born Dec. 11, 1822. After sharing the trials and hardships of pioneer life with her husband for twenty years, assisting him in building up their home on the Western frontier by her housewifely skill and good judgment, her death occurred Dec. 26, 1857.
July 15 of the following year, Mr. William Williams married Miss Cassandra Baker. Mrs. Williams is the daughter of Abel and Isabelle (Endsley)
Baker, and was born Sept. 5, 1837, in Coshocton County, Ohio. Abel Baker, a native of the same place as his daughter, was born Nov. 20, 1810. After his marriage he remained there for several years engaged in farming, and in the autumn of 1848, he made the long and toilsome overland journey to Illinois with his family, and on his arrival, entered forty acres of land in Hutton Township, Coles County, three-quarters of a mile north-east of Salisbury. He subsequently purchased forty acres in the same locality, and made his home here about thirty years. Desiring to retire from active business, he then sold his property and purchased a home with two acres of land, in the village of Stringtown, Hutton Township, and here passed the closing years of his life. His wife died Feb. 16, 1879, and after surviving her a few years his death occurred Jan. 12, 1885. Both are buried in Giffin Cemetery. Mrs. Baker was a highly esteemed member of the Presbyterian Church, and their family consisted of nine children Aaron, Cassandra, Basil, Andrew, Nancy J., Sarah E., James, Isabelle and Mary A. Aaron and James both died in childhood.
Mr. Williams, having had no children of his own, adopted a boy named Thomas N. Smith, whom he brought up and provided with the means to start in life for himself. Mr. Smith married Miss Dilly Garrison, and now rents the homestead of Mr. Williams and carries on the farm, the latter having desired to retire from the cares of active business. Mr. Williams, with his wife, is a member of the Baptist Church. In politics he is a Republican.
A lithographic view of Mr. Williams’ handsome farm residence and out-buildings is given on another page.