Lee County Biography

Comley P. Williams
Palmyra Township

In presenting a sketch of this gentleman to our readers we record the life work of one of the most enterprising farmer and extensive and successful stock-raisers of Lee County. For the past six years he has resided on section 27, Palmyra Township, where he owns one hundred and eight acres of valuable land under a high state of cultivation. Its improvements, which are many, are both useful and ornamental. The dwelling is an elegant and conveniently arranged two-story frame structure, situated in the midst of a beautiful lawn, adorned with flowering shrub and shade trees. In the past year was I erected a large barn 62x40 feet, with an ell 20x44 feet, and the other outbuildings are also in keeping with this structure. Twenty head of fine thorough-bred Holstein cattle may there be seen, among which is the well-known animal, "Nether­land Helmer." We have thus taken a brief survey of one of the finest farms of the county, and will now turn to the history of its owner.

A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Williams was born in Columbia County, Dccember 15,1850, and is a son of Osborn and Martha (John) Williams, also natives of that county, where they were married. The father was a carpenter and cabinet maker by trade and followed those pursuits for some time, after which he engaged in merchandising with excellent success. Severing his business relations in the East, he came to IIlinois with his family in 1857, and spent one year in Ogle County. The following year he removed to Jordan Town­ship, Whiteside County, where he followed farm­ing until his death July 8th, 1884. He was born October 20, 1823. His life was a busy and useful one, and though he started out in the world empty handed, at the time of his death he owned three farms, all free from debt and well improved. He was also enabled in his latter years to lay aside many of the cares of business life and enjoy the fruits of his former toil. In politics he was a Republican and took quite an active interest in the success of his party. Mrs. Williams, who was born March 12, 1823, is still living on the old homestead in Whiteside County. Under the auspices of the Society of Friends, she was reared, as was her husband, and her life has been con­sistent with its teachings.

Accompanying his parents to the West, C. P. Williams was reared to manhood in Whiteside County, where his education was also acquired in the district schools of the neighborhood. After attaining to mature years he led to the marriage altar Miss Catherine Hey, who was born in New York June 5, 1852. Her parents, Henry and Catherine (Petleon) Hey, were also natives of the Empire State and were of German descent. In an early day they cast their lot with the pioneer settlers of Whiteside County, where in the pursuit of his business Mr. Hey accumulated a large prop­erty. His death occurred March 18, 1884. The political views which he advocated were those of the Repuhlican party, and religiously he was a Luthemn. Mrs. Hey is still living on the old Omestead and is now about sixty-two years of age. She also holds membership with the Lutheran Church. The family of this worthy couple numbered four children, of whom Mrs. Williams is the eldest.

Unto our subject and his wife were born three children, but Osborn H., who was born October 20, 1881, is the only one now living. Florence K, who was born July 13,1874, died March 14, 1877; and an infant son died Febrnary 3, 1886.

In connection with his home farm, Mr. Williams owns one hundred and seventy-five acres of land elsewhere in Paimyra Township, upon which he resided for twelve years previons to Iocating on the farm which is now his home. He is a man of good business ability, sagacious and far-sighted, and by the exercise of correct business principles has achieved success, working his way upward to a position of wealth and affluence. In his political views he is a Republican and for some years filled the office of Justice of the Peace with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. Him­self and wife are prominent people of Palmyra Towllship, moving in the best circles of society and it is with pleasure that we present this sketch of their lives to our leaders.

Portraits & Biographies Pg. 376


Lee Co Bios

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