The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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makes him one of the finest farms in Emmett township.  He still owns this farm except forty acres of his old homestead which he deeded his wife in 1886.  He married Miss Lutie Campbell January 13, 1880; two children were born to them, the eldest Ernest, born November 25, 1880; the second child, Ida, was born March 13, 1882.  This proved to be an unhappy union, so in 1884 they separated; they were divorced in April 1886, the court giving the children and the forty acres of land above described to Mrs. Nelson.  She afterward married Edward Daily, they reside at Holdredge [Holdrege], Nebraska at this time.

Nelson lives in Norton but gives his entire attention to farming and stock raising; he owns some city property in Norton and would probably have been one of our wealthiest citizens only for his domestic trouble.  In the county seat contest he was a Norton man but contrary to the usual rule that applies to the former subject of King Oscar, the Second, Nelson votes the Democratic ticket.

No complete history of Norton county could be written without making prominent mention of Richard Williams.  His ancestors came from England early in the seventeenth century.  They belonged to the society of Friends or Quakers.  The right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences being denied them by the Crown, they, like William Penn, sought a country where political and religious liberty were guaranteed them.  They settled in Virginia and remained there until the year 1800 when Richard's grandfather moved to Columbiana county, Ohio.  At this time Benj. Williams, Richard's father was but 18 years old; ten years later on May 18, 1820, Richard was born.  When he was nineteen years williams_r.jpg (52346 bytes) old he moved to Perry County, in the same state, where on October 25, 1832, he was married to Miss Elizabeth McDonald.  Ten children  were born to them; all of them except the youngest son were born in Perry county, Ohio.  They moved to Vernon county, Wisconsin, and settled near Viroqua in the spring of 1855.  They remained there for fifteen years and what might be said the best years of his life was spent there helping to develop that country.  In 1870 they moved to Brown county, Kansas, and in April 1873 moved to Norton county and settled on the Prairie Dog four miles east of Norton.  Richard's brother Benjamin, Joshua Lieurance, Richard's sons John, Isaiah, Frank, Bert, and his daughter Mrs. Hope and her three sons composed the party that came here overland from Brown county.  They were camped at Yellow Springs, between here and Kirwin, for three days during that terrible snow storm of April 13, 1873.  After Jim Maggard had proved up on the Norton town site Richard Williams purchased it from him and then organized the Norton Town association.  They platted sixty acres of it and started in to build a city, and the fact that Norton retained the county seat was largely due to the liberality of Mr. Williams; while others worked as faithfully as he for the success of Norton yet he was always called on when money was needed.  He was the only member of the town company who had any cash in early days.  Had he abandoned the fight and refused financial aid, Leota would be the county seat today.  The life of Richard Williams was truly that of a pioneer but the fruits of his labors were left to those who followed him.  He was a man of untiring energy, the soul of honor in all his personal and business relations, generous and liberal to aid in any commendable enterprise, and in the hospitable home friend or stranger always met with a hearty reception.  His house was everybody's home and the hand of want and poverty never knocked on his door in vain.  In all questions of public importance

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