Thoroughly identified with the agricultural interests of Jasper county, Missouri, is William McWilliams, who has
been one of the leading farmers of this locality since 1867. The birth of Mr. McWilliams occurred in Ohio, on May
19, 1840, and he was a son of Moses and Mary (Elliott) McWilliams, the former of whom was a native of Ohio and
the latter of Pennsylvania. The grandfather of our subject, for whom he was named, was William McWilliams, one
of the sturdy early settlers who came to the United States from Ireland prior to the Revolutionary war, and used
his young vigor in assisting his adopted country to attain independence. He later settled in Knox county, Ohio,
where he founded his family, and there he died when full of years. The name of his wife was Mary Merritt. The maternal
grandfather of our subject was Charles Elliott, who was also born in Ireland, where he married his wife, Jane Lee.
They came to the United States in 1806 and both died in Knox county, Ohio.
Moses McWilliams, the father of our subject, was born in Belmont county, Ohio, and was educated in the common schools.
Early in life he developed marked musical ability and was given the best instruction possible in the neighborhood
and afterward became a teacher of vocal music. His later life was devoted to farming and his political faith was
in the Democratic party. Eleven children were born to him and his wife, and four of these still survive.
William McWilliams was reared in Ohio and received his education in the common schools. In 1867 he came to Jasper
county with his family, where he immediately engaged in farming, and during these intervening years has been one
of the most successful wheat growers of this locality. Mr. McWilliams owns a fine estate, consisting of one hundred
and seventy five acres, and devotes a portion of it to the breeding and raising of thoroughbred Holstein cattle
and Poland China hogs, being a leader in that line in Jasper county. He also owns several thoroughbred Englishshire
draft horses, including the celebrated stud SampsonĄ sired by Monarch.
Mr. McWilliams was married in 1863, to Miss Lydia A. Furguson, a native of Belmont county, Ohio, and a daughter
of Hugh Furguson, who went from Pennsylvania to Ohio at an early day and spent his life in the latter state. To
our subject and wife has been born a family of nine children, these being: Moses; Hugh C.; Robert Lee, who was
named for the distinguished Robert Lee, the Confederate leader, who was a cousin of the mother of our subject;
Samuel; John; Estella; Charles; Wallace, who is a student in the Carthage high school, a fine scholar, and superintendent
of the Sunday school and president of the township Sunday schools; and Jennie. The family attend and support the
Presbyterian church of Madison, Union township. Mr. McWilliams follows in his father's footsteps in politics, being
a stanch supporter of Democratic principles, and is one of the most esteemed as well as substantial citizens of
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Jasper County, MO
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