COL. THOMAS WILLIAMS
BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
(1825 – 1903)
Virginia, Elmore and Coosa County, Alabama
(Excerpt from History of Coosa County: by the Rev. George Evans Brewer, 1887)
Though the history of Col. Thomas Williams properly belongs to Elmore, yet so much of his life belonged to Coosa that his name will be remembered as belonging to it. His father was the Rev. John D. Williams of Virginia, who came to Wetumpka in 1834, and was long well and favorably known in affairs, financial, religious, political, of the county. He brought ample means with him, but by his ventures in business, when the crash came in 1837 and the following years, he lost the bulk of his property. His sons, Thomas and Robert, therefore failed of the educational advantages that would otherwise have been theirs. But they rose above all their disadvantages to become men of means and influence. Robert became a physician and planter.
Thomas was born in Virginia in 1825. He became a successful lawyer and planter. He died at Mt. Meigs. He had accumulated several good fortunes, lost them, but with each loss, by pluck and energy, would succeed again, until the last, a few years since. He attended strictly to his legal and private business, until in an exigency of the party in 1878 without his knowledge, or preconcerted (sic) arrangement of friends, in the deep hours of night, he was nominated for Congress from his District.
Several times before his friends had tried to get him to accept office, but he would not be persuaded. The committee appointed to wait on him from the Convention, went to his house at the late hour, and aroused him from bed to tell him he was the choice of the party to bear their banner. He tried to decline, but they would take no refusal. He proved a very attractive stump speaker, and beat his opponent, Major Henry McCoy, badly. He was successively re-elected several times.
He was a warm-hearted, generous man, of popular address, and always made friends where he went. For a number of years he has been one of the Trustees of the A. P. I., at Auburn, until his recent death, 1903. Though his parents and brothers and sisters were Baptists, he united with the Methodist church. His mother was a saintly woman, beloved by all who knew her. She was baptized when the earth was covered with snow. When her marriage occurred again a mantle of snow was upon the ground; and she used to express the wish that it might be so when she was buried. Her wish was gratified, for she was laid away during a large snow early in 1880, when she had reached about her ninetieth year.
Thomas Williams (August 11, 1825 – April 13, 1903) was a United States Representative from Alabama.
Williams was born near Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from the University of East Tennessee in Knoxville. He was admitted to the Alabama bar in 1852 and began practicing law in Wetumpka, Alabama.
Williams held various minor public offices over the years, such as justice of the peace and register of chancery. In 1872, he was appointed prison inspector. In 1878, he was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served from March 4, 1879, to March 3, 1885.
After leaving office, Williams returned to Wetumpka and took up farming until his death