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Below is a family biography included in The History of Maries County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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M. Williams, more familiarly known as “Cage” Williams, a farmer and stock-raiser of Miller Township, Maries County, and post master of Maries Postoffice, is a native of Franklin County, Mo., and was born in 1829. He is a son of John W. and Mary (Hinton) Williams, the former of whom is supposed to be the first white child born in St. Louis, Mo., his birth occurring September 17, 1795. He was reared in St. Louis County, and in 1823 was married in Franklin County, where he lived until 1855, when he removed to Cole County, and three years later settled in Maries County; he was a well-to-do farmer and stock-dealer, and served as a substitute in the War of 1812 on the frontiers of the West. He died in 1869. Joseph Williams, father of John W., was born in North Carolina, and was of Welsh parentage, his father coming to America from Wales in colonial days. Joseph served seven years in the Revolutionary War, and prior to 1795 emigrated West, living a short time at Whiteside Station, now East St. Louis; he then crossed the river and obtained a Spanish grant northwest of St. Louis, where he died in 1820, having predicted the exact date of his death; his widow, Sarah, died in Gasconade County in 1851, her birth having occurred in 1758; her knowledge of the Scriptures was remarkable, and questions in dispute were frequently brought for her decision. The mother of our subject was born in North Carolina in 1803, and in 1820 removed with her parents, John and Elizabeth Hinton, to Franklin County, Mo., where the father, who was a successful farmer, of English descent, died in 1837, and the mother in 1851. The educational advantages of M. Williams were limited, but attendance at the common schools, study by the fire-light, and one term at Forest Hill Academy, near Jefferson City, enabled him to teach, which he followed until 1852, and then, with a company of about forty, of whom he was the youngest but was selected as captain, he crossed the plains to California, a journey requiring 114 days. He spent two years successfully engaged in mining, and then returned home. He was married in Franklin County in 1854 to Mary J., daughter of Thomas and Emily (Burress) Crowe, the former born in St. Francois County, Mo., in 1807, and the latter born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1815. Mr. Crowe, who was a farmer and a practical engineer on the Mississippi River for many years, died with yellow fever in St. Louis in 1843; his wife died in Maries County, Mo., in 1865. Mrs. Williams was born in Cape Girardeau County, Mo., in 1833. Of the twelve children born to Mr. and Mrs. Williams seven are living, as follows: Laura E., wife of John Rigsby; Ashley G., present county surveyor of Maries County; Cora B., wife of L. N. Ramsey; Howard W., now in the gold mines in New Mexico; Effie B., teacher; Edna and May. Mr. Williams lived in Franklin County until 1855, when he removed to Cole County, and from there, in 1859, went to Maries County, locating on his present farm the following year. He now owns a fine farm of 320 acres, and is one of the most prominent and enterprising farmers and stock-raisers of the township. At the out break of the late war the thought of his father’s and grandfather’s service in the earlier wars inspired his patriotism, and in March, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Sixth Missouri Cavalry, operating in Southern Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi. At Helena, Ark., July 12, 1862, he received a severe sunstroke, and was in the hospitals at St. Louis, Helena and Benton Barracks until November, 1862, when he was discharged for disability, and has never fully recovered from the effects of the stroke. Indeed as he grows older his disability increases, and he is almost deaf and blind. In 1868 Mr. Williams was elected surveyor of Maries County, which position he held six years. He is a Democrat in politics, and is a member of the G. A. R. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have always been advocates of educational interests, and are well known and have a large circle of friends and acquaintances in Franklin, St. Louis, Gasconade, Osage and Cole Counties. They are faithful members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and are most highly respected citizens of Miller Township.

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This family biography is one of 37 biographies included in The History of Maries County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Maries County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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