Lee County Biography


The death of a good man is always to be deplored, not only as a loss to his immediate family and the intimate associates, but also to the community in whose behalf he has labored and in which the vacancy occasioned by his death is hard to fill. Such is especially the case in regard to our subject, who has for many years been known as a prominent citizen of Dixon, upright in all his dealings and popular and well beloved wherever known. He came to this county in the spring of 1855 and settled in Dixon where he was engaged in business for eleven years. He then removed to a good farm in South Dixon Township which was a highly improved piece of land, comprising one hundred and seventy-two acres on section 16, and where he successfully carried on agricultural operations. It is supplied with fine farm buildings and is well stocked with cattle of good breeds, he having for years made a specialty of Short-horn cattle. His death occurred in Dixon Township, April 23,1890. * Mr. Williams was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., December 16, 1817. He was carefully reared and received an excellent education and was married in Madison County, soon after becoming a successful contractor and at the same time carrying on a farm. On selling out his place, he came to Illinois in 1853, settling in Lee County in the spring of 1855. He was a very well-informed man and was widely-known throughout the county where he was exceedingly popular and by his integrity and upright character made many life-long friends. For many years he was a member of the Masonic order and was a prominent Democrat. In everything that pertained to the upbuilding of the county and township, he aided by example and influence.

The parents of our subject were born and spent their entire lives at Manlius Township, Onondaga County, N. Y., where the father, Elijah Williams, died when about seventy-two years of age, and his wife when not quite so old. The mother's maiden name was Lucy Edwards, and both she and her husband were worthy members of the Baptist Church. Of their five children two are yet living; one son enlisted during the Civil War in a New York regiment in which he was a commissioned officer and was killed at the battle of Chickamauga.

Harvey E. Williams was married in Sullivan Township, Madison County, N. Y., to Miss Wealthy A. Cropsy, who was a native of that county and township, born in 1843. She was carefully reared and well educated and has proved a true wife and devoted mother. She is a progressive woman and on the death of her husband took charge of the estate and has managed it with great wisdom and ability. She has recently moved to the city of Dixon, where she has erected a fine dwelling near Peoria Street and where she most hospitably entertains a large circle of warm friends. The parents of Mrs. Williams were John G. and Catherine (DuColon) Cropsy, natives of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., both removing when young to Sullivan Township, Madison County, of that State, where they were married and began their wedded life in that township, spending the remainder of their lives there, the wife departing this life when only forty-six years of age, and her husband living until the advanced age of ninety-two years. They were constant attendants of the Dutch lie-formed Church. Mr. and Mrs. Cropsy have been the parents of seven children, five of whom are living.

Our subject and his wife have been the parents of three children, one of whom is deceased, Emma S. who was the wife of A. C. McCallister, now residing in Aberdeen, S. Dak. She left one daughter, who lives with her grandmother, Mrs. Williams. Cornelia is the widow of John S. Green, who died in Morrison, 111., where Mrs. Green now resides. She has four children: Harvey and Iva, both of whom are married; Olive and Florence. The remaining daughter, Ella C, resides at home with her mother. Mrs. Williams is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is foremost in every good work. Mrs. Williams has one great-granddaughter, Helen Sholes Green.

Transcribed by Christine Walters "Portrait and Biographical Record of Lee County, Illinois,

Back Home