Biography of Mark H. Williams

Mark H. Williams, now living retired at Barnes and enjoying the accumulations of many well spent years, is a veteran of the Civil war and had been a resident of Barnes and of the State of Kansas since 1885.

He is a native Pennsyivanian, and the family was introduced to that state from Scotland by his grandfather, Evan Williams, who was born in Scotland in 1771. He was a millwright by trade, and followed that occupation for many years in Pennsylvania. He died in Center County, of that state, in 1854.

It was in Center County, Pennsylvania, that Mark H. Williams was born July 29, 1842. His father, John Williams, was born in Chester County, Penngylvania, in 1811, took up the same vocation as his father, and worked at that trade in Pennsylvania. His death occurred in Center County in 1876. He was a democrat and a member of the Lutheran Church. He married Catherine Watson, who was born in Clariou County, Pennsylvania, in 1813 and died in Center County in 1846. They had four children: Even Thomas, a blacksmith by trade who died in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1873; Mark H.; Hannah Jane, who died in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, in 1897, and her husband, S. P. Davison, also deceased, was a lumberman; John Irving is a carpenter and contractor but is now postmaster of Lamont, Center County, Pennsylvanis.

Mark H. Williams had a brief education in the public schools of Center County. He may be said to have supported himself since he was seven years of age. He worked on farms in his native county and in Jefferson County was employed in the woods and in sawmills until the outbreak of the war. In 1861. he entered the three months’ service of the Eighth Pennsylvania Infantry and re-enlisted in the Eighteenth United States Infantry. He was first sergeant of Company F, Second Battalion and was in active duty as a soldier until January, 1865. He saw some of the hardest fighting of the war, at Stone River, Chickamanga, Missionary Ridge, and was in the Atlanta campaign, his last important battle being at Jonesboro, Georgia.

Following the war Mr. Williams returned to Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, and was employed in the woods and sawmills until 1880. In that year he removed to Wooster, Ohio, was a farmer there and in 1885 came to Barnes, Kansas, and established the Barnes Enterprise, the first paper of that village. The first issue of the Enterprise was dated August 6, 1885, and it contihued in existence until 1895. Mr. Williams conducted the paper until 1890, when he sold out. In the meantime he had entered the real estate and insurance business and he still writes some insurance though he is practically retired. He owned considerable real estate, including lots in Barnes and the bank building on Center Street, and his other chief interest is as a stockholder and director in the State Exchange Bank.

Mr. Williams is a republican and was formerly identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Improved Order of Red Men and the Grand Army of the Republic.

In 1865, in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, he married Miss Sarah J. Davison, daughter of I. H. and Isabelle (Lemon) Davison. Both her parents are long since deceased, her father having been a farmer. Mrs. Williams died at Barnes August 22, 1895, leaving no children.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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