William M. Williams was born in Greenup county, Kentucky, February 9, 1834. His parents, John D. and Eleanor Williams, nee McCosky, were among the first settlers of Kentucky. They came to Missouri in 1841, and, on April 20th, of that year, camped on Grand River in this county near where William M. Williams now lives. His father was a member of the legislature for two terms from this county. He sold goods in Old Pattonsburg for quite a number of years and had an extensive acquaintance over northwest Missouri. He died January 31, 1872; his wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, died in 1854.
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In 1858 young Williams started for the far West and spent one winter in Texas, then in the spring of 1859, in company with two other men, procured an outfit and started for Pike’s Peak and when in the Osage Nation they lost their teams and had to dispose of their wagons and provisions, and falling in with men driving cattle to California he engaged with them and drove through, being seven months on the trip. He engaged in mining till 1862, then went to Carribo Mines, in British Columbia, remained but a short time till his means were exhausted. (It was during the time of high prices there, when flour and beans were one dollar per pound, and other things in proportion.) He then returned to California and remained till 1863, when he spent one year in Nevada at Hot Springs and returned to Tuolumne county, California. Alter living there one year and a half he obtained a pack-horse and started across the mountains to Montana and made the lonely trip of 1,400 miles, there falling in with a company returning to the States, and they made the trip in Mackinaw boats from the canon on the head waters of the Yellow Stone to Omaha: He was from home about eight years and traveled 14,000 miles and mostly on foot.
After returning home he worked on the farm with his father till April 24, 1869, when he married Miss Eugenia L. Shultz, who was born in Virginia, July 28, 1841. Her parents, Michael and Sarah Shultz, nee Wright, came to Missouri in 1842 and are still living with this family. They have six children; named respectively, Albert J., born March 5, 1870; William D., born December 25, 1874; Sidney S., born January 6, 1877; Hattie E., born May 23, 1879; Eugenia A., born September 9, 1872, died November 2, 1872; and one daughter died in infancy. His home of 320 acres, called Clover Dale, is one of the most beautiful homes in northwest Missouri. He is one of the leading and public spirited men of Daviess county, and is an honored and highly respected citizen.