Biographical History of Pottawattmie Co., IA - John E. WILLIAMS
Biographical History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa

JOHN E. WILLIAMS, a farmer and stock-raiser of Hazel Dell Township, was born in South Wales, October 22, 1841, the son of Daniel and Margaret (Evans) Williams, of Welsh extraction.  The parents, natives of Wales, came to America in 1856, sailing from Liverpool February 14, and locating in Luzern County, Pennsylvania, at Pittston, and four years afterward they removed to Utah, but remained there only one year; then they located in Audubon County, Iowa, for one year, and finally, in 1863, they settled in Pottawattamie County.  The father died in September 1862, at the age of forty-eight years, in Audubon County.  The widow and her children then moved to this county, locating near the Bluffs, in Kane Township, where they spent a year, and then moved to what is now Garner Township and resided there four years.  During this latter period Mr. Williams married Elizabeth Peterson, a native of Sweden, who was but four years of age when brought to America.  His mother now resides in Merrick County, Nebraska, and is now seventy-four years of age.  In her family, were eleven children; five died in Wales, and six came to this country, namely: Daniel J., a resident of Hazel Dell Township; John E. was the next; Ruth, a resident of the Pacific slope; Margaret, wife of David Nixon; Samuel, now residing at Grand Island, Nebraska; Annie, now Mrs. John Robinson, of Clarkesville, Nebraska.  Their father was a stone and brick mason by trade, but turned his attention to various occupations.

Mr. Williams, our subject, remained but a short time in Garner Township, when he came to Hazel Dell Township, April 18, 1867, and purchased 120 acres on sections 7 and 18, then absolutely wild land.  Upon this place he moved a small dwelling about 14 x 16 feet in dimensions and occupied it one summer.  In the fall he erected a residence 14 x 15, in which, with some additions, he resided until he erected his present dwelling, in 1884, a two-story frame 16 x 28 and 18 x 15, on a modern plan.  It is one of the nicest residences in that part of the country.  Good barns and other neat enclosures ornament and add value to the place.  There is also an orchard of about 150 good trees, besides shade and ornamental trees.  Mr. Williams now owns 200 acres of fine land, all in one body, which he has been enabled to purchase by his own industrious efforts.  By his first marriage he had five children: Mary, now the wife of Jacob Konkler, and residing at Council Bluffs; Samuel E., a resident of Garner Township; Josephine, wife of Edward Jones, of Council Bluffs; George, residing in Garner Township; and Daniel, residing in Boomer Township.  Mr. Williams lost his first wife in May 18, 1872, and he was married a third time January 23, 1887, to Mrs. Rachel Howland, widow of H. H. Howland and daughter of John and Cincinnati (Dunkerson) Ballew, natives of Kentucky and of French and German origin.  Her father died April 7, 1882, at the age of sixty-two years, and her mother is still living near Kansas City, Missouri.  Mrs. Williams was born in Mercer County, Missouri, December 18, 1848.  By her first marriage she was the mother of two children: Hattie, wife of C. C. Greene, of Council Bluffs; and Frank, at home.  By the present marriage of Mr. Williams there is one child, John A., who was born September 16, 1888.

Mr. Williams is a Democrat, and he has served as a member of the School Board.

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