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Below is a family biography included in The History of McDonald 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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Capt. R. W. Williams was born on September 21, 1839, in Knox County, Ohio, and is a son of Daniel J. and Mary Ann (McAntor) Williams, both natives of Virginia. When the subject of this sketch was about two years of age his parents removed to Coles County, Ill., locating upon 160 acres of land two miles south of Mattoon. There they resided until the spring of 1867, when they sold out and removed to Crawford County, Kas., remaining a short time. They then came to Neosho, Mo., where the father died on November 17, 1867, aged fifty-seven years. His widow is now living near Bethpage with her daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Keller. They were the parents of seven children, viz.: Elizabeth, Minerva (deceased), R. W., Franklin V., Adaline (deceased), Albert H. (deceased), and Margaret E. (deceased). The mother of these children has been a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for fifty years. Capt. R. W. Williams grew to manhood in Coles County Ill., spending his winters in school and his summers at work for his father. In June, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, First Illinois Cavalry. At the battle of Lexington seven companies of the regiment were captured, but were soon after exchanged. Mr. Williams returned home in November, 1861, and assisted in organizing a company known as Company A, Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry, of which he served as first lieutenant until after the battle of Vicksburg, when he was promoted to captain, in which capacity he served until October, 1865, when he was mustered out of service at Little Rock. While in the service he participated in the following battles: Lexington, Vicksburg, Little Rock, Clarendon, Ark., and Ashley Station, Ark. At Ashley Station he was wounded in his right arm, and his whole company with Company K and Company I were captured and sent to Batesville, where they were paroled. In January, 1865, Capt. Miller was exchanged and returned to his regiment at St. Louis. After hostilities ceased he returned to Coles County, Ill., and engaged in agricultural pursuits, but in 1867 came with his parents to Newton County, Mo. His father died the following November, and he took charge of the family for many years. On February 14, 1875, he married Josephine Morgans, a daughter of Ephraim and Eliza Morgans, natives of Indiana, who came to Missouri after the war. To Capt. Williams and wife have been born five children: Daniel Curtis (deceased), William Oscar, Ida Lee, Luria and Marvin. Capt. Williams was appointed postmaster of Indian Springs in 1885, and still holds the position. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., K. of L. and of Post 176, G. A. R. Mrs. Williams is a member of the Christian Church. In politics he was formerly a Republican, but of late years has voted with the Democratic party.

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This family biography is one of 82 biographies included in The History of McDonald County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: McDonald County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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