Washington Williams

WASHINGTON WILLIAMS, who conducts a first-class blacksmith shop at Columbus, on Pennsylvania avenue, one block north of the square, was born in Brooke County, Virginia, now West Virginia, in 1852, and is a son of Thomas and Christina (Mendell) Williams.

In February, 1871, after the death of his mother, the subject of this sketch came, with the family, to Cherokee County, Kansas. The father, however, soon returned to West Virginia, where he remained until his death, in 1877. He was a cooper and farmer. The family consisted of eight children, the two others who located in Kansas being George, now of California, who resided for a time at Galena, and Valentine, who until his death was a farmer in Salamanca township.

Washington Williams was schooled in his native locality, but learned his trade after coming to Columbus, working in the blacksmith shop of Ben. Dilworth, one of the early smiths and well known residents of the city. Mr. Williams afterwards formed a partnership with S. B. Jay and they continued to work together for two years; a partnership with the late Robert Neal lasted the same length of time. Then he and David Martin became associated and remained together for nine years, when Mr. Williams continued alone, and Mr. Martin opened a shop in another part of the city. Mr. Williams is thus one of the city's early business men, and one of the oldest. He has always had a large amount of work, and until the present time has had a skilled man in his employ. He is so well known here that he is familiarly and affectionately known as "Wash" Williams.

On January 1, 1878, at Columbus, Mr. Williams was married to Lizzie Coble, and they have three children,—Bessie, Floyd and Lola, The family belong to the Presbyterian Church, in which Mr. Williams is a deacon.

Politically, Mr. Williams is a Republican. He has served for seven years as a member of the Board of Education, and in every way is a representative citizen. His fraternal and social connections are with the Odd Fellows; Modern Woodmen of America; Sons and Daughters of Justice; and, together with his wife, with the Rebekahs. He is also a member of the Anti Horse Thief Association. His long residence in Columbus makes Mr. Williams an encyclopedia of information concerning this locality, and he has known personally many of the makers of history in this part of Kansas.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/11/97.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

tcward@columbus-ks.com

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