WILLIAMSON, JAMES H. , for many years an enterprising and successful farmer near Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., but now living in retirement, was born in Kentucky, February 16, 1831. He is a son of William and Isabel (Henry) Williamson, of whom the father was a native of Virginia, where he was born June 22, 1792. William Williamson was a farmer by occupation. He was first married March 23, 1815, to Ann Terhune, who was born May 7, 1793, and they had one child-William A. Williamson, who is deceased. Mr. Williamson's first wife died January 2, 1816, and on December 7, 1817, he was united in marriage with Jane Cochran, who was born June 25, 1797. They became the parents of three children, namely: Anne, Samuel and Jane, all of whom are deceased. The mother of these children passed away February 8, 1822, and on September 11, 1823, Mr. Williamson wedded, for this third wife, Isabella Henry, a native of Kentucky, born November 14, 1803. Six children resulted from this union, as follows: Mary, Elizabeth H., Margaret C., James H., John S., and Nancy M. The mother of this family died August 9, 1834, and shortly afterward the father moved with his children to Illinois, settling about five miles northwest of Jacksonville, where he engaged in farming and teaching. These occupations he followed during the remainder of his active life, dying at the age of eighty-two years.
In boyhood the subject of this sketch attended the subscription schools of that period and supplemented the lessons there learned by diligent study at home, where he remained until March 1, 1855. In 1866 Mr. Williamson bought a farm of 63 acres five miles northwest of Jacksonville, which was but slightly improved. All the modern improvements were made by him, and he was engaged in general farming and stock-raising until his retirement from active life.
On March 1, 1855, Mr. Williamson was united in marriage with Amanda Bridgeman, who was born in Granger County, Tenn., August 10, 1835. Mrs. Williamson is a daughter of Martin and Anna Bridgeman, the father being a Virginian by birth, who in 1852 brought his family to Morgan County, where, with the exception of eight years, he was a farmer for the remainder of his life. He died at the age of eighty-two years, and his wife passed away when seventy-nine years old, both being members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They were the parents of nine children, as follows: William, of St. Clair County, Ill.; Amanda; Henry, of Shelby County, Ill.; Cornelia, of McLean County, Ill.; John, of Morgan County, Ill.; Columbus, of Chapin, Morgan County, Ill.; Sarah, of Cass County, Ill.; and Laura, of Morgan County. Mr. and Mrs. James H. Williamson became the parents of five children, namely: Arcanna, John H. and Katie E. (deceased); Hattie, wife of Charles Patterson, living near her parents; and Arthur E., who resides on the old home place. In politics Mr. Williamson is a Republican, and has held most of the local offices. Religiously, he and his wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for more than fifty years. In all respects Mr. Williamson has been a representative farmer of Morgan County, and an exemplary and useful citizen.