Hardin County

1893 - Joseph C Williams

JOSEPH C. WILLIAMS, a progressive farmer of Pope County, Ill., is a native of Muhlenberg County, Ky., and the date of his birth March 5, 1843. His father, Samuel Williams, was a North Carolinian, born in 1791, and his grandfather, James Williams, was also from that State. The latter moved with his family to Kentucky and died on a farm in that State at the age of sixty-five years, having reared a family of three sons and three daughters, of whom Samuel J. was the second son. The latter married Mary Woodis, of Muhlenberg County, Ky., and together they settled on a farm and tilled the soil until about 1850, when they sold out in that State and moved to Hardin County, Ill., making the journey of one hundred miles with two yoke of oxen and covered wagons, their family at that time consisting of five children. Like most of the early settlers of the Prairie State they came with small means, and after renting land for some years bought their first home, in 1854, a tract of forty acres, on which some slight improvement had been made, pacing for the same the sum of $200, and on this land they made their permanent home, afterward adding to their original purchase until they had a tract of one hundred and sixty acres.

The father died in 1856, at the age of sixty years, leaving a widow and six children. Their firstborn, Richard W., died at twenty-one years of age. James F. died in 1869 at the age of thirty years, leaving a family. He was a volunteer in Company A, Twenty-ninth Illinois Infantry, was wounded at Ft. Donelson and taken prisoner. After being kept in "durance vile" for about two months he with three others managed to escape but was retaken by the enemy. He again succeeded in escaping and this time reached the Tennessee River, which he swam, and after some two or three weeks reached the Union lines. This was late in the spring of 1862, and during this time he suffered innumerable hardships, being at one time chased by bloodhounds. This experience and his exposure were the causes of his death. Sarah Ann, the wife of Benjamin Bramlett, a farmer of Hardin County, is now about sixty years of age. Joseph C. is the subject of this sketch. Samuel Jackson is a farmer of Hardin County. Mary E., the wife of George W. Cowsert, died in August, 1891. Henry L. resides at Shetlerville, Hardin County, Ill.

Joseph C. Williams spent his youth on the home farm, and prior to leaving home, at the age of nineteen years, he obtained but little schooling. He enlisted in Company B, Eighteenth Illinois Infantry, with which he served three years, at the end of which time he re-enlisted and served faithfully for a period of one year in the same company in which his brother served, and like him proved a trusty, valiant and useful soldier. During the four years he was in the army he was always found ready for duty, with the exception of about six weeks when he was ill. He was first under fire at Ft. Donelson, next at the bloody battle of Shiloh and then at Vicksburg. He participated in the capture of Spanish Fort and Ft. Blakely and was in various skirmishes but was not wounded. He returned home as strong and sound in health as most of the boys in blue, and is now a remarkably active, energetic and healthy man, weighing one hundred and ninety pounds.

Our subject was married March 28, 1869, in Hardin County, Ill., to Laura Hutchison, daughter of Floyd and Mary (Langdon) Hutchison, she being a native of Perry County, Ind., in which State her parents were married December 8, 1850. They first farmed on rented land for nearly three years, but their first purchase of forty acres they afterward sold and bought one hundred and sixty acres for $800, for which they went in debt. They later sold this property and bought one hundred and forty acres in 1875, on which they resided until 1892, when they sold the place at a good profit. Their present farm now comprises one hundred and eighty acres, the purchase price of which was $1,500, one hundred acres being under cultivation and the rest good timber land. Mr. Williams does general farming and believes in the rotation of crops. He keeps about five farm horses and also cattle, sheep and hogs, marketing some of them each year, and of the latter sells about thirty annually. He and his wife buried two sons and a daughter in infancy and have the following living children: Lieunette, wife of James Shield, who resides with her parents and has a little daughter; Emery F., Blanche, Clyde J. and Rollin H. Mr. Williams is a Republican and has served as Constable of his precinct for three years. He is a member of Post No. 565, G. A. R., of Elizabethtown, and he and his intelligent and amiable wife are members of the Christian Church, and hold a prominent position in the social circles of their

Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 230

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