Williams Family from Evansville, Indiana

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Before 1900

Andrew Williams

Amelia Williams

 

This is before Walter and Marie. Walter’s parents Andrew and Amelia start raising a large family in this period but Walter doesn’t come along until 1908. The children are all girls before 1900 and that makes it tough on father Andrew Jackson Williams as a farmer. The family farm is in Posey County at the very south-west corner of Indiana. The nearest town is West Franklin—a port of call on the Ohio River for steamboats needing wood for fuel. West Franklin is a few miles to the east of the family farm. The farmers are constantly clearing the land of trees to make way for crop planting. The Diegs saw mill operated there for many years. Andrew’s father left there to fight in the Civil War for General Sherman and was wounded at Atlanta. His great grandfather Elkanah Williams was born about the time of the Constitution being drafted and was a pioneer in about 1810 into the area that became Evansville and West Franklin. He died in 1816, the year before Abe Lincoln moved into the area which Abe described as wild and dangerous with bears and Indian attacks.

In this period, Marie’s mother, Lula Barth, is likely still living in the small town of Tennyson just 15 miles east of Evansville in Warrick Co. and just 5 miles east of Boonville. Living on the farm of her parents Jacob and Katherine Barth who, like Andrew and Amelia, also had a rather large family of ten or so. Jacob was from Birkenfehl, Germany and Catherine, called Kate, from Chicago with the maiden name Bickel. Marie remembers Grandma Kate as loving to return to her native Chicago often for vacations by train and would take her featherbed mattress with her. The Tennyson homestead is just 8 miles from Lincoln City Indiana where in 1817 Abraham Lincoln’s family started over with an 8 year old Abe. Although Lula grew up there and she helped briefly home teach Howard Williams in 1948, she never mentioned this to him.

Walter Williams' birthplace

Henry’s mother Rosena was first married to a Mr. Ellis before marrying John Bollinger who had immigrated from Switzerland in 1872. She had Henry, Lydia and Alfred by 1883. By 1900, Rosena and John were also divorced and John was working on a farm for a family in Germantown Township about 5 miles north by northwest of Evansville’s city hall. Marie remembers her dad taking the family in a Model T on 5 mile “loop” drive up Stringtown Hill and visiting Rosena at her log cabin where Henry was born. It is very likely that the “loop” is the same one on which Marie took her children for Sunday drives. Howard believes, from memories and questioning Marie, that the loop drive went west on Campground Road to Kratzville Road and back around to Eichel. The cabin was likely either on Campground or Kratzville roads and likely near the Salem cemetery (formerly Campground Cemetery) on Campground Road (straight west of Dress Airport). Marie would visit Grandma Rose on weekends and stay overnight to go to church.

 

Copyright © 2001 Williams Family from Evansville, Indiana