Birth: March 25, 1850, Livingston County, Michigan
From Harriet Taylor Upton, A Twentieth Century History of Trumbull County, Ohio, A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1909), Volume 2, pp. 249-250:
JAMES P. WILLIAMS, one of the esteemed farmers residing in Vienna township, along the rural free delivery route No. 5, running out from Warren, Ohio, is a native of Michigan, born in Livingston county of that state, march 25, 1850, a son of Hiram and Ellen (Stewart) Williams. The father was a native of Scotland, born in Perth county. The mother died with James P. was about one year old, hence he knows but little of her history, but it is supposed that she was born in America. The father came to this country alone when a young man and remained in New York City for some time, but later drifted to Michigan, entering a piece of government land within Livingston county. This was largely timber land and he was compelled to go through the laborious process of clearing up a farm from out the dense forest. He was a farmer, honest and true throughout his days, dying about 1880 in Livingston county on his farm. He had married in New York state before coming west and his faithful wife died on the farm above named. Later he married again. His children were Thomas, deceased; Sarah, deceased; Mary, wife of John Harris, residing in Howell, Michigan; James P., of this sketch.
James P. Williams was a student at the public schools in the Osceola district in his native county, attending school only during the winter months. He has made his own way through life since twelve years of age, when he commenced work as a farm hand and at other labor, thus early becoming used to the rugged ways of a son of honest toil. When twenty-six years of age he came to Vienna township, Trumbull county, Ohio, where he was employed by a man who operated a saw mill. Here he hauled lumber and logs for about four years. The next two years were spent at the same kind of work for another mill man. At the end of the last named period Mr. Williams was married, after which he resided on his father-in-law’s farm for two years, and in 1889 he purchased twenty-two acres of land, constituting his present homestead, where he has made all the valuable improvements and expects to remain there the balance of his days. He is interested in that most independent of all occupations—general farming.
On April 14, 1883, James P. Williams was united in marriage to Mary Nowling, born in Vienna township, this county, February 7, 1853, a daughter of Hubbard and Elvira (Clark) Nowling. Her father was born in this township, June 28, 1828, and her mother in Fowler township, February 7, 1833.
The paternal grandfather, Joseph Nowling, became an early settler, probably in what is now Vienna township. He died of small-pox when the father was a small boy. The father became a carpenter [sic] and painter, which trades he followed throughout his entire life, his death occurring November 3, 1881. The faithful wife and mother died October 27, 1881. Besides Mrs. Williams, the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard Nowling were: John, residing in Vienna township; Frank, in Liberty township; and Martha, unmarried, residing at Vienna.
Mr. and Mrs. Williams are the parents of these children: Grave Elvira, born February 9, 1884, wife of Robert Kingsley, residing in Fowler township, on a farm; Mamye Philena, born December 25, 1885; Nellie Ethelyn, born September 15, 1889, who is a graduate of the Warren Business College and lives at home.
Politically, James P. Williams is a Republican, but has never cared to be an officeholder. In all that is true and loyal, as citizen and friend, he measures up to the standard of excellence and his life has ever been an exemplary one in the community wherein he has lived and labored.