Biography of W. C. Williamson
Louisa County, IA Biographies





W. C. WILLIAMSON.
Among the residents of Wapello who are now living retired, their present comfortable financial position being the direct result of former activity and enterprise along agricultural lines, is numbered W. C. Williamson. He is one of Louisa county's native sons, his birth occurring on a farm on the 15th of March, 1845. His parents were James S: and Nancy E. (Nevies) Williamson, natives of Ohio and New Jersey respectively. His great great grandfather Nevies was the first mayor of New York. The father, whose birth occurred in Greene county, on the 29th of August, 1817, came to Iowa in 1836, during the pioneer epoch in the history of this state, and cast in his lot with the early settlers of Louisa county. Here he entered a claim from the government upon which he erected a log cabin, with clapboard roof and puncheon floor, and in that primitive dwelling passed the remainder of his days, his death occurring in 1855. He was survived by his wife and five children, the mother, whose birth occurred on the 1st of October, 1823, passing away July 27, 1896, at the age of seventy three years. W. C. Williamson, the eldest of the children, and a brother, James S., now residing in Kansas, are the only surviving members of the family.

Reared amid the busy activities of rural life, W. C. Williamson attended the country schools in the acquirement of his education, and early in life was made familiar with the tasks that usually fall to the lot of the farm lad. His father passed away when he was but ten years of age, and as soon as his strength and experience permitted he took charge of the home farm, which he continued to operate until 1863. In that year, his spirit of patriotism aroused, he enlisted for service in the Civil war although but eighteen years of age. He became a soldier of Company K, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and served throughout a period of two years, being mustered out at Atlanta, Georgia, August 10, 1863. He saw service in several important and hotly contested battles but was not wounded, and after a most creditable military career was honorably discharged at Davenport, Iowa, on the 24th of August, 1865. He participated in the battles of Guntown and Tupelo, Wilson's raid and numerous skirmishes.

After the close of the war Mr. Williamson returned to Louisa county and resumed the management of the old homestead, still in his possession. Under his direction the place, consisting of three hundred acres, became a finely improved farm, for he was progressive in his ideas and practical in his methods, and labored unceasingly for its further cultivation and development. He set out a good orchard and fine grove of trees, erected substantial and commodious barns and outbuildings, and in fact introduced all of the accessories and conveniences that go to make up a model farm. Today, his is one of the most valuable and desirable properties in the county. He engaged to some extent in stock raising and feeding in connection with general farming and the success which came as a result of his well directed efforts along those branches made it possible for him, in 1903, to withdraw from active labor and take tip his home in Wapello, where he is now living in honorable retirement. Here he purchased a beautiful dwelling where he and his family now reside. As the years have passed he has also found time to direct his attention into other channels beside agriculture and was one of the organizers of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Louisa county, of which he remained a director many years. It may be an interesting fact for our readers to know that the brick which was used in the erection of the county farm buildings was burned on Mr. Williamson's farm.

On the 5th of January, 1869, Mr. Williamson was united in marriage to Miss Wilhelmina Berkhoff, who was born in Prussia, Germany, on the 26th of July, 1844, and when but four years old was brought to this country. By her marriage to Mr. Williamson she became the mother of seven children, as follows: Julie, the wife of C. A. Eversmeyer of Louisa county; A. J., also of this county; Minnie M., who married Ed Eversmeyer, of Louisa county; Emma, the wife of H. B. Jones, also residing in this county; and three who have passed away. On the 1st of May, 1903, the wife and mother was called to her final rest, and on the 30th of November, 1905, Mr. Williamson was again married, his second union being with Miss Katherine Schafer, who is a native of New York and in 1864 came to Louisa county, Iowa, with her parents. She was one of a family of fourteen children, whose father passed away in 1896. The mother, however, survives and makes her home in this county.

Mr. Williamson has long taken an active interest in public affairs and is numbered among the county's loyal and public spirited citizens. He has always given his political support to the republican party and has served both as township trustee and school director, while at present he is acting as president of the cemetery association, an office he has filled several years. He is liberal in his religious views and is an honored member of the Grand Army post of Wapello. The record of Mr. Williamson is in contradistinction to the old adage that "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country," for here in the county of his nativity, where he has spent a long, active and useful life, he has won the confidence, esteem and good will of all with whom he has come in contact and the consensus of public opinion accords him a prominent place among the honored and valued residents of the community.

From:
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1912


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