From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 500-501, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Captain Robert E. Williams, Postmaster and druggist, of Camden,
has been one of the most prominent of its residents since 1850. He was
born in Montgomery county, Kentucky, April 14, 1829, being a son of
Robert P. and Christina A. (Urquhart) Williams, both natives of
Kentucky. The family came to Illinois in 1830, and first settled in
Hancock county, but soon removed to Quincy. Robert Williams was a
lawyer and practiced law the remainder of his life at Quincy. He died
in 1840. He was an ardent Whig, and held local offices. He was also a
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, being an earnest worker. When
he died he was only thirty-five years old. His wife died in 1833, aged
thirty years. They had three children, of whom Robert is the only
surviving member. The father of Robert P. was John, and he married
Amelia Gill. They came to Illinois, and died in Pike county. They had a
large family of twelve children which they raised. They were widely
known and respected.
Robert E. received a fair education, and then clerked in several
stores until he came to Schuyler county in 1850 and engaged in farming,
in Birmingham township, where he purchased 340 acres of land. Three
years later he removed to Rushville and engaged in saddlery and
harness, continuing in the same nearly twenty years, and was also
engaged in the drug trade. In 1879 he came to Camden, and has since
represented the drug trade in Camden.
In the time of his country's need he enlisted in Company K, One
Hundred and Thirty-seventh Illinois Volunteers, going as Captain. They
were stationed at Memphis. Captain Williams raised this company and
served 100 days, the time of the enlistment. On his return he assisted
in raising Company K, One Hundred and Fifty-first Illinois Volunteer
Infantry, of which he was made First Lieutenant. They were ordered to
Nashville, and from there to join Sherman in Georgia, at Columbus. Here
the company was mustered out of service.
In the cyclone of 1887 Mr. Williams lost his building and a fine
stock of goods. He was caught up and lodged in the branches of an apple
tree, some distance from where he was.
He was married in 1851, to Mary E. Baker, born in Missouri, a
daughter of George Baker. She died in Rushville in 1877, leaving one
son, Emory, now with his father. In 1879 Captain Williams was married
to Nancy Allen, who was born in Ohio. They have two children, Ellen M.
and Myrtle A.
He is a Republican in politics, and has been one since the
formation of the party, and has held the position of Postmaster since
1880, with the exception of about ten months during the Cleveland
administration. He is a member of Rushville Lodge, No. 9, A.F. &
A.M., and Royal Arch and Chapter, at the same place. He was Master of
the lodge two terms, and has held many of the minor offices. He is now
Secretary of the lodge. He and his wife are worthy members of society,
and are highly esteemed by all who know them.