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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence 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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W. M. Williams, son of B. and M. B. (Rea) Williams, was born in Lawrence County, Tenn., April 29, 1840. The father was born in South Carolina, and when yet a boy emigrated with his parents westward, and settled in Lawrence County, Tenn. The mother was born in Giles County, Tenn., and was the daughter of William Rea, who was one of the pioneer settlers of that country. She lived in that State five years after marriage, when she moved with her husband to Lawrence County, Mo., in 1842. They first settled on Honey Creek, where they remained but a short time, after which they moved and settled a short distance from where Verona now stands, and before that was a town. From there they moved four miles below the head of Spring River. Mr. Williams was a blacksmith by trade, and followed this occupation for a livelihood until the breaking out of the late war, when, in March, 1862, he went to Arkansas, and there passed the remainder of his life, dying two months afterward. He was the father of seven children, two now living, William M. and John R. Those deceased were named George, Gibson, Mary S., James G. and two who died when infants. W. M. Williams, one of the two surviving members of the above mentioned family, and the subject of this sketch, remained in Arkansas after the death of his father. Shortly afterward he enlisted in Company G, Sixteenth Missouri Infantry, Confederate States Army, serving three years, having previous to that time served a short time in the Confederate States Cavalry. He participated in the following battles: Lone Jack, Prairie Grove, Pleasant Hill, Saline River and Jenkins’ Ferry. His command surrendered at Shreveport, La. Mr. Williams then went to Texas, where he remained for two years, working for wages. He next went from that State to Kentucky with a drove of stock, and landed at Lexington. He then returned to the old home stead, and, being a blacksmith by trade, established himself in that business, and so continued for about four years, after which he located on a farm one mile north of where he now lives, and devoted his time to farming. At the end of one year he married Miss Nancy N. Cline, daughter of Samuel and Adaline Cline, natives of Kentucky and Missouri, respectively. To Mr. and Mrs. Williams were born five children, all now living: Lee Price, Aura Belle, Tennessee, John Morgan, and an infant unnamed. When Mr. Williams first moved to Missouri it was in a very unsettled condition, and the houses were few and far between. Farming was not very extensively engaged in in those days, and wild game, such as deer, turkeys, wolves, etc., were numerous. The great mineral wealth of the county has but recently been developed, and Aurora has arisen since his time. Mr. Williams has 170 acres of land, 150 under cultivation, within one-half mile of Aurora. He is a strong Democrat in his political views.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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