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Biography of Richard Williams

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He was County Commissioner of Ida County, Iowa, was born in Schuylkill Co., Pa., in 1845. He was the youngest child of Thomas and Margaret (Watters) Williams, natives of Cornwall, England.

Richard was reared and educated in Jo Daviess Co., Illinois. In October 1864, he enlisted in Battery F, First Illinois Light Artillery, for one year, or during the war. He served principally with Battery I. He took part in the battles of Nashville, followed Hood to Eastport, Ms., where he was on garrison duty. He was honorably discharged at Chicago in August, 1865.
Richard now resumed farming in Illinois. In 1868, he moved to Boone Co., Iowa, and engaged in farm labor, and assisted in building the Illinois Central railroad from Webster to Sioux City, Iowa.

In May 1872, Richard married Angeline Ewer, a native of Wisconsin, a daughter of Ruel and Ellen (Wamsley) Ewer, natives of England. Richard and Angeline had eight children: T. F., Ellen, William H., Rosa, Albert Grant, Clara, Omer, and Charley. Mr. Williams was one of the earliest pioneers of Grant Township, there having been only one house between his home and Ida Grove when he located in Ida County.

In 1875, Mr. Williams purchased 160 acres of raw prairie land in Grant Township, Ida County, and erected a one-story house. In 1890, he built a two-story house. He assisted in organizing Grant Township, also every school district in the township, and in 1891 was elected County Commissioner. He is a member of the Matthew Gray Post, G.A.R., at Ida Grove, Ia.

In 1839, Richard’s parents left their native land for the United States, locating in Schuylkill Co., Pa., where the father was engaged in mining coal. He left there in 1854 to enter the employ of a London Mining Co. of east Tennessee. Then he worked for the same company in Carroll Co., Virginia. In 1856, he purchased a farm in Jo Daviess Co., Illinois, where he died March 10, 1864. He had lost his wife by death in 1848. Four children had been born to them: Thomas S. (mining in Minnesota) and William H. (married Grace Williams Fletcher) and engaged in mining in Nevada. Their daughter, Patience, married B. F. Aiken of Grant Township; and their son, Richard, is the subject of this biography. He married a second time to Amelia Tonkin. Amelia and Thomas of England had the following children: Zachariah (of Marcus, Iowa); James (of Marcus, Iowa); Susan (wife of John Burns of Dakota); and John (a farmer of Plymouth Co., Iowa).

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