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WILLIAMS, STEPHEN

WILLIAMS, STEPHEN (1760–1839). Stephen Williams, soldier and early East Texas settler, son of Richard and Ann Williams, was born on May 9, 1760, in Granville County (later Bertie County), North Carolina. He joined the American revolutionary armies at the age of eighteen and fought at the battles of Briar Creek, Camden, and Eutaw Springs. He was mustered out of the service after the expiration of his third enlistment in 1782. He married Delilah Stallings in 1779. After the war Williams acquired bounty land in Georgia before moving westward to Louisiana. During the winter of 1814–15 he helped guard the Madisonville naval yards against the British invasion of the latter stages of the War of 1812. Williams, a blacksmith by trade, suffered from severe rheumatism from 1816 to 1824, which severely limited his business. After several desperate efforts to repay debts incurred during the period, he moved to Texas in 1830. He was by this time a widower with at least five children. He settled in what later became northern Newton County, then moved west to what is now Jasper County. As Texan dissatisfaction with Mexican authority grew, Williams again volunteered for military service in 1835, at the age of seventy-five, and served under Capt. James Chessher. With four of his grandsons he participated in the siege of Bexar. Williams eventually claimed two-thirds of a league of land and a town lot in Jasper. The veteran of three wars died in April 1839 and was buried at his home in Jasper. As part of the Texas Centennial celebration his body was moved to the State Cemetery in Austin.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Madeleine Martin, More Early Southeast Texas Families (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1978). Newton County Historical Commission, Glimpses of Newton County History (Burnet, Texas: Nortex, 1982). Gifford E. White, 1830 Citizens of Texas (Austin: Eakin, 1983).

Robert Wooster

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Robert Wooster, "WILLIAMS, STEPHEN," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwi37), accessed August 20, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.