Joseph S. Williamson, one of the leading farmers and most favorably known citizens of Douglas county, was born August 22, 1840, near Muncie, Indiana. He is a son of Peter Williamson and Rosana, his wife. His father was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, and his mother in Germany. His paternal grandfather, Joseph Williamson, was a native of New Jersey, and his maternal grandfather, Jdhn Adams Shaffer, came from Germany.

Joseph S. Williamson was reared and educated in Muncie. In early life he taught school during the winters and worked upon the farm in crop time, after which he spent three years with a New York dry-goods firm. In 1865 he came to this stale and located in Tuscola, where he was successfully engaged in the mercantile business in partnership with the late C W. Calvert for six years. In 1870 he returned to Indiana and located at Mount Summit, where he was engaged in mercantile business. In 1876 he returned to Douglas county, where he has been engaged in agriculture and stock raising on the present farm, containing one hundred and sixty acres, and which is one of the best improved farms in the county. He has been twice married. His first wife, Miss Rebecca Ice, who died in 1875, was a daughter of Colonel Jesse Ice, of the war of 1812, and Sarah Ice, whose maiden name was Hickman. There were born to their marriage five children. The living are: Jesse Peter, Francis Eugene and Joseph Alva. Deceased: James and Andrew, His second wife, Miss Frances R. L. Kinsey, is a daughter of the late Joseph Kinsey and Josina, his wife, who was also a daughter of the above Col. Jesse Ice. To their marriage were born six children. The living are: Pearl May, Harry K., Earle W., William L., and Mira Marie. Deceased, George L.

Mr. Williamson, while a resident of Tuscola, was identified with the board of education, a member of the board of aldermen, and, though never an office seeker, has filled many other positions of honor and trust. In all these public capacities he has been faithful, and by his careful study of the political principles of our country and his deep interest in education has proved his devotion and interest in the common welfare of the people. For some time his health has not been good and the past winter he and Mrs. Williamson spent in Florida in search of health. Socially Mr. Williamson is agreeable and companionable and has many friends who appreciate his worth as a neighbor and Christian gentleman.

Extracted 09 Jun 2019 by Norma Hass from the Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois, published in 1900, pages 199-200.

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