W. B. Williams, a retired agriculturist of Oakville, was successfully identified with farming and stock raising
interests throughout his active business career, owning at one time nine hundred and three and a half acres of
valuable land. His birth occurred in Des Moines county, Iowa, on the 9th of September, 1851, his parents being
J. Wilson and Julia A. (Robison) Williams, who were natives of Vermont and Ohio respectively:
There were not many men in Iowa who had a more general acquaintance with the people of the state than J. Wilson
Williams. He was born in 18x6 and grew to manhood in his native state. After receiving a good academic education
he adopted civil engineering and then came west, landing in Chicago in 1836. The following year he traveled through
Wisconsin and Illinois and later served as deputy United States surveyor and also as county surveyor of Hancock
county, Illinois. He rendered valuable service to the government in the surveying of the Mississippi river bottom.
He removed to Des Moines county, Iowa, in 1838 but subsequently made a number of trips back and forth between this
state and his old home near Nauvoo, but finally located permanently in Des Moines county in 1848. He was elected
to the house of representatives in 1852 and again in 1856, 1861, 1865 and 1874. In 1878 he was elected a member
of the senate but two years later returned to the lower house, serving much longer than most men in the state legislature.
In politics he was a strong republican and in his religious views was liberal. He continued to make his home in
Des Moines county until called to his final rest on the 29th of August, 1893. It was in 1847 that he was united
in marriage to Miss Julia A. Robison, who has now attained the age of eighty nine years, and resides at Oakville.
She has lived on the Mississippi since 1829 and was acquainted with all the old Indian chiefs of the different
tribes. By her marriage she became the mother of six children, as follows: Herrick, who is deceased; Lelia, who
died in infancy; W. B., of this review; another who died in infancy; Julia Eliza, the wife of David Waddle, of
Missouri; and Minnie M., who has passed away.
On attaining his majority W. B. Williams rented a farm of one hundred and sixty acres from his father, being busily
engaged in its operation for three years. On the expiration of that period he bought a tract of two hundred and
forty acres from his father, gradually augmenting his holdings by additional purchases until he owned altogether
nine hundred and three and a half acres, The pursuits of farming and stock raising claimed his attention until
1903, when he purchased a handsome residence in Oakville, where he has since lived retired in the enjoyment of
the fruits of his former toil. In 1905 he disposed of his farming property.
On the 20th of February, 1873, Mr. Williams was united in marriage to Miss Amelia Chandler, a daughter of Andrew
and Caroline (Fisher) Chandler. Her parents were both natives of Germany but were married in New York and came
west in 1863, first locating in Des Moines but removing to Louisa county in 1876. Her father engaged in farming
until his retirement from active labor in 1897, when he removed to Oakville, Iowa, where he passed away in 1899.
His wife died in 1903. Mrs. Williams was one of a family of five daughters, the others being as follows: Hortense,
the deceased wife of Henry Aliward, of New York; Bridget, the wife of William Coonrod, of North Dakota; Elizabeth,
who is the wife of Ezra Kurtz and resides in Knoxville, Iowa; and Annie M., the wife of S. D. Gates, of Artesia,
New Mexico. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Williams were born eleven children, namely: John W., who is a resident of Missouri;
Carrie E., the deceased wife of Ben Luckenbill, of Des Moines county, Iowa; George H., living in Oakville, Iowa;
Fannie A., the wife of Albert Hamilton, of Des Moines county; James Albert, who is a resident of Oakville, Iowa;
Maud C., the wife of Marion Bailey, of Oakville, Iowa; Lyman C. and Warren Selden, who also reside in Oakville;
Gladys, the wife of Marshall Thomson, of Oakville; Bessie L., at home; and Norma E., who is deceased.
Mr. Williams is a republican in politics and has held most of the township offices. In religious faith he is a
Presbyterian, while fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Such in brief is the
life history of W. B. Williams. In whatever relation of life we find him he is always the same honorable and honored
gentleman, whose worth well merits the high regard which is uniformly given him.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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