Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.Page 352
THOMAS WILLIAMS, now operating a good farm of two hundred acres in Tallula township, which belongs to Mrs. Sophia Golder, and on when he has now lived for twenty-two years was born October 30 1846, in Laurel county, near Lexington, Kentucky, his parents being Campbell and Mary (Box) Williams. The father's people were from Tennessee, while the mother was a representative of an old North Carolina family that was established in Laurel county, Kentucky, at an early date. Campbell Williams also removed to that county in early life and became a farmer there. He was of English lineage, while his wife was of German descent, and for a long period they remained residents of Laurel county, being representative farming people of their community. Their family numbered five children, of whom Thomas is the eldest. The others are: Sarah, who married a Mr. Watts and resides in Laurel county, Kentucky; Eliza, the deceased wife of Wallace Sasser; Elijah, who married Cassie Jones and died in Laurel county, Kentucky, where his widow is till living; and Annie, who died at the age of three years.
Thomas Williams pursued his education in the district schools in the county of his nativity and remained a resident of Kentucky until twenty-three years of age, when in 1869 he came to Illinois, settling at Pleasant Plains, in Sangamon county. There he secured employment as a farm hand, working for Scott Carson for six years. He was then married and began farming on his own account on a tract of rented land, it being the George B. Welsh farm, near Tallula, in Menard county. This was in about 1877 and he continued to rent for a number of years and then with the capital he had acquired through his industry and perseverance he purchased one hundred and seven acres of land, which he afterward sold. For twenty-two years he has occupied the farm where he now resides. With characteristic energy he began cultivating the fields and now harvests good crops as a reward for the care and labor which he bestows upon the land. He also raises stock and has been quite successful in both departments of his farm work.
In 1877 Mr. Williams was married to Miss Jennie Smith, a representative of an old Ohio family her people coming to Illinois about 1870. Her father purchased land in Pleasant Plains, Sangamon county, and there she remained up to the time of her marriage. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Williams has been blessed with four children: Stella, who was educated at the State Normal school and is now engaged in teaching at the Bone school, making her home with her parents; Gracie, who was educated in the Union school and at Pleasant Plains and is now a successful teacher, having charge of Mongrel school; Thomas H., who died June 26, 1904, at the age of nineteen years; and Oma, who is now a student in school.
Mr. Williams endorses the Republican principles, but was subsequently a Democrat. His study of the questions and issues of the day however, led him to transfer his allegiance and he has ever been fearless in his convictions and independent in his political views. He was reared in the faith of the Baptist church and his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and in his life is true to its teachings, exemplifying in his relation with his fellow men the beneficent spirit of the craft. He is a self-made man and deserves great credit for what he has achieved, for he started out in life for himself empty-handed and has worked earnestly, overcoming all difficulties and obstacles in his path by his unfaltering determination and today he is the possessor of a very desirable farm property.