January 1st 1940
I (John E. Williams) am writing things I know and have been told for my children and grandchildren to think about.
My great grandfather (Isaac Williams)
came here in the
year 1818 from
He had a family of several children,
seven boys and 2
girls, I think. The boys all settled near here, entered government land
good big farms, except Elkanan, who was a Dr. and eye specialist at
*My grandfather, Richard, who was borne
1806 was married
to Abagial Kern, who came to county (Lawrence) from
*They had twelve children, two died when
born. The oldest girl Aheniam married Wm.
and lived at Bryantsville. One child was
C. Perry Williams married Lizzie Chase
Canaan Williams was borne Oct 31, 1836. He Marie Elizabeth Jane Hastings, 1863.
Mahala Williams married A. D. Hinshaw. She died in a year or two with lung trouble. Then A. D. married Cornelia Williams - no children by either.
Susan Williams married Hollis H. Chase
Rebecca Williams married to Jacob Bossett, had 3 children. Lyda married W. A. Baker. Katie married Alex Cox. Perry died young - was hung in a wheat bin.
Tilghman Williams married Josie McClung in Floyd County, Indiana; 5 children: Jim - Jessie - Byrd - Richard - Harry.
Olevia Williams married Jim Leonard of
William M. Williams, youngest of Richard
children was married to Flora Short - 3 children. Clarence
now living on
Richard Williams died in 1880 - 74 years. Abbie, his wife, died in 1893 - 82 years. Seven of their children lived to be past 80 and two or three past 90.
Richard build the brick house where the old fort stood. At one time he owned three good river bottom farms - where the brick house stood and across the river. What is known as the Green Farm which was later Perry Williams farm, and he owned what is called Hopper’s bottom, the farm that belongs to Canaan Williams
My mother, Jane Hastings’, father, Athur
Hastings was born
March 7, 1801 and came to
Grandfather’s first wife was boiling sugar water and had a small child with her. She went to carry in the sugar water and tied the child to a bush since she was afraid she would get in the fire. As she came in with the water she saw a black bear making for child. She ran it away. Again she heard the old sow squealing. She saw a bear have her down in the corner of the fence. She took the ax; I think she killed it.
After the death of first wife,
married Catherine Bowden. She was born
May 4, 1814. To this union was born
Elizabeth Hanna Hastings. She married
Canaan Williams February 1863. To this
union was born 4 children. Mary. E. born
Dec. 28, 1863, married Tilghman H. McDermed Nov 28,1888 and was drown
crossing the river Dec. 10, 1989. Buried
To this union was born 4 children - Leone
born January 31,
1896, married to Troy D. Maegerlein, May 19, 1920.
They had three children, Dorothy Jane, Alice
Carolyn and Charlotte, who died when she was seven years old. Jennie E. born May 28, 1897 and was married
to Donald Williams Jan 1, 1923. They had
three children, Betty Jo, Evelyn and Donna.
Paul Canaan born June 6, 1902.
Married to Virginia Baker Oct 1, 1930. One some John A., Aug 28,
to this union. Frances K. born July 11,
1905, married to Fay Williams March 1930.
Died July 8, 1934. She spend four
happy years with Fay and is buried at
Carrie was born June 12, 1869, married
Vess McClung Nov 4,
1891. They had four children.
One born dead - buried at Pt. William;
Wendell married Lena McFarlin. They had
three children - Arthur Guy, Mary Frances, and Carol.
Byrl married Ott White and lives in
Heltonville. Merlin married and lives in
Jannie born Nov 17, 1871, married Sam
McClung Dec 31,
1890, and died Dec 3 1891 and is buried at
My mother Jane (
The Green farm was given to my father and his brother Perry after father’s first marriage he lived there until 1868. He sold to Perry and bought of Cornelia and Rebecca what was given them to them (Hopper bottom). There is where he raised he family I remember when he just had a rail pen to keep his mules and the cows got what shelter they could around a strawstack. The first barn he had was 12 x 24. In few years he build around this one. Then he had a 36 x 36 - some barn. Then in 1877 he build his house. We was so proud of it. Then 1883 he build another barn 36 x 60. Then in 1888 he build what we called the red or cattle barn 34 x 60, 16 ft to the eaves.
Father was a good farm and done his farming at the proper time. Most everybody in the whole neighborhood worked for him. I remember when the old men south of him had small farms would come with syth and cradle and cut wheat for him. Then he bought a droper. He could cut wheat then take off-part of it then he had a mowing machine. When I was 17, I planted 100 acres of corn, check row where the fields were in pretty good shape I done pretty good. Some fields you could hardly walk across. That year we bought our first binder. Father told me to get on and drive and to remember that grease was cheaper than machinery. Then came, as we called it, the rolling harrow. We got the first one. The neighbors came to see it work. Some shook their heads, said it wouldn’t do and in a year or two everybody had one and is the best tool today. Then I remember the first cultivator. You had to walk with it. Then a little later we got riding cultivators. Our breaking plows were all walkers. I never owned a sulky plow until about 1900.
We did not have a public road through here until 1878. We just had gateways. In the spring of 1878, I helped father haul rails to fence both sides of road through our place. He hauled with 4 horses and I with two. We didn’t go to town very often then. We went to Huron then to trade and the mail. When anyone went he brought the mail forth neighborhood. The only roads we had was the Hocket Hill road to Huron and the Bryantsviille road which passed Port Williams Church straight to the river, then down the river to the ferry-sometimes they had a boat and sometimes they didn’t. The road went on to Harrisonville.
I remember along the river seeing a
trough made out of a
hollow log with holes bored in it. Said
it was a corn sheller. They used to run flat boats down
this river - only way of
transportation. They took grain, meat or
anything they had to sell - take it to
I have heard Grandfather Hastings say he sold many bushel of corn down the river for 12 1/2c per bu.
The best I can learn when the Port William Church was build is 1850. Grandmother Williams said she carried Olivia on her hip and cooked for the carpenters that built the house and Olivia was born in 1850. They had a wonderful congregation there. Grandfather Williams and Grandfather Hastings, Bro Killis Bex, Emree, Bryants, and others. They would walk and come from Bryantsville and from across the river. Richard Bex has sure been a pillar to the church at Port Williams. He lives a little more than a mile from the church and if he don’t get a chance to ride, he will walk. He has been preaching since 1874. He and Aunt Mary were married Nov 12, 1871. They are both 91 years old. HE is one day older - his birthday, Dec 18, Mary Dec 19. She does her house work and don’t wear glasses. He has done a lot of preaching. It never got too bad for him to go to his appointments: one horse back from 25 to 35 miles on Saturday, preach over Sunday, then ride home on Monday. Now he preaches where he can go and get back the same day.
They used to have such preachers as Jake Wright, Lem Martin, Jim Mathes, Wm. Littell, Milton McKee, Billy Brothers, Wilson West, Uncle Joe Wilson. Last few years, we have had Daniel and Austin Sommers, E. G. Denny, Dan Mathes, Same Lankford, O. M. O. Porter, Rex Bex, and others.
In the year 1871, the church at
The church at Port William about the year 1900 repaired the house and new members began to meet regular and have had a good or ???? there since. Brother Richard Bex has stood behind the church head and shoulders all of the time.
In the year 1880 Tilghman Williams was elected Lawrence County Commissioner on what we call bridge ticket. To build one near Williams and one at Tunnelton, we got in such a fight about the bridges that for us to get ours, they had to build on at Stump Hole to get any so we got three bridges. The
In the seventies, Green brothers set a
Williams. Their houses in town near the
river was the first houses in town. Ben
Carl soon came, built a house and put in a small store.
Then another house or two and they called the
Then they wanted a
The school house was a mile away. They wanted one near so they used the Billy
Cox house over near the