Source: Helm, History of Wabash County (1884), p. 298
J.W. Williams is a prominent druggist and successful business man of North Manchester, Ind. J.W. Williams was born in Clark County, Ohio, February 7, 1824. His paternal grandfather, Enyon Williams, was of Welsh descent, and moved from North Carolina to Highland County, Ohio, during the pioneer days of that section of the country. Enyon Williams was the father of eight children, of whom Peter, the father of J.W. Williams, was the oldest. Peter Williams was born in North Carolina, and accompanied his parents to Highland County, Ohio, where they died. During the year 1812, Peter Williams was married to Nancy Willis, by whom he had five children, viz., Mary, Martha, William (deceased), Clark (deceased) and John W. Peter Williams departed this life in 1831, at his home in Clark County, Ohio. J.W. Williams remained in his native county until reaching his thirteenth year, when he came to Wabash County, Ind., and located upon the present site of North Manchester, Ind., although no town existed there at that time. Mr. Williams received a good common school education, and during the years 1839 and 1840, attended a select school in the village of Richmond, Ind. Upon his return from school, he accepted a position in general store at North Manchester, owned by Asa Beauchamp. In 1856, Mr. Williams began the drug business in North Manchester, and has since succeeded in securing a large and lucrative trade. He has always been an energetic business man, and although he had a profitable drug trade, during the years 1863 and 1864, he was a partner in a dry goods store in North Manchester, owned and conducted by himself and D.B. Wendell. From 1866 to 1869, Mr. Williams was associated in business with Marshall & Tilman, but since the latter firm was dissolved he has given his attention to the sale of drugs. Mr. Williams has been twice married. His first marriage occurred in 1844, the bride being Charity J. Kirk, a native of Virginia. By this union they were the parents of five children, only one of whom survives, viz., Jirah Barlow, who has been associated in the drug store with his father since 1872. The first Mrs. Williams having died in 1856. Mr. Williams was again married, April 5, 1857, to Miss Elizabeth Kohser, born near Strasburg, Germany. By the latter marriage they had three children, two of whom survive, viz., Mary C. and Willie H. Mr. Williams has served in the capacity of Justice of the Peace twelve years, and also acted in the capacity of Township Clerk several years. He is a member of the Encampment and I.O.O.F. and has passed all the chairs of the Subordinate Lodge. To none of the many enterprising residents of North Manchester is that city more indebted for substantial encouragement than to J.W. Williams. Through a life of honest industry he has advanced from moderate circumstances to opulence, and has dispensed his bounty for the improvement of the town, and to ameliorate the condition of those to whom fortune had been less kind than to himself, instead of hoarding his gains and adding to a fortune already ample. By the course he has pursued in life he has endeared himself to all who know him, and his record as a business man, a friend and a Christian gentleman is stamped indelibly upon the memories of all, while the advancement of public enterprises, to which he has lent encouragement, is felt and appreciated by all his many acquaintances.
Since above was prepared Mr. J.W. Williams has been summoned to surrender the enjoyments of this life. He died of dropsy February 14, 1884.