(1) Transcribed information from the Samuel Williams
(2) An article found in 'Hazzard's History of Henry County'; published by George
Hazzard in 1906, documenting the Jacob Williams family. The article contains a
hand written annotation adding the names of Minnie and Bertha Williams to the list of
(3) A letter from Charles Fouts to his brother, John, dated 13 August 1935, in which
some of the history of the Williams family is discussed. This is my only source for
the mythological tale of a family ancestor being the one who killed Tecumseh at the
'Battle of the Thames'.
(4) A page from a larger, undated document containing information on the Samuel
Williams and Margarate Jacobs family. Margarate Jacobs is described as having
German or Polish Jewish ancestry and the mythological tale that one of her ancestors,
a grandfather, laid the cornerstone of the United States Capital Building.
(5) A very old photocopy of obituaries for Samuel Williams (1892) and Margarate
Jacobs (1899) taken from the 'Richmond Radical' in Richmond, Indiana.
(6) Two photocopies made in the mid 1960's of a land deed for Samuel Williams,
dated 1847 and 1854 for property in Darke County, Ohio. Both photocopies have
been cleaned up in Photoshop to make the text readable. I do not know who made
(7) The following post was found recently at
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71650. It reprints an 1874
article that purports to explain about the "gun that killed Tecumseh". Now, could this
be a clue to the ancestors of the Williams Family? Need more research. . . .
INTERESTING EVENTS IN THE HISTORY
OF AN ANCIENT RIFLE.
[From the Louisville Courier-Journal.]
Mr. Andrew Whitley, of St. Louis, en route to Lexington, visited the Courier-Journal
office yesterday with a rare relic of the earliest days of Kentucky. It was a rifle, made
by Jacob Young, of Virginia, in 1741, and owned by Mr. Whitley's grandfather, Wm.
Whitley, who was one of the first white men that came to Kentucky, and was a
companion of Daniel Boone. The Gun is as much a curiosity, on account of its great
length, as it is a prize on account of its great age, its history, and recent associations.
It is the old-time flintlock pattern, about five feet five inches in length, with a siIver
plate mounting on the stock, bearing the inscription: "W. and E. W.," which stands for
William and Easter Whitley. The gun, in the days of its usefulness, was a piece of the
family property, and the wife learned as well as the husband to coolly draw the bead
on a deer or an Indian, whenever occasion required. The weapon is of large bore, with
perfect rifle, and the stock and ferruled rammer are apparently in perfectly sound
condition. Accompanying the gun is a large powder-horn of beautiful shape, carrying a
large supply of powder, and suiting the use of the hunter as well as the ordinary small
hunting flask or horn, its shape being as well adapted to the purpose. The horn is well
known throughout the State, and bears on one side the following verses, carved in the
bony substance. The words were composed, by Wm. Whitley himself, and will
doubtless be remembered by many readers of the Courier-Journal familiar with the
lives of the early settlers:
William Whitley, I am your horn;
The truth I love, a lie I scorn.
Fill me with, best of powder,
Ile make your rifle crack the lowder.
See how the dread terrifick ball
Makes Indians bleed and toreys fall.
You with powder Ile supply
For to defend your Liberty.
The belt to which the horn is attached is heavily ornamented with beads made of the
quills of porcupines, which are said to have been killed in Kentucky. After passing
through all the scenes of terror enacted on the dark and bloody ground, incident to the
settlement of the commonwealth by the whites, the faithful old rifle was associated
with events which add great interest to its history.
William Whitley was a soldier in the war of 1812, and directed the bullets of his
old-time friend against the British and Indians at the battle of the Thames, Canada.
Here he was killed in the thick of the fight, but the gun was preserved and returned to
his people in Kentucky. Some time before the recent civil war the present owner
came to this State, found the gun in the possession of Mrs. Sallie Ann Higgins, near
Crab Orchard, and purchased it at a cost of $150. He carried the relic to his home in
St. Louis, where he kept it until the breaking out of the war, when he was arrested at
Camp Jackson during the demonstration there on the llth day of May, 1861, and was
for some time a prisoner in Federal hands. A short time previous to this occurrence,
While contemplating entering the Confederate army, he placed the gun in the keeping
of a man named Bates, the janitor of Wyman's Museum, St.Louis. A short time
afterward the museum changed hands, and Bates went to Canada, taking the gun with
him. At the close of the war Whitley returned home, and immediately afterward
commenced looking after Bates and his gun, but all efforts to find the man proved
fruitless until about twelve months ago, when Bates returned to St. Louis, and was
engaged in the business of stuffing birds and animals for a natural history depot. His
name appeared soon after in the public prints, and by this means his whereabout was
revealed to Mr. Whitley. He went immediately to the place, found Mr.Bates, who
readily recognized him as the owner of the gun, and in due time delivered to him the
valuable family relic, which he had kept in good order for twelve years.
On returning to Kentucky on a visit a few days ago, Mr. Whitley went down to Crab
Orchard and obtained from Mrs. Higgins the horn and belt, which were the only
acconterments belonging to the highly prized piece. Mr. Whitley has refused an offer
of $500 for the gun, and would be loth to part with it at any price.
Peace through superior firepower.