My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Putnam County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Joseph Williams, a prominent farmer and stock raiser, was born August 20, 1819, near Knoxville, Tenn., and when only a child was brought by his parents to Cooper County, Mo., and to Dodge (now Putnam) County, in 1849, where he has since resided. He was the ninth of a family of ten children, and the only son of James and Susan (Webb) Williams, natives of East Tennessee, and of English descent. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812, in which he distinguished himself for physical strength, endurance and courage. Joseph Williams was reared upon the farm and has made farming and stock raising his sole occupation since the time he started to fight the battle of life for himself, at the age of twenty-one. He is a man of great energy, foresight and practical business ability, and has succeeded in accumulating a handsome competency, being the owner of 1,300 acres of exceedingly well improved land, well stocked and equipped for his business in every way. Although he attended school during his youth but very little, he has acquired enough education to aid him materially in his business ventures. March 4, 1847, he married Miss Susanna Nelson, daughter of Madison and Nancy (Simmons) Nelson, natives of North Carolina, who started for Moniteau County (then Cole) when Mrs. Williams was but a year old. They arrived at their destination in but sad spirits, however, as on the way the father and husband was killed by a runaway team of horses. To Mr. and Mrs. Williams eight children have been born: Ruth J., James W., Sarah H. (deceased), John R. (deceased), Nancy B., Mary L., Thomas Lee (deceased) and David A. Both Mr. and Mrs. Williams have been worthy conscientious members of the Baptist Church since early youth. In politics Mr. Williams is a Democrat, and as such was elected sheriff of Putnam County in 1856, serving a term of four years. In 1871 he scored a great success by being elected the tax collector by his party, in a county which had at that time 1,100 Republican majority. He was obliged, however, on account of ill-health, to resign the office before the expiration of his term. During the war he commanded a company in the State Militia. Mr. Williams is of a retiring disposition, and has never sought office himself, those he has filled being forced upon him by friends. He is a Master Mason, and has been one of the leading stockholders in the Putnam County Fair Association since its inception, being one of its directors, only becoming too aged. He is one of the most respected and honored citizens of the community in which he lives, and a good example of a self-made man.

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This family biography is one of 139 biographies included in the Putnam County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam, and Schuyler Counties, Missouri published in 1888 by Goodspeed Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Putnam County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Putnam County, Missouri family biographies here: Putnam County, Missouri Biographies

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