Henderson Williams



Henderson Williams and wife, Emily Wofford

From the Bible of Henderson Williams
Contributed by Shara Hatcher

 

March 23, 1899

My great grandfather on my mother's side was a Welshman direct from Wales. Samuel Williams was his name. He had a vast amount of Continental money but as it was never redeemed, it was useless. His son's (my grandfather) name was Philandrew Williams. Grandfather's slaves were taken away from him during the War but at Cornwallis' surrender, they were returned to him. He branded them on the forehead. I think the brand was P. W. My grandfather on my father's side was a native of America. His name was Joel Williams. He had six sons and two daughters. My father, Henry Williams (the third son), bore a Captain's commission in the Army during the War of 1812. He was ordered to New Orleans to aid General Jackson but as he was stationed in North Carolina, he arrived after peace was made with England. Grandpa's (Philandrew Williams) wife was named Elizabeth Lee, a relative of General Robert E. Lee. After grandpa's death his widow married a Mr. Lewis. To them was born two daughters. One (Betsy) married a Mr. Sasson. The other (Seradia?) married Jessie Falton, a relative of the Wiggins.

Henderson Williams, son of Henry and Mary Williams, was born in Nash County, North Carolina, June 18, 1812. He moved with his parents to Pickens County in the state of Alabama in the spring of 1829 and on the 22nd day of September, 1835, was married to Miss Emily Wofford in Rankin County, Mississippi. (In Rankin County, he was a school teacher and justice of the peace. He also served in the Army of the Confederacy, as a Private in the Texas Regiment.) In 1848, he joined the Methodist Church at Piney Grove in Smith County and was baptized by the Rev. Elisha Fott. In the spring of 1849, they moved to DeWitt County, Texas and in 1851 moved to Refugio County. In 1858, Bee County was created out of Refugio and other counties and he was put in Bee County. To be finished. /s/ Henderson Williams

 

Some information from a book of my Grandfather Williams.
Contributed by Shara Hatcher

We have a typed transcript of the Account Book of Henderson Williams, starting September 16, 1893 up through August 12, 1895. He recorded sales of corn to A. J. Williams and a loan of $3.00 to T. C. Williams; purchased a mule, sold a horse, received some rent, set down weather conditions, how much cash he had on hand. He recorded buying cords of wood, a cold norther, a big snow, Benjamin Barber died, he gave a note to Dr. Adkins for $142.75 bearing ten per cent interest, Northington committed suicide at 11 A.M., March 6, 1895. In May of 1895 in a week they had two big rains with hail and during that June in rained over half the month. He also recorded the coming and going of family and others from his house. He also recorded farming on the shares with a neighbor.

 



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Tombstone of Henderson Williams and wife, Emily Wofford

Below is an article about Henderson Williams and the Methodist Church in Blanconia.
Source: The Epworth Era, Organ of the Epworth League of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Nashville, Tenn,
Thursday, January 21, 1897.
Contributed by Shara Hatcher


"A Modern Patriarch and God's Promises, by Rev. W. A. Bowen

"Every League and every Sunday School of Methodism will be interested in the photograph accompanying this sketch and in the history of the family it represents. It furnishes a proof of God's word. He spoke his wisdom through Solomon when the Wise Man wrote: 'Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.' This is true; but would not have been had it been written 'he will never depart from it.' The truth means that if the first condition is met so will the second--to wit, every prodigal who has wandered away from the 'house of the Father' will return before age shall have claimed him as an offering to death. But this involves in the teacher right living, right speaking, right actions, right thinking; for the same writer truthfully said: 'As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.'

"I think I may safely challenge any church to show as remarkable a family history as the record of Henderson Williams and his family, of who I -----? such histories cannot be found by diligent seeking. I believe they can. But we are too apt to take things for granted and to have a kind of theoretical hope that things will turn out just as the Bible says they will: and we call this theoretical 'hope our faith.' If we have that true, earnest, honest skepticism which seeks to 'know the truth' because 'the truth will make you free,' we will not be so easily shaken by 'every contrary doctrine' nor stand in dumb consternation before the reckless assertions of unbelieving men, ignorance 'of the things of which they speak' is hidden from us in the very boldness of their unsupported (and unsupportable) claims simply because we are ourselves ignorant of God's promises and the evidence of their fulfillment. And this all in spite of the positive (and justly necessary) injunction of St. Peter, 'And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear'-- or reverence, respect. Now, God has said that he would bless with long life and with 'good things' those that 'fear and trust him' and 'walk in his ways;' and that the hearts of the parents shall rejoice in their children if they teach them 'to number their days that they may apply their hearts unto wisdom.' If we took God at his word more earnestly, and gave close attention to people and events with a view to knowing him better, we would find more evidences of the truth that prophecies, wisdom, knowledge, tongues, works, all shall fail, and that love only abideth forever. And it was that the 'rising generation' of Christians might know these things and stand firmer than their fathers that the Epworth League was instituted to take up the work of cultivating more universally 'intelligent piety among our young people' just where the Sunday school leaves off.

"This article and photograph is of the Methodist Episcopal Sunday school, South , at Pleasant Grove, Beeville District, West Texas Conference. All the people you see are one family, except six, and constitute the League and the Sunday school there. The old man standing just beside the door, to the right, is the Abram of this multitude-Henderson Williams. And this is only a small part of the living members of this modern patriarch, for truly his offspring is a 'mighty host for God.' But these are all who live at this point (Pleasant Grove). The others help to swell the congregation at other points in Southwest Texas, at some places constituting a large fraction of a good rural audience. Truly the preacher's heart is filled with encouragement when on a wet, disagreeable day, it is announced that 'the Williams family is coming.'

"Brother Williams and his wife saw all of their fourteen children grown up and then three died. Eleven married ____?, one J. Wesley Williams being a Methodist preacher. There were ninety (something) grandchildren ?teen died in infancy or early youth, leaving seventy nine, who are hale and hearty. There were thirty nine great grandchildren, but six died, leaving thirty three. This makes one hundred and thirty three grandchildren and great grandchildren, or one hundred and forty seven of their own 'blood and strength and spirit' this old couple have seen around them to the fourth generation. As there are now one hundred and twenty-two of this family living, and forty seven of them are members of the Church (one grandson and a son being preachers), this makes over thirty nine present who are religious, not to mention sons-in-laws and daughters-in-law who are Christians, some of the sons-in-laws being preachers also. And of the seventy four who are not members of the Church it is significant that every one is moral and churchgoing, Bible believing man or woman, there not being what is usually termed 'a black sheep' in the entire family. All are good citizens, and influential in the communities where they live.

"These are facts worthy of consideration by our Leaguers and Sunday school scholars. This father and mother relied on God, they believed his word, they took him at his word, and lived the religion they professed and taught it to their children and to their children's children. The results are as stated. Can anyone find a parallel case? Look them up and report them.

"What manner of man is this old 'father in Israel?' I never met him, but his fame has reached 'all ends of the earth.' One of his sons and his pious wife and two sweet, modest, religious girls are in my charge, the kind of families that produce our great men and women--our Marvins, our Bascoms, our Capers, our Garfields, our Lincolns, our Websters, our Calhouns, our Kenners, our Keys, our Susanna Wesleys, and our John Wesleys.

"Henderson Williams is not like the smooth polished, and ornamental stone that rests above the arched doorway of some spire tipped temple, on which is chiseled a boastful inscription, but he is rather the great, rough-quarried block that goes into the foundation to last through the ages, and on which is to rest the structure, thus holding up securely all that is ornamental as well as useful. He was born in Nash County. N.C., June 18, 1812. He came of old Welsh stock, being an offshoot of the same stem that produced Gen. Otho Holland Williams, so famous at the battle of Camden. The family came down from Connecticut to Maryland in the beginning of the eighteenth century, and after the Revolutionary War settled in North Carolina. We of America, whose blood is almost every drop Welsh or Scotch, like to trace the ancestry of any one who has been steadily successful in something worthy of our country's attention and of being commemorated by our fellow-men, because we are almost sure to find that it leads to a Welsh or Scotch beginning of the family producing the man or woman.

"After coming from North Carolina with his parents and trying one or two Southern states, they finally settled in Alabama. But a short sojourn in Mississippi gave young Williams the chance to meet Miss Emily Wofford near Brandon in that State. They were married September 22, 1835 and lived in that section until 1849 when they came to Southwest Texas, where they have lived ever since, only changing locations once since coming here. they were both converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church South at Piney Grove Church, Smith County, Miss. in the summer of 1848, Rev. Allen J. Davis being preacher in charge.

"When they came to Texas there was no preaching west of the San Antonio River; but in 1853 a circuit was made embracing the territory between the San Antonio and the Nueces Rivers and from the gulf to Helena--larger than the State of Maryland--with Rev. A.C. Fairman in charge, and of which Brother Williams was a steward, as he has been for nearly fifty years. The presiding elder was Rev. James Ferguson, whose district took in all the territory between Indianola and Brownsville-- a distance of two hundred miles, and one hundred and fifty miles wide--a scope larger than the state of Indiana.

"Brother Williams is yet living, surrounded on one of his farms by most of his family, all living within comparatively short distance of him. At the age of eighty-five he still feels robust, and insists on 'making a hand' on his place whenever necessary. Most of his children and grandchildren are doing well, many of them quite well-to-do. Rev. V.G. Thomas, of the West Texas conference, married one of the granddaughters of this grand old man of Methodism.

"Sister Williams died a triumphant death in Christ November 3, 1894, aged seventy-five years, one month and eighteen days."

 

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