Wesley Williams

Wesley Williams
Ruth Williams

Wesley Williams is one of the prominent pioneer founders of this County and of Western Illinois.  He is a interred here because he died at the home of his son-in-law Samuel L. Spangler in Hancock Township.  (At the home of his daughter Isabel)

He was born in Lincoln County, Kentucky, March 24, 1792 and passed from this life at his daughter's home in eastern Hancock County, Illinois May 12, 1870, aged 78 years, 1 month and to 18 days.

His second wife whom he married in this County June 9, 1831 (Mrs. Ruth Scoby before marriage to him), who died the same year he died rests here with him.  His first wife who was Elizabeth Ayers whom he married in the bourbon County, Kentucky April 2, 1816 was not brought to Illinois and he obtained a divorce from her here in Hancock County courts.

Wesley Williams was a prominent figure in his young days before he came to our county.  He resided in Kentucky till he was in his early 30s, serving with the Kentucky militia in the war of 1812 and also in the Indian wars of that time.  He was one of the Kentucky and who backed the general William Henry Harrison (later President Harrison) on fields of blood Indies Indian campaigns.  He was the commissioned officer in the Kentucky militia, a lieutenant at one time, a captain at another.

About 1825 for 1826 he most our state of Illinois.  He located in Quincy in Adams County in September of 1827.  Here he became a justice of the peace.

He took up residence in Hancock County when it was set up as a county in 1829.  Here he was the public figure for the next 40 years, holding various Carthage municipal offices, county offices and federal positions.

He was identified with the business interests of the county's in various enterprises also for many years.  He also did some farming.

For biographical material about him see the 1880 Gregg County History, page 218 and page 785.  See also the 1907 "Biographical review of Hancock County".  Page 669.

The Williams family of which Wesley Williams was a distinguished member has been prominent in Western Illinois from the beginning of the white settlements 150 years ago till our many of the 20th century, holding a number of public offices ranging from the township positions to the state legislature.  Judge John W. Williams of Carthage deceased at the age of '98 about 1963 or perhaps 1964, will be recalled in this respect.