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and youth with her parents until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. B. are now the parents of two bright children: Earl W., born March 14, 1887, and Altha R., July 25, 1888.
Our subject cast his first Presidential vote for Grant, and uniformly supports the principles of the Republican party. He is a quiet, unassuming citizen, attending strictly to his own affairs, but giving his support to those measures calculated to advance the interests of his community. He and his excellent wife enjoy the respect and confidence of a large circle of acquaintances, and in their pleasant home are surrounded by all needful comforts.
ON. JOHN W. WILLIAMS. Among the solid citizens of Filley Township, none are held in more genuine respect than the subject of this sketch. He is a farmer of ample means and pleasant surroundings, realizes a good income from his agricultural transactions and is contributing his full quota to the business and industrial interests of Gage County: His property has been secured by the exercise of patient industry and economy, the surest guarantee of success, and if Providence has richly blessed him, it is no more than he deserves.
The father of our subject, Mathew Williams by name, was of American birth and parentage, and began life in the State of Indiana. Upon reaching manhood he married a lady of Irish descent, and also a native of Indiana. They settled upon a farm in Wayne County, and there became the parents of three children, our subject and two sisters, the latter of whom are both now deceased. John W. was born Aug. 20, 1840, but while yet a child, his parents removed to Marshall County, Ind., where he spent his boyhood on the farm, and in attendance at school. When of suitable age he commenced working out, and in 1856 went with his parents to Bureau County, Ill., and there made his home with his uncle for a period of four years.
Young William (sic), in 1860, returned to his native State, and the year following, upon the outbreak of the war, enlisted in Company C, 20th Indiana Infantry, and after a six-weeks drill on the old Tippecanoe battle-field near LaFayette, the regiment was ordered to Cockeysville, Md., where, in addition to the regular drill, they were engaged in building railroad tracks and bridges. Thence they were detailed to Cape Hatteras, N. C. There they were forced to retreat from the enemy, and in addition to this a disastrous flood nearly washed them away, the troops being forced to wade in water up to their mouths for two hours, and three miles from shore.
Old Point Comfort, in Virginia, was the next destination of the 20th Indiana and some others, where they went into winter quarters. During the spring campaign they took part in the battles of the Monitor and Merrimac, witnessing the destruction of the latter, after which followed the battle at Norfolk, Va. Thence they were called to reinforce McClellan, and participated in the seven-days battle before Richmond. retreating to Harrison's Landing. Subsequently soon followed the engagements at Orchard, Charles City, Cross Roads, Malvern Hill, and then they again were halted at Harrison's Landing on the James River, where they encamped six weeks.
Upon again taking up their line of march our subject and his comrades received orders from Gen. Pope, and fought at Manassas Junction and in the second battle of Bull Run, where their Colonel was killed upon the field, together with many other officers. They were next at Chantilly, Va., where the gallant General, Phil Kearney, breathed his last upon the battle-field. Their next move was on to Washington, D. C., where they were placed among the fortifications around Arlington Heights, the regiment being so crippled by losses that it was not thought best they should engage in the Atlanta campaign. They were afterward, however, ordered to Virginia, where Mr. Williams partipated (sic) in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and met the rebels at Gettysburg, Pa. In the distribution of the Kearney medal of honor, given those who distinguished themselves in the memorable engagement at Chancellorsville, Mr. Williams received one of the twenty coveted prizes struck off by the War Department, and it is hardly necessary to say it will be preserved by his posterity as a priceless relic.
Until the battle of Gettysburg Mr. Williams had
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carried the musket of a private, but soon after this was given the commission of First Lieutenant. His regiment was subsequently sent to quell the draft riot of 1863. in New York City, where they were stationed about six weeks. Next his company formed one of the three which were sent up the East River to assist Gen. Dix in the guarding of 2,700 rebels. Mr. Williams states that the story of rebels suffering in Union prisons is untrue, as the prisoners had wholesome food and sufficient clothing.
Lieut. Williams with his regiment was later assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and afterward did good service in the battle of the Wilderness, where he was wounded in the shoulder, and on account of the thickly folded blanket which he carried escaped fatal injury. At Spottsylvania (sic) Court House his Captain was killed, and Lieut. Williams was tendered a Captain's commission and at once assumed command, leading the color company of the regiment through the remainder of the battle. At this engagement the colors were riddled by forty-five bullets. Capt. Williams followed the fortunes of his regiment until the close of the war, being thereafter at Cold Harbor, and he was one of the first to make the assault on Petersburg, following the rebels from there to Appomattox Court House, and having the unspeakable satisfaction of witnessing their surrender. Capt. Williams experienced many hairbreadth escapes, and, in recalling the vents of that terrible time, often wonders that he escaped with his life. He received his honorable discharge on the 12th of July, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Ind., receiving the brevet of Major after having served four years. The last year of the war, so great had been the losses, four Indiana regiments were consolidated into one--the 7th, 14th, 19th and 20th.
Upon his retirement from the army Mr. Williams sought his old haunts in Marshall County, Ind., where he followed farming seven years. He had in the meantime, Oct. 30, 1866, been married to Miss Martha J. Fife, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Reed) Fife, of Marshall County, Ind., and who was born there Feb. 25, 1845. The parents of Mrs. Williams were natives of South Carolina, and are now residents of Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Williams spent the first six years of their wedded life in Indiana, and in 1872 our subject found his way to this State, and purchased 104 acres of land on section 18, in Filley Township, where he settled with his family as soon as he could erect a dwelling, and where they have since lived.
Mr. Williams has been fully as successful as a farmer as he was a soldier. Upon his arrival in this township he had been preceded by Mr. Filley and Mr. Gale only, and consequently may be named among its pioneer citizens. The improvements upon his farm (a view of which is herewith presented) have been brought about through his own efforts. One year he suffered the loss of his crops, with the exception of his wheat. In 1876 he added to his real estate by the purchase of eighty-eight acres, and now has all that he cares to operate. Mr. Williams has in all 373 acres, all of which he in Filley Township, except eighty in Logan Township.
To our subject and his excellent wife there have been born seven children, six of whom are living, namely: Fannie L., Kate A., Josephine May, Clara Beatrice, Arthur F. and J. Channing. Mr. Williams and family are connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Filley.
Mr. Williams votes the straight Republican ticket, and besides serving as County Commissioner has been Township Supervisor three years, and Director in his school district for a period of fifteen years. During the late memorable campaign he was chosen by the votes of his district to represent it in the Legislature of the State. His excellent judgment, ripe experience and undoubted honesty, will be of great value to not only his own immediate constituency, but the people of the entire State.
OSEPH B. LEVIS. This gentleman comes of a long line of honored ancestors whose genealogy reaches back to the "right tight little island across the sea," and figures somewhat more or less prominently in English history. The Levis family came from England over 200 years since, and settled in what is now Pennsylvania The father of our subject, Brinton Levis,
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