David S. Williams is one of the important factors in, the industrial realm of Latah and Nez Perces Counties; although at the present time he is located on a farm four miles west from Ahsahka, which is the family residence. He has been a man of energy and talent and many places have been built up by his labors and skill. In addition to farming, Mr. Williams is a skilled contractor and builder.

David S. Williams was born in Clearmont County, Ohio, on October 17, 1848, being the son of Alexander and Lydia A. (Smith) Williams, natives of Ohio. The father was born in 1818, settled as a pioneer in Adams County, Illinois in 1849, and died in 1898. The mother was born in 1825 and died in 1895. David labored with his father and attended school until twenty-two and then in 1871, he took a trip to the plains and spent seven months shooting buffalo. Returning to Illinois, he settled to farming for two years and then went to Cass County, Missouri and took up farming and raising mules. Three years later, he went to Labette County, Kansas, and two years after that he was in Arkansas. One year there and we find Mr. Williams in Chautauqua County, Kansas, where he took land, farmed and raised stock. Two years later he went to Indian Territory and leased land from the Cherokees and farmed. We next see Mr. Williams in Coffeyville, Kansas, where he contracted and did bridge building. In 1887, he came west to Pomeroy, Washington, and for one year he contracted building in that town. Next he came to Genesee and built many of the edifices there. Taking a homestead on Cedar creek, Nez Perces County, he commuted four years later and sold. He bought a ranch near Juliaetta and farmed for nine years. It was 1901, when he came to his present place and he has a first class place and good buildings.

On November 4, 1873, in Illinois, Mr. Williams married Miss Mary E., daughter of Cornelius and Jane (Byers) Humphrey, natives of Illinois and Tennessee. The father was a pioneer in Morgan County. Mrs. Williams was born in Brown County, Illinois, in 1855 and has one brother, John, in Colorado, and one sister, Jennie Thyre, at Bartlettsville, Indian Territory. Mr. Williams has the following named brothers and sisters: Amos and Stephan, who were in the Civil war, Harvey, Abigail, Rachel, Martha, and Laura. To our worthy subject and his estimable wife, there have been born six children, Martha D. Craig, Cornelia O’Keiffe, Anna, Allen A., Cora, and Nora.

The family affiliate with the Baptist church. In Chautauqua County, Mr. Williams was school treasurer, being elected on the Democratic ticket. He has served on school boards for fifteen years and has done much for the cause of education.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903