Phillip Williams of Franklin Co., Tennessee

This particular family tree starts with the War of 1812 - a savage struggle between the white and red men known as the Creek War. In 1813, the British as part of their on-going battle with America, gave the Creeks in Florida firearms. The "Red Stick Creeks" committed a massacre at Fort Mimms in Florida and so Andrew Jackson drew a force of volunteers to help put down the Indians.

Many of these volunteers were Tennesseans. On September 24, 1813, a group of men from Winchester, Franklin county, Tennessee mustered into Captain Francis Jones' Co. of Mounted Riflemen – a part of West Tennessee Vols commanded by Col. Newton Cannon. Along with this group were quite a few Williams; including a Corporal Sherrod Williams of Franklin County. But one private– Phillip E. Williams, who was most certainly related to the Corporal, was the forefather of all the Williams in this account.

Phillip served in the army from September 24, 1813 to December 24 of that same year. For his service he was paid 8 dollars a month plus 40Ę a day for his horse. The government even threw in a traveling allowance for his trip home – $1.25 for five days figured at fifteen miles a day.[1]

After his service Phillip returned to his wife Catharine[2] in Franklin county in South-central Tennessee, just a couple of miles north of Alabama in the Crow Creek valley; an area described as romantic; where beautiful waterfalls, cascades, and cavern laced mountains rose majestically above the green, lush valley.

Little is known of Phillip prior to the War of 1812. He was born according to census in the 1790's in Tennessee. His wife Catharine was born in Virginia, the daughter of Jacob and Sarah Miller.

Jacob Miller

Jacob Miller[3] was born around 1759. In 1775, while living in Northampton County, Pennsylvania; he enlisted and served during the Revolutionary War. He fought at the "Battle of Brandywine" September of 1777; a battle lost by George Washington's 11,000 troops who barely escaped capture against a British force intent on taking Philadelphia. Jacob also apparently fought in the Colonial Wars.

Jacob's first wife Sarah died in the early 1800's and he remarried Elizabeth Ritter in 1805 according to marriage records. He had 10 children with Sarah including his daughter Catharine who married Phillip Williams. He had an additional nine children with Elizabeth. In 1813 Jacob moved to Tennessee from Botetourt County, Virginia. He applied for a pension on July 1832 while living in Franklin County, Tennessee but died on November of that same year. His wife Elizabeth, applied for his pension and again later for land due Jacob for his service.

She may have lied about their marriage date to make it appear they were married before he served in the war.

The Children of Phillip E. Williams

Phillip Williams and his wife Catharine had their first child Jacob Marion on October 14, 1814; soon followed by another son named Hardy in 1816.

In 1818 Phillip once again served as a volunteer, this time for four months in the "First" Seminole War. Two Seminole Wars were fought between the United States and the Seminole Indians of Florida. The first war (1817-18) was the result of a border clash between Georgia frontier dwellers and the Seminoles in Spanish Florida, who were harboring runaway slaves and outlaws. As a result of the first war, Florida eventually became U.S. territory.

Phillip returned home to a pregnant wife, and his third son-William Jefferson-was born December 12, 1818.

At this particular time in history (1810-1820), settlers in this part of the country truly qualified as pioneers. The increasingly squeezed Indians were a real threat and one's neighbors which were probably one's kin – were often spread thin. These were the days of Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis and Davey Crockett. In fact, Crockett lived within a few miles of the Williams for a year or so.

Houseraisings and church socials were about the only festive events for the people of these wooded hills. Religion filled a large role in most of their lives–though moonshiners probably attended the local church as habitually as any of the true reverent; and most considered slave ownership a God-given right.

Phillip and his wife continued to bear children. His fourth boy was named after himself– Phillip M. [whom we will call Phillip Jr. only to keep the names straight] – was born on Nov. 4, 1826. The fifth and probably last son was James H., born on July 15, 1830.

In the 1830's, Phillip Sr. had legal difficulties, losing land for some money owed. He moved his family a couple of miles south to Jackson county, Alabama.

Several girls were born to the family - Mary on June 18, 1837; one named Jane and at least another whose names are unknown.

Young Hardy Williams was the first of Phillip's children to get "hitched", marrying Jemima Suiter– thought to be the daughter of Alexander Suiter, a well-to-do planter in Crow Creek Valley–on January 28, 1836. Then on October, 1837, Hardy along with brothers Jacob Marion and William Jefferson, enlisted to fight in the 2nd Florida Seminole War. Living in a time when one's childhood was spent listening to tales of fighting the British for freedom and the Indians for the right to settle the land, it takes little imagination to realize that the brothers probably felt expected to join and ride into Florida with Captain Snodgrass's Company I, North Alabama Mounted Volunteers, from Jackson Co. Alabama and commanded by Company Commander A. J. Jacobway.

The "Second" Seminole War (1835-42), which the three young Williams brothers participated in, was the result of efforts to move the Seminoles to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). In 1837 a call went out for volunteers, more as a precaution than a necessity. At the time the Williams joined there was such an enthusiastic response that U.S. leaders received far more volunteers than needed, therefore most troops were used to guard areas already under control. Captain Snodgrass's 950 mounted Alabama volunteers were directed to guard the area around Garey's Ferry. Volunteers were notorious for being undisciplined and unruly, so most often the enlisted regular troops were called upon for the campaigns that the brothers probably expected to be involved in and had signed on for. Quite likely bored and disenchanted with stomping through the hot, soggy, mosquito infested marshes with little action, they discharged from the Mounted Volunteers at Fort Mitchell, Georgia after serving their 7 months of volunteer duty. Most of the Seminoles were eventually captured by the regular army and sent into the new Indian territory of Oklahoma.

Immediately upon returning home from Florida, William Jefferson married 17 year old Elizabeth Stubblefield on June 1, 1838 in Franklin county, Tennessee.[4] Elizabeth Stubblefield was probably the sister of one of his fellow volunteer army buddies and longtime acquaintances–Robert Stubblefield.

William J. and his new wife moved to Missouri just before 1840, traveling by wagon, most likely with her kinfolk. Hardy and his wife Jemima, also moved to Missouri; around or at the same time. The oldest of the brothers, Jacob Marion married Rebecca Crouch December 7, 1840 and remained in Jackson County, Alabama the rest of his life.[5]

The youngest brother-James H. Williams, married Prudence Francis Aug. 29, 1848. Conducting the marriage was Justice of the Peace-Madison Williams, who is thought to be a cousin.[6]

The elder father-Phillip Williams, died at his last home in Jackson County, Alabama, September 10, 1842– his burial place lost in time. Preceded in death by his wife, his two remaining minor children-James and Mary applied for 80 acres of bounty land owed their father for his service in the War of 1812 and allowed by an act of Congress in 1850. Represented by their guardian brother Jacob Marion, they received this land in the 1850's.[7]

The Crow Creek area south of Winchester, Tennessee where the Williams lived, still carries reminders of those early years. Place names such as Williams Cove, Jacoway Branch and Stubblefield Hollow were given after the early settling families mentioned in this history, and descendents of those families still reside close to those vicinities 150 years later.

The Missouri Years

Three of the elder Philip E. Williams sons moved to the Missouri County of Osage, Jackson Township, in Central Missouri.[8] In 1850 Hardy Williams, 34, and his wife Jemima, were living with their children; Elizabeth, 17, George, 10, Thomas, 3, and Sarah, who was 1. Another child was born to Hardy – Margaret in 1852. All the children were born in Missouri but the oldest Elizabeth, who was born while they were still in Alabama. Hardy's younger brother Phillip M. was living with them and brother William J. and his family lived nearby.

It is quite likely the Williams moved to Missouri for the same reasons thousands of other Tennesseans land. Also, many of the Tennesseans's farms were worn out from extended use and the farmers needed rich soil and a fresh start. Geography and Indian hostilities generally determined the boundaries of settled areas, but the War of 1812 had quelled Indian disturbances in the Missouri area and the promise of this fertile land caused a rush of people to Missouri in the 1820's and '30s. Central Missouri, where the Williams located in the late 30's, was the first part of the young state to be settled; simply because the Missouri River provided a natural road for immigration and by the 20's could be traveled by steamboat or keelboat by those who prefered an easier mode of travel than a rough wagon.

Early settlers like the Williams built a rude log cabin and existed on meat and corn, much like the sole article of diet in early Tennessee. The early settlers were fiercely independent and though loyal to the national government, they sought to protect their natural rights. And to most Tennesseans this included the right to have slaves, which Missouri allowed, although it seemed the brothers had none.

On August 11, 1851, the youngest of the four brothers; Phillip M., married Margaret Agnes Glasco–the daughter of a neighboring farmer. Phillip then sold 40 acres to his brother William J.[9] on October of the same year. This was only the first of many land transactions that the brothers took. William and Phillip also bought land through the governments sale of public land, at $1.25 an acre.

Phillip's new wife Margaret was the daughter of James Albert Glasco,[10] a 54 year old illiterate farmer born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a father who immigrated to America. Being illiterate was not uncommon, but more the norm for people in those days. Three fourths of the people recorded on the 1850 census could in fact, not read. (This trait also accounts for why his last name is spelled on records as anything from Glascow to Glasgoo). In fact, Phillip Williams and his wife could not write and signed all their documents with an X.

Between 1850 and 1860, Hardy William's family went through some changes. Hardy's daughter Sarah died January 1851, shortly before Hardy himself died. The first assumption one would have on Hardy's death would be that he died of cholera, which in the summer of 1854 ran rampant in the settlements along the rivers in the area. A person could be in perfect health and within a few hours be dead. So contagious was cholera that Missouri lost a great deal of its early physicians to this disease. The fear and panic that cholera spawned led to many of its victims dying abandoned and alone. Whatever the case, Hardy's wife Jemima remarried to Nathaniel Stubblefield[11] who was 13 years her senior, on October 28, 1855. She was married to Nathaniel only a few years, dying herself on March of 1861. Nathaniel may have been the kin of or even the actual Robert Stubblefield who served with Hardy and William J. in the Florida Seminole War.

Hardy's oldest daughter Elizabeth, married June 23, 1856 to Francis Owens, Jr. and died four years later in 1859.[12]

In 1869, Hardy's children Thomas and Margaret applied for 50 acres of bounty land entitled to their deceased father because of his military duty in Florida. They were the last of Hardy's family as all of Hardy's other children had succumbed to the early deaths so often found in this territory.

James Glasco

James Glasco, the father-in-law of young Phillip M. Williams, led an intriguing life. It's believed he lived in St. Louis in his younger years, where he delivered mail and was so liked by the people that they named a street after him. This street still exists in the seedier part of St. Louis. How the people got their mail since James was illiterate is hard to explain.

The first Missouri record of James Glasco,[13] who apparently moved to Missouri around or before its statehood of 1821, was his marriage record. James, around 29 at the time, married Elizabeth Groff, who was 15, on June 12, 1825, in Franklin County, Missouri. They together raised 7 children.[14]

In 1839, after moving into what would become Osage County, Missouri, he ran the first mail courier route between Jefferson City and Caledonia, a distance of over 90 miles. James was only 5' 4" but nothing seemed to daunt this little man. Family tales have been passed down how he swam rivers holding onto his horse's tail with one hand and holding the mail in the air with the other.

James was a joiner always looking for something new and exciting. When the Mexican War started in 1846, James joined Captain August Rainey's Co. C, 3rd Regiment, Mounted Infantry, on September 1, 1846 at Fort Leavenworth. Joining with him were William J. Williams and others from the Osage County area. James no doubt left his wife and family in Missouri for the fame and glory he would find in the "Halls of Montezuma", probably not even concerned that he would be fighting for reasons not clearly defined, other than "the Mexicans needed to be taught a lesson." This war was so popular in the beginning that the U.S. was barraged by volunteers, so many that some offered to pay for the privilege of participating.

James figured himself as something of a musician. Therefore, what a more fitting title could he receive than that of drummer, and being able to lead the men into glory beneath his nation's stars and stripes.

James never got the opportunity for the glory of marching into Mexico. Instead his regiment's toughest hardship was a trek to St. Louis. Thirty days after the Missourians joined, the regiment was disbanded. Apparently unneeded, they never left the state.[15]

William J. Williams made sergeant before being discharged, giving him a step up the military ladder in preparation for the next war already looming on the horizon.

James Glasco returned home to his family.

In 1850, Richard Glasco, age 29, born in Missouri, lived with James and his family. Richard was probably James' son from a previous marriage.

Later in James' life, he made an attempt to reach his birthplace–Philadelphia, along with one of his son-in-laws, in order to settle his father's estate. On the long trip, it's told that his son-in-law died and James was forced to return to Missouri. His father's estate was never settled till years later by a Glasco descendent.

It's fairly easy to find James in the history of early Missouri. He was more than just a feisty young man who wore wooden shoes and banged on a drum. Anytime anything happened around his neck of the woods, he was involved. He signed petitions and served on grand juries, he was a joiner and probably had an opinion on anything.

It's also known that James Glasco and his son-in-law Phillip Williams didn't always get-along well.

The Civil War

In 1855 and 1856, Phillip Williams Jr. sold and mortgaged parts of the land that he and his wife owned in Osage Co., Missouri. Phillip sold what appeared to be (the records are old and nearly illegible) forty acres along the Gasconade River to John R. Owens for the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars. John Owens, who was probably an in-law of Phillip's niece Elizabeth, may or may not have been given a good deal, the Williams trait of "tight-fisted" being what it is.

By the year of 1860, Phillip Williams and his wife "Agnes" moved again, this time a couple of miles north to the Benton Township (still Osage County). He had bought 40 acres from the Government in 1857. They now had three children–James Jefferson, 8, Susan, 4, and Leander, 1. Phillip listed his occupation as "wagonmaker", and his real estate and personal estate value at $500 on the 1860 census; $500 being an average assessment given by most on the census. Perhaps it was just a good round number; in the census takers opinion. One tends to believe that the farmowners would underestimate their farm's value, knowing the tax-man would be in town later in the year. But it's important to realize that most settlers in these days were poor, although nearly all were self-sufficient and skilled at living under isolated conditions.

Living with the Williams was Agnes sister, Susan Glasco; staying with them because her mother Elizabeth (Groff) Glasco had died. James Glasco, now widowed, had moved slightly to the east to Washington township in Osage County. He was getting on in age, worked as a day laborer, and was still raising his daughter Catharine who was only 11. His other children had married and left home.

A year later,1861, the bloodiest war in American history began. Fighting the abolition of slavery and tired of increasing federal control of their states governing powers, southern states fought to secede from the nation and so began the "Civil War" which eventually destroyed 2% of the U.S. population. Tennessee, where Phillip was born, joined the Confederate states. Missouri; who's people were largely southern sympathizers, filled with Union forces before it had a chance to secede. But many battles were fought in the state, and many a neighbor took the opportunity to vent their dislike of other neighbors by calling them out as "secessionists" or "bushwhackers." Pressure from Union forces and Union sympathizing neighbors forced many a Missourian to join up or be looked upon as such.

In mid-year of 1861 Phillip Williams and his father-in-law James Glasco joined the Osage County Home Guards, Company F, headquartered at Bonnot's Mill and captained by Mr. Bonnot himself. Phillip was 35, with at least 5 dependents. James Glasco was 65, a widower, a short-term Mexican War enlistee. Neither men were likely to enlist in the regular army but serving in the Home Guard allowed them the luxury of serving while staying at or close to home and their families. It was extremely unsafe to leave the women alone to tend the farms as bushwhackers would commonly rob and steal everything from an unguarded farm.

Home Guard units were usually confined to working in their own counties and held themselves in readiness to cooperate with regular forces when needed. With no uniforms, supplying their own horses, and carrying their own squirrel guns, they were not necessarily prepared for battle, but were instead primarily used to quell local secessionist activity, maintain order, gather army supplies, watch for enemy movements, and to keep post over forts, communication lines, and such. The volunteers usually served 3 to 6 months, as did Phillip and James.

Although area battles were usually small, sparse and limited to hit-and-run bushwhackings, surely Phillip and James were relieved to be discharged from the duties of the Guards later that same year. Noteworthy accomplishments and medals of honor were none, but they did escape injury unlike Jame's son-in-law Joel Hale, who suffered a gunshot wound to his left knee and later in life drew a grand pension of $2 a month.

A few years after the war, Phillip wrote a rare letter to his brother Jacob back in Alabama. Although Phillip's letter probably no longer exists, Jacob's answering letter does,[16] and it shows the reader an extraordinary look at life and feelings during the post-Civil War days. Jacob, never having left the South, took strong exception to his displaced Northern brother's beliefs. The following letter contains all the written errors as the original.

[Page 1]

State of Alabama, Jackson Co.

Sept. the 6th 1869

Dear Brother I seats my self this good Sabbath morning. Try to wright a few lines in answer to your letter which came to hand. i was truly glad and rejoiced to here from you one time in--in9 years. my family is well excep mother [mother-in-law]. She is olde and very porly. nature say she can not stay much longer with us being 81 years olde. i am the crippled by getting my left knee straind and can not walk without a crutch. Brother, i can say i am glad it is no worse. i have nothing of much importance to tell you at this time onely wishing these lines may come safe to your hand and find you and family well and doing well. i am getting along reasonable well. i will sell 35 good hogs this year. i will get eleven cts(?) per pound Buck i would glad to see you and be with you. The chance is bad. i am getting too olde to travel that fare and cant well leave as big a family long at a time. macklin is married. his wife has 4 children 2 girls 2 boys. Nancy Jane is married and has 2 children one boy one girl. Robert is in Tennessee going to school. The rest is about home. All the children is onely nine and all about one weeke ago.

[page 2]

Well Brother you rite some things to me that we differ about. that is Radicalism. i am willing for all one to think as they please for i am shure to try to, but let us see what we predicate [to base] our thoughts upon, whether it be for self or for general good. if you knew how radicals was trying to do in this country you would think as i do when it come that the intermost power was to make you and your children equal with you and your children. i meane the black, kinkey headed, flat nose, thick lipt negro to be equal with you and yours. Hear with me, i get agitated, to think that my Grandfather fought 7 years to gain liberty and freedom.[17] Now the Radicals must take it by force and say we are below the negro. punish a hole world of people because some done wrong. i say, punish the guilty, let the inicent go free. The Radical say the secesh[18] brought on the war. Brother, look at both sides. mark, i am not a secesh nor never was. who is secesh who brought on the war? answer–radical or abolition. Those called sesesh leaders was the strongest abolitions to be found in disguise pretending to be one thing and doing the very thing that they wanted done wich they never could have done onely in the way it was done.

[page 3]

Theres a greate many moving from here to Arkansas and Texas. William [L. ?] Brant and sister Mary will start in 10 days to Arkansas. You use to know [B]ill Bryant, williams father John and David his brother. you knew that they lived in one mile of me when you was here. Mary is well and says she wants you to remember your youngest sister. She says she would be glad to see you but think it is uncertain wether or not talk or cry about you and says it looks hard that brothers and sisters shall be seperated so fare apart that they can scarsley ever here of one another much more see them. You wanted to know Samuel Brownfield and Jane there poste office. There address is lamar County, Texas, Paris Post office. Paris, Texas is there address. write to Jane, she wants to here from you. i had not the chance to get my photograph taken or i would have sent it. it is 25 miles to the nearest place where is is taken. i have not room to say much more. Excuse bad writing. read what you can and guess at the balance. So fare well Brother, till we meet again give my love to your family and receive a portion yourself.

To Phill Williams and family

[from] Jacob M. Williams


Jacob probably became even more distraught with the Union. In September, 1871 he filed a claim with the US Court of Claims seeking recompensation for a brown mare, an iron gray filly, 200 bushels of corn and 30 cords of wood taken by the Union forces during the Civil War. In order to receive recompense the applicant had to prove allegiance to the Union Army. In an effort to do so he stated on affidavits, "I had a brother, William J. Williams who was a colonel in the Union army in Missouri... I had no one closer than cousins in the Rebel army...I was neutral and gave aid to neither side...and I did not vote for secession". He made only one mistake! He stated that after Alabama seceded, his sympathies were with his state.

This last statement was cited as a reason for his claim being denied.

Jacob Williams died July 26, 1898. His place of burial is unknown. An obituary from the Scottsboro Fellow Citizen read "Uncle Jake Williams, as he was lovingly called by his neighbors, died at his home last Tuesday after a lingering illness. He had been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church for 50 years; was a good neighbor and a good citizen and esteemed by all who knew him."

Jacob's mention of a brother in his letter to the U.S. Court, who was a Colonel in the Union Army was at least partially true. Jacob and Phillip's brother William Jefferson Williams (Jephtha); who was a veteran of the Seminole War and tried to get into the Mexican frey, had joined the army once more in 1861 as a captain in Missouri's Gasconade County Company G Home Guards, where he served 6 months.[19] The Home Guards were absorbed by the enrolled militia in 1862 under L. Zevely, Colonel; Adam Miller, Lt. Colonel; W. J. Williams, Major; and August Kleingarge, Adj.William J.[20] then enlisted in the regular army as a captain with the 9th Provisional Missouri Calvary on July 1, 1863 at Jefferson City, Missouri.[21] He was discharged December of 1863.

Despite all his military experiences, William J. was said to have a spiritual side; this resulting in his "riding the circuit", probably as a Baptist minister.[22]

William J. and his wife Elizabeth (Stubblefield) had 11 children; Catherine, Henry, John, Mary Anne, William Martin, Nathaniel, Cynthia, Charles, Benjamin, Robert, and Martha. In 1865 he paid taxes on 230 acres in Osage Co., Missouri.[23] It seems probable that William Jefferson led the richest if not the most profitable life of his generation of Williams. And so it seems strange that William J. Williams committed suicide using morphine and arsenic as was listed on his 1885 Osage County death certificate. According to one family history, William committed suicide because he became depressed over being unable to buy a son a coat.[24] But more than likely he was suffering from a debilitating disease or illness and his death was probably doctor assisted. According to his death certificate, it took 6 to 8 hours for him to die. Arsenic poisoning is a slow, painful death. The Morphine was probably administered to ease the pain.

William lived 67 years; an old age for the times, dying December 13, 1885, the day after his birthday. He died in the town of Feversville, Osage County, Missouri.

William is buried in the Francis family Cemetery[25] in Osage Co. Jefferson Township, along with other members of his family. His tombstone has a masonic emblem with the inscription; William J. Williams, Husband of Elizabeth A. Williams; "Farewell my wife and children all. From you a father Christ hath call. Mourn not for me. It is in vain, to call me to your sight again."

Pulaski County, Missouri

While the war was going on, Phillip (Jr.), and his wife Agnes had two more children; Thomas and John (Banty) Albert. Following the war, Mary Catherine, Martha Elizabeth, and Dora Ann were born for a grand total of eight children. The oldest child James Jefferson, was grown before the youngest was born in 1874.

On October 30, 1877, fifty-one year old Phillip moved slightly south and homesteaded 80 acres in the Tavern Township of Pulaski County, Missouri, near the very small community of Crocker. The "Homestead Act of 1862" allowed people to settle up to 160 acres of public land if they lived on it for five years with improvements. Land was free, but there was a filing fee. Phillip also purchased other land later.

The nearby town of Crocker was established along with the Frisco railroad line around 1869. The County itself is located in the Ozarks and was in earlier years heavily mined for its salt peter used in gunpowder. The rocky, heavily wooded hills, springs and clear streams make it a beautiful county, especially along Bell's Creek, which Phillip's farm overlooked.[26] This particular part of the state appealed to many Tennesseans born and raised in the hills.

In 1870 Phillip's father-in-law James Glasco was living with his daughter Sara Hale and her family in Osage County but sometime after that he moved to Pulaski County to live his final years with either daughter Mary Hale and her family or with Phillip and Margaret Agnes. James died in March of 1878 and the Glasco family history suggests that Phillip removed James' grave marker out of spite...but to be truthful, he most likely never had one until after June of 1890 when someone, probably Margaret Agnes, applied for and received military headstones for both her father James Glasco and her husband Phillip Williams.[27]

Phillip died of Lockjaw[28] (tetanus), January 3rd, 1890, at the age of 64, at which time Agnes applied for his Civil War military pension.

Attorney M.H. Murphy, testifying on Agne's need for pension, wrote

"I have known Phillip and Agnes for 20 years, and they were always poor people." He continued, "Agnes has only a down interest on 80 acres, less than half of which is cultivated, she owns a small home, and a mare worth $40...that's all!" He says, "She has knitted, sewn and done laundry for my family but is no longer able." He stressed, "That at the age of 60, she is helpless!"

To say they were always poor may have been more exaggeration than fact; simply said to help justify her receiving the pension.

Others included in writing on her behalf were her brother-in-laws, Joel Hale and Isaac Lee, her sister Caroline Lee and a person named Adelia Holy Cross.

Agnes was granted her husband's pension. She received $8 a month until her death January 15, 1893.

Not much has been found on the girls born to Phillip and Agnes. Mary Catharine married a man named John Wilson and for some reason she and her husband got into trouble. They came to Phillip in the middle of one night and he traded them fresh horses for theirs and they took off for the wide-open Oklahoma Territory, never to return.

James Jefferson Williams (Phillip's oldest son) married Nancy Greer in the 1870's, and lived near Phillip. James, a farmer, was described as a large man[29] with dark hair. He lived to only about the age of 28 or 29, dying February 22, 1882 of illnesses unknown. He had two children in his short adult life; Charles Edward and Daisy Williams. James is buried in the family plot at Crocker cemetery, along with his father Phillip and two other unidentified family of which may be Phillip's wife Agnes. Phillip's grave is the only one with a marker...a military marker giving Phillip's name, rank and unit.

After James's death, Nancy remarried during the summer of 1883. [30] Her new husband's name was Gilbert Hancock; he was nearly 20 years her senior,[31] and he'd already outlived two wives. His second wife had died, leaving him with eight children; the oldest only 3 or 4 years younger than Nancy, who herself had two more children with Gil. Gil Hancock stood about 5' 9" and had light hair and blue eyes. According to Hancock family history, during the war Gil enlisted and served in the Union Army... after a man came to his house and put a rope around his neck. In later years Gil said the hardest thing he'd ever done was shake this man's hand at a war veteran's gathering.

Gil lived close to Crocker in a community called Hancock[32] but farmed land near the Gasconade River. It was said he could be heard calling his horses on the river farm all the way from his house near town. So we know he was loud and from all accounts had a reputation for a heavy hand with his family, several different sources confirming this. Locals in the area attest to the fact that some of the early Hancocks were heavy drinkers and troublemakers.

Nancy's son Charlie, who was 5 or 6 when his dad James died, knew little of his dad or family and Gil didn't care for any of his new family to associate with their own "Williams" kin. It's obvious Charlie had differences with Gil and at some time or other Charlie had all he could take. During one encounter, Charlie clobbered his step-dad over the head with a horseshoe rasp. Charlie thought he'd killed the man and so left for whereabouts unknown. From then on Charlie did anything he could to make it on his own. Everything from herding sheep to delivering mail on horseback. He probably received quite a bit of help from his uncle "Banty" (John Albert Williams). Banty was a friendly person who in his late life was known as quite a "gabber" and one who often sat on his front porch waiting for people to ride by and socialize. He was also eulogied as one who helped orphans and the homeless; and Charlie would have rated high on this list.

Charlie's uncle Banty was the youngest son of Phillip M. Williams and if one researches early newspapers for the city of Crocker it would appear he was well thought-of and respected, so much so that Banty was elected County Judge in 1916. Banty came to inherit his father's (Phillip) farm on Bell's Creek and some descendents question why he got the farm and his brothers didn't. This is thought to have caused hard feeling and a possible rift in the family.[33] Nevertheless, Charlie always spoke well of Banty and probably got a few of his traits from Banty's influence (such as the fact Banty was a member of the Christian church and a devout Republican as was Charlie).

Around 1899, Charlie married Dora Etta Bell Hedrick, who was the daughter of an area farmowner. Then in 1902 Charlie pulled up stake and moved his wife to Oklahoma Territory to try out his farming luck in this "newest land of opportunity."

Charlie's step-dad Gilbert Hancock did in fact not die that day Charlie bashed him over the head, but lived to the ripe old age of 67. In 1890 he applied for an invalid's pension because of disease to the stomach, liver and kidneys. He outlived his 3rd wife Nancy (Charlie's mother) and died in Pulaski County January 21, 1904. He is buried just outside Crocker with Nancy. One curious note is that after his death, relatives supposedly found $3500 in neatly stacked bills under his house's floor.

Hedricks from Indiana

Charlie's new father-in-law was Thomas J. Hedrick. Thomas was born on March 6, 1836 at Green County, Indiana. Thomas's father according to the 1900 census was born in Kentucky and his mother in Virginia.

Thomas was a Union veteran, having been drafted, enrolling at Terre Haute Indiana and serving 4 months as a private with Co. B, 53rd Indiana Infantry Vols in the waning months of the Civil War in 1865. His Company disbanded at Louisville Kentucky on July 21, of that year.

According to the Civil War service records, Thomas stood 6 foot, 1 inch tall, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Thomas married Mary Knowles on March 9 at Sullivan County, Indiana – less than two months after having served in the Civil War. This was Thomas's second marriage, his first wife having died around 1862 in Sullivan Co.[34]

Thomas applied for pension [35] and disability in the late 1880's. On an affidavit describing his disability, Thomas wrote - "I contracted piles [36] about one month before I was discharged from service. Had traveled all day on boat. Don't remember what state it was in or what river but could find out from some of my comrades. Was landed at night and compelled to lie all night in rain without tents. It was very cold and our blankets were wet. I taken severe cold and in short time after I left service. Don't remember how many days I taken the piles and have been affected ever since with them." In later statements, his doctor verified his affliction and it was mentioned that the cold night spent was somewhere south of Washington, D.C. In spite of the fact that Thomas was unable to find anyone to verify his story, he received his monthly disability check.

The Hedricks moved to Missouri from Indiana in 1876. He homesteaded land in Pulaski County. Thomas died on January 18, 1911 at Waynesville, Missouri, Pulaski County. His wife received $30 a month widowers' pension.


Charlie and his wife were in Oklahoma Territory a number of years before statehood trying to make a living by farming rented land. Although most farmers saw Oklahoma as their big chance to own land, in truth most of it was owned by Indians and could only be leased. Newcomers to the state found prime bottom land already taken and what was left was little endowed for success.[37] Not to matter, since it was advised for white folks to stay away from the river and creek bottoms at that time anyway,-malaria being as bad as it was. One so-called expert proclaimed that only the colored seemed to be able to withstand the disease.

Charlie and Etta's first son Clint was born around Wetumka in Hughes county on May 20, 1902. Within a short while, Charlie moved east from the Wetumka area with its red clay soil and muddy creeks to the hills of Sequoyah County near the clear Illinois River which would have reminded Charlie very much of the hills in Missouri where he was reared. While Charlie was renting farmland in these hills near the community of Campbell, Rufus and Curtis Williams were born.

Things were undoubtedly tough on the young family. Customarily renters were required to give the landlord a lion's share of the crop and landlords often pressed renters to move so they could take on new renters under more favorable terms to themselves. Most farmers were scratching out a living raising a variety of crops for both the table and market, and raised any livestock, pork, or poultry that would help support them.

On Nov. 16, 1907, President Roosevelt proclaimed Oklahoma a state. Within a year Charlie moved back to Crocker, Missouri. These moves had to be stressful, considering the means of transportation available– wagons and horseback. Once in Crocker, Charlie and Etta had three more sons– Byron, Cleave (Red), and Don (Don was actually born at Waynesville). In 1908 Charlie's sister Daisy Hamilton died from typhoid fever in Crocker. [38] She was only 29. Charlie; at the relatively young age of 34, had a few uncles left around Crocker, but his immediate family had all past away.

In the summer of 1914, Charlie moved back to Campbell, which had been renamed Gore,[39] to try his hand at renting again. Probably at this time, his mother-in-law Mary Hedricks moved with the family, her husband Thomas having died three years earlier. Another child was born to the Williams. This time a daughter that they named Daisy, no doubt after Charlie's sister. Unfortunately she lived only a year and was buried near Gore, [40] dying of causes unknown. In 1919 Charlie and Etta had their final child, Virgil–making a grand total of seven sons.

On June 6, 1922, Charlie applied to the Federal Government for reimbursement of funeral costs for the burial of his mother-in-law Mary Hedricks – she was the widow of a veteran. On his application he stated that she had died April 27, 1922. She had been sick with cancer for about 3 years and had needed constant attention the last 6 months of her life – cared for by her daughter Etta.[41] His application said she was buried at Toney [Torrey?] cemetary about 6 1/2 miles N.E. of Gore. She died at Charlie's home and left nothing of value. Charlie was asking for $52 to pay the undertaker. He gave his address as RFD #1, Box 11, Gore.

December 1924 the family moved east of Wagoner to farm in the Grand River bottomland until retirement in 1937.[42] Although Charlie's Uncle Banty died in 1927, Charlie returned to visit Missouri at least once,[43] and at least some of his sons visited Missouri a few times to see the Carmacks, the Hamiltons, and others.

On February 21, 1949, Curtis Williams drove his dad Charlie to see his son Rufus, who was in the Wagoner hospital. While there Charlie felt a little ill and so stepped outside the room into the corridor to smoke his pipe. There, in a hospital corridor, Charlie fell dead to the floor of a heart attack at the old age of 74. His wife Etta lived to July 9,1963. Both are buried in Wagoner cemeteries.

View Credits and Sources for this history

| Old family Bible Image showing Williams names |
| Phillip M. Williams military headstone |
| My Grandparents-Curtis and Ola Williams |
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