Lee County IL Biography


Mark Williams, a retired farmer living on section 22, Palmyra Township, has there made his home since 1867,and is one of the self-made men of the county who certainly deserves great credit for his success. Since locating where he now lives, he lias accumulated two hundred and seventy-six acres of land, and, with the exception of a sixteen-acre tract, the entire amount is under a high state of cultivation. The buildings, including residence and outbuildings, are such as are found on a model farm, and all the accessories arc in keeping with the enterprising and progressive spirit of the owner. Of late years, Mr. Williams has laid aside the more heavy cares, his farm being controlled by his sons.

A native of Pennsylvania, our subject was born in Locust Township, Columbia County, in 1819. His father, Jonathan Williams, was a native of Virginia, and when four years old accompanied his father, Owen Williams, to Pennsylvania, the family settling in the wilds of Columbia County, at a time when the Indians were still numerous in the neighborhood. The grandfather made a home at the foot of Little Mountains and there spent the remainder of his life. He was a member of the Society of Friends and descended from a family of Welsh origin who embraced that religion. The maiden name of his wife was Martha Miller and she was born in Virginia of German descent. She, too. was a member of the Friends Church and died in Columbia County, Pa., at the aide of seventy years.

The boyhood days of Jonathan Miller were devoted to farm work, and in the Keystone State he met and married Miss Eleanor Hughes, who was born in Columbia County, whither her parents had removed from Berks County in an early day. Her father, Edward Hughes, died suddenly of heart disease in Columbia County, and his wife was called to her final rest at the advanced age of four-score years. The parents of our subject also spent their last days in Columbia County, upon the home farm in Locust Township, where the father died in 1836, at the age of fifty-six years. Mrs. Williams survived him five years and passed away at the age of fifty years. They, too, embraced the faith of the Society of Friends and in political sentiment the father was a Whig. Their family numbered eleven children, five of whom grew to mature years.

Mark Williams, however, is the only one now living. In the county of his nativity the days of his childhood and youth were passed, and after leaving the parental roof he was united in marriage, in Locust Township, with Miss Ruth Anna Davis, who after a short wedded life of five years was called to the home beyond, leaving two children: Hannah, wife of C. H. Hughes of Palmyra Township, this county; and Columbus who is married and resides on a farm near Hastings, Adam County, Neb. Mr. Williams was a second time married in Columbia County, Pa., the lady of his choice being Miss Elizabeth Hoagland, who was born in Locust Township, March 22, 1834,and is? daughter of John and Rachel (Mettler) Hoagland, also natives of Columbia County, where her father died at the age of fifty-six years. By occupation he was a farmer and followed that vocation throughout life. Some years after his death, his widow went to Hastings, Neb., where she died in November, 1889, at the age of eighty-one. They were both members of the Methodist Church and lived consistent lives, which won them the respect of all who knew them. In politics, Mr. Hoagland was first a Whig, but on the organization of the Republican party became one of its stanch supporters. In their family were eleven children and with one exception all reached mature years and were married, while six yet abide. One brother, Lieut. Henry H., a soldier of the late war, was killed at the battle of Fredericksburg, at the age of twenty-two.

Under the parental roof Mrs. Williams was care fully reared and educated and taught the principles and doctrines of the Methodist Church to which she now belongs. She is a lady of many excellencies of character and worthy of the high regard of her many friends. by the union of our subject and his wife, have been born five children, three of whom arc now deceased. Rosetta was the wife of Frank M. Coe, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Sarena C. died at the age of seventeen years; and Osborn U. died when three years old. Harrison, who wedded Mary Phillips, is the owner of a good farm in Palmyra Township. Ellwood Curtis now operates the old homestead. He was joined in wedlock with Mary Daved and their union has been blessed with three children: R. Ethel, Mark and Alice E. Mr. Williams and sons are supporters of the Republican party but he has never been an officer-seeker, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his business interest, in which he has met with signal success. He gives his support to public enterprises calculated to benefit the community and is everywhere recognized as a prominent and progressive citizen. Farming has been his life work, with the exception of fifteen years which he spent in Locust Township, Columbia County, Pa., as a general merchant, before his emigration to Illinois.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892 Pg 244

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