Biography of James H. Williams
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





JAMES H. WILLIAMS was a native of Kentucky, a "forty niner," and a pioneer settler in northern Mendocino county, where he lived for almost forty five years. His first removal westward from the state of his birth was to Missouri, whence he came out to California in 1849, making the journey across the plains with ox teams. He mined at Placerville, and in Butte and Plumbs counties. After his marriage he continued to live in Plumas county for a few years, carrying on a dairy, and in 1869 moved over to Mendocino county, where he bought the Leggett valley ranch, purchasing the rights of three different squatters to obtain the land he desired. His active disposition and nobility of character made him a most desirable citizen from every standpoint. He had the energy and ambition to improve his property and assist in the opening up of his section to civilization, and his many fine traits encouraged the proper kind of citizenship, the example he set influencing many to public spirited efforts in behalf of the community as well as to enterprise in the management of their own affairs. His death occurred January 20, 1914, at Garberville, Humboldt county, when he was eighty six years of age. To his union with Miss Sarah F. Rucker eight children were born who attained maturity. Cedelia is the wife of S. F. Webber; Jehiel is a guard at the San Quentin prison; Mary E. was the wife of John P. Drewry; William was drowned when fifteen years old; John is a resident of Salida, Cal.; Annie is the wife of R. E. Roach, of Cummings, Mendocino county; James lives with his mother; Lawrence was accidentally killed; on the railroad, at Fort Bragg, when twenty one years old.

Mrs. Sarah F. Williams, widow of James H. Williams, is a woman of forceful character and interesting personality. Her experiences in California in pioneer days were many and varied, developing a fearless, capable disposition which made her a most valuable helpmate to her husband. Her sympathetic consideration for others, fortitude and reliability have won her the affectionate esteem of her neighbors and friends everywhere, and her devotion to her family has never abated. Mrs. Williams was born in Illinois, in Hancock county, daughter of Ben and Sarah (George) Rucker, the former a native of Indiana, where they were married. Of the thirteen children born to them six died before the family removed to California, the parents and seven children crossing the plains in 1852, with ox teams. The journey from Illinois took six months. They settled at Bidwell's Bar, in Butte county, where Mr. Rucker engaged in mining for a number of years. The mother subsequently removed to Plumas county. Mrs. Williams was but three years old when the family made the journey to California, and when sixteen she became the wife of James H. Williams.

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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