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Biographical Sketch of John B. Williams

John B. Williams was the son of Cordey and Mary Williams, was born upon a farm in Callaway county, Missouri, August 11, 1844. When he was two years old his parents removed to Montgomery county and settled on a farm near Danville, where he lived until seven years of age. In the spring of 1853 his parents again changed their place of residence, this time moving to Gentry county, near Albany, where he lived until he reached his seventeenth year, when, in 1861, he enlisted in the Union army, joining Colonel Manlove Cranor’s regiment of six months militia. At the expiration of that time he enlisted in Company A, First Regiment of Missouri State Volunteer Infantry, and served three years, part of the time on detail duty as clerk in the adjutant general’s office at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, where he was mustered out when his time expired. Leaving St. Louis he went to Mexico, Missouri, and established himself in the drug business with his brother, under the name and style of R. N. Williams & Bro., doing business eighteen months, when they removed to Albany, Gentry county, and carried on the drug business one year. In 1867 they removed to Gallatin, where they continued in the same business until 1868, when his brother retired from the firm, and six years later be also sold out. In 1876 he established himself in business, dealing in jewelry and musical merchandise, which he is at present engaged in. On the 2d of July, 1868, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Poe, of Gallatin. They have six children; namely,...

Biography of James A. Williams

James A. Williams, who has won his own way in the world and reached a degree of success beyond the average of men at his age, was born in Monongahela City, Washington County, Pennsylvania, August 1862. He is a son of John S. and Elizabeth (Van Vorhis), natives of the same County. James Williams wedded Nancy Van Allen and they were among the early settlers of Washington County, the latter having been born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, Abram Van Vorhis, was one of the early farmers of that section and also traded in stock considerably. He was of Holland extraction. James A. Williams grew to manhood on a farm and never attended school after he reached the age of thirteen years; at that age his mother died and he was thrown upon his own resources. In about 1885 he decided to try his fortunes in the west, and after arriving in Illinois settled in Tuscola Township, where he became a farm hand; at this he continued until he was twenty-two years of age. By industry and good management he now owns two hundred and forty acres of well improved land in Douglas County, for which he has been offered eighty-five dollars an acre. Subsequently he bought the store at West Ridge, which he sold to W. H. Fry in December, 1899. He previously owned one at Allerton, which he bought in 1894 and sold in the following year. In September, 1886, he was united in marriage to Miss Amy McGrath, and they have three children: Ida, Charles and Earle. Mr. Williams resides on one of his farms,...

Biographical Sketch of Frederick Williams

Frederick, son of Richard Williams, of Pulaski Co., Ky., married Nancy Hanford, and settled in Montgomery County, Mo., in 1832. Their children were Liberty, Margaret. Mary, William, Harriet, Martha, Rosa A., John, Eupliema, and Clara A. Margaret married James Gray. Mary married John Crutcher. Harriet married Stephen Manning Martha married Sylvester Millsap. Rosa A. married Christopher Millsap. Errpltema married John Crutcher,...

Biographical Sketch of Sarah Burgess Williams

Daughter of William and Susan (Vance) Burgess was born at Pryor Creek, in 1857, married in the Indian Nation in 1893, William Williams, son of Elwood Williams. They are the parents of: Willie J. 26 years, and Annie Gladys age twenty two years. Mr. and Mrs. Williams are members of the Baptist church, and he is a member of the W. O....

Slave Narrative of Hula Williams

Person Interviewed: Hula Williams Place of Birth: Arkansas Date of Birth: July 18, 1857 My mammy use to belong to the Burns plantation back in old Mississippi; that was before I was born, but the white overseer, a man named Kelly, was my father, so my mammy always said. She stayed with the Burns’ until her Master’s daughter married a man named Bond and moved to Jefferson County, Arkansas, about 25 miles south of Little Rock. The old Master give mammy and two other slaves to the girl when she married, that’s how come mammy to be in Arkansas when I was born, in 1857. The record says July 18. Mammy was named Emmaline and after she got to Arkansas she married one of the Bond slaves, George Washington Bond. My step-father told me one time that Master Bond tell him to get some slippery-elm bark, but step-paw forget it. And it seem like the Master done forgot it too, but on the next Sunday morning he called out for step-pappy. “Come here,” he said. “I’m going to give you a little piece of remembrance!” That was a good flogging, and some of the white neighbors look on and laugh. But there was one slave, Boyl Green, who lived on a plantation nearby that my husband told me about after we was married. That Negro said he never would let nobody whip him. One day the Master got killing mad about something and told his overseer to bring in Boyl from the field. When he come in there was his Master waiting with a whip and gun. He handed...

Slave Narrative of Robert Williams

Williams doesn’t know the year of his birth or the place, but he remembers of being “taken” from a plantation somewhere around Pontotoc, Mississippi, when he was a young fellow and here’s the way he tells it. I was a great big boy when the Civil War was going on, so I remember some things about it, but the children didn’t know about things then like they do now. Nowdays we wait and let the young folks talk, but in slave times they didn’t. The master done the talking and everybody better listen! Austin Williams was my father. Nancy was my mother’s name. And I was a little fellow when they took me away from my parents. I never did know where they come from. I had a sister name of Martha. Master told me there was other sisters. But I don’t remember them. Remember Martha, though, because one time I hit her in the face with a rock and was pretty scared about it afterward, and sorry, too. Guess I got a whipping for being bad. My first master was old John Meyers. He the master that sold me from my own folks, and after that I move around all the time without knowing why all the moving. Then one of my masters told me I was being sold, and that was why I was on the move. There was Master Williams, Robert Williams, the same as my own name; and there was Master Sanders and Master Dowell, and maybe some more. But after the freedom I took the name of Master Williams and I keep it ever...

Slave Narrative of Mary Crane

Interviewer: Emery Turner Person Interviewed: Mrs. Mary Crane Location: Mitchell, Indiana Place of Residence: Warren St., Mitchell, Ind. Date of Birth: 1855 Mrs. Mary Crane I was born on the farm of Wattie Williams, in 1855 and am eighty-two years old. I came to Mitchell, Indiana, about fifty years ago with my husband, who is now dead and four children and have lived here ever since. I was only a girl, about five or six years old when the Civil War broke out but I can remember very well, happenings of that time. My mother was owned by Wattie Williams, who had a large farm, located in Larue county, Kentucky. My father was a slave on the farm of a Mr. Duret, nearby. In those days, slave owners, whenever one of their daughters would get married, would give her and her husband a slave as a wedding present, usually allowing the girl to pick the one she wished to accompany her to her new home. When Mr. Duret’s eldest daughter married Zeke Samples, she choose my father to accompany them to their home. Zeke Samples proved to be a man who loved his toddies far better than his bride and before long he was “broke”. Everything he had or owned, including my father, was to be sold at auction to pay off his debts. In those days, there were men who made a business of buying up negroes at auction sales and shipping them down to New Orleans to be sold to owners of cotton and sugar cane plantations, just as men today, buy and ship cattle. These men...

Montgomery Co., Ky

MONTGOMERY CO. (Gladys Robertson) In this community most of the slaves were kept on farms and each family was given a well constructed log house. They were fed by provisions given them by their white masters and they were plentiful. They were clothed by their masters. These clothes were made by the colored women under the direction and supervision of their mistress, the white woman cut the clothes for both men and women, and the colored women did the sewing of the garments. The men did the manual labor on the farm and the women the domestic. Each white woman and girl had a special servant for her own use and care and each white man had his colored man or valet. There are no records of a big slave trade in this county. When a slave was sold it was usually to a friend or neighbor and most masters were very considerate and would not sell unless a family could go together. For instance from the diary of Mrs. Wliza[TR: Eliza?] Magowan 1853-1871, we read this: “Lina and two children Scott and Dulcina sold to J. Wilkerson.” Also another item: “Violet married to Dennie” showing that care was taken that marriages were made among the negroes. The darkies had suppers in their own quarters and had much merrymaking and laughter. Illness among the darkies were cared from among themselves but under the watchful eye of the master and mistress. The darkies were deeply religious and learned much of the Bible from devout mistresses who felt it their holy duty to teach these ignorant people the word of God....

Boyd County, Kentucky

BOYD CO. (Carl F. Hall) The Commonwealth of Kentucky, having for a northern boundary the Ohio River-the dividing line between the northern free states and the southern slave states has always been regarded as a southern state. As in the other states of the old south, slavery was an institution until the Thirteenth Ammendment to the Constitution of the United States gave the negro freedom in 1865. Kentucky did not, as other southern states, secede from the Union, but attempted to be neutral during the Civil War. The people, however, were divided in their allegience, furnishing recruits for both the Federal and Confederate armies. The president of the Union, Abraham Lincoln, and the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, both were born in this state. Boyd County was formed in 1860 from parts of Lawrence, Greenup and Carter Counties, and we are unable to find any records, in Boyd County, as to slave holders and their slaves, though it is known that many well to do families the Catletts, Davis, Poages, Williams and others were slave holders. Slaves were not regarded as persons, had no civil rights and were owned just as any other chattel property, were bought and sold like horses and cattle, and knew no law but the will of their white masters and like other domestic animals could be, and were, acquired and disposed of without regard to family ties or other consideration. Usually, as each slave represented a large investment of money, they were well cared for, being adequately fed, clothed and sheltered, having medical attention when sick. As, along the border in Kentucky, there...

The Missing Man

The Missing Man: “In 1860 Mr. Jess Stevens owned a negro slave, and his wife. Jess Williams, who lived in the north end of the county, bought the old slave, but did not buy his wife. “One day one of Jess William’s boys went to Edward Stevens and an argument followed, causing Mr. Stevens to shoot him in the arm. Later Jess Williams took the old negro and went to the field where Edward Stevens and the boy were planting corn. They hid behind a tree and the negro was given the gun and was told to shoot when Stevens came down the road by them. “He came by slowly covering corn but the negro did not shoot. Williams said, “Why didn’t you shoot?” and the negro replied, “Massie, I just didn’t have da heart.” Williams said, “If you don’t shoot next time, I’m going to shoot you.” When Stevens started by the negro shot and killed him, tearing his hoe handle into splinters. One day a salesman, who rode a fine horse and had a beautiful saddle came to Princeton and later went to the Williams home. Several days later his people got anxious about him, and after checking up they found that he was last seen going into the Williams home. Several days later his people found his hat floating upon a pond near the house, and a few weeks later one of the Williams boys came to town riding the saddle that the salesman had ridden a few months before. The old negro slave went to Mr. Stevens to visit his wife, and while he and...

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