Biography of Hon. George Williams
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





HON. GEORGE WILLIAMS. - Between the date of his birth, March 29, 1822, and that of his death in 1908, there were compassed into the existence of Hon. George Williams eighty six useful years. Throughout much of that period he was identified with the stock industry in Humboldt county. When he first drove a herd of cattle to Bear river in 1856 there was little in the aspect of the country to win his admiration or attract favorable notice. Very few white men had sought the isolated spot. Indians still roamed through the forests and their occasional outbreaks kept in constant danger such hardy pioneers as dared to venture upon claims, with the hope of developing farms. With shrewd foresight he grasped the opportunities of the region and saw that the excellent range and abundant water afforded excellent advantages for the stock business; later years proved the wisdom of his early judgment. The grandson of Welsh people and the son of Thomas Williams, a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, George Williams was born in Lancaster county, that state, and after the death of his father in 1834 he went to Ohio with his mother, who died there at the age of forty five. For a time he earned a livelihood as a farm hand, then at the age of eighteen learned the trade of baker, and in 1849 taught a country school in Illinois. During 1850 he came west, driving an ox team a part of the way, but walking the entire distance from Green river to Hangtown, where he arrived almost penniless. For ten months he worked in a bakery, then for some months worked in the mines, and from 1852 to 1854 carried on a bakery at Weaverville, Trinity county, later working there as a butcher. Next he turned his attention to stock raising and in 1856 brought his first herd of cattle to Humboldt county, where the following year he admitted to partnership Cyrus W. Morrison. It is significant of the character of the two men that they continued in harmonious and profitable partnership for forty nine years.

Returning to Ohio in 1857 Mr. Williams married at Circleville Miss Mary Anderson, who was born there January 28, 1838. For ten years after his marriage he lived at Weaverville, Trinity county, but in 1867 brought his family to Hydesville, Humboldt county, and in 1885 removed to Ferndale, where he remained until death, a familiar and beloved figure in affairs of the town, a man of venerable and commanding presence, who bore the weight of advancing years with dignity and grace. Early in the '70s he served for two years as a member of the county board of supervisors, twice he was elected to the assembly from this district, and always he was a local leader in the Republican party. While living in Trinity county he served as member of the school board for years and as provost marshal during the Civil war, enrolling a goodly number of volunteers, but never being obliged to make a draft for the army. Fraternally he was connected with Hydesville Lodge No. 252, I. O. O. F. He and his wife trained their five children for the responsibilities of life and had the satisfaction of seeing them fill worthily positions of honor in business and society. The older son, Frank G. Williams, is president of the Russ Williams Banking Company of Ferndale, and in his sketch further mention of the family history appears.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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