Home | Directory | News | Discover Wayne County | Find It Fast | Knowledge Center | Things To Do | Find a Member

Talk of the Town
[ Contents ]

This section has been archived and is READ-ONLY.


From: Norman Williams at cknorm@ij.net
Date: 11/17/99
Time: 4:24:58 PM
Remote Name:



I was born in Richmond in 1917. It was an old fashion place with an economy based on the power of the horse and wagon. My ancestors who were Quakers came to Indiana from North Carolina through the Cumberland Gap. They came with all their possessions in wagons and buggies. I can picture covered wagons coming into Richmond after a long difficult journey from North Carolina. Many came because the Quakers were opposed to slavery and moved to Indiana because of a promise of a better life and farm land where the corn grew tall. I am related to Levi Coffin who was the President of the Underground Railway. Levi took care of the slave Liza who crossed the Ohio River on ice flows to escape from slavery in Kentucky. This story was part of the book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" that told the story of slaves in the south. Levi came to Indiana as a school teacher who was forbidden to teach slaves in his school in Guilford County at New Garden. New Garden was a Quaker community of some 60 acres that my great, great, great grandfather Richard Williams gave as a cemetary and meeting place for the Quakers. His farm was located on the Horsepen Creek which is a dense growth in the little creek that was used ot contain the horses of my ancestor. It is my opinion that horses played a big part in the Williams family. I recently discovered that my ancestor was named Richard Williams after Sir Richard Williams a knight in the court of King Henry VIII. Sir Richard rode his horse to unseat the champion of Europe in a jousting tournament. King Henry was so pleased that he gave Sir Richard the ring from his finger and said thou art my Dick. The Williams family was one of the wealthiest and most prosperous families in England during the reign of the Tudor Kings. Sir Richard's house called Hinchingbrooke is still in England today and you can see it on the Internet. You can take a virtual tour of the place by clicking on the windows of the house. Richard Williams in North Carolina is buried someplace in that cemetary. I went there and stood near the location of the Richard Williams oak tree and went into the church nearby. It was on the New Garden Road that the British soldiers were killed in an ambush by the Americans hiding behind the trees. This was the beginning of the Battle of Guilford Court House in the last part of the American Revolutionary War. The Americans were defeated but they destroyed the British forces and they left North Carolina to go to Yorktown in Virginia. Here Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington ending the American Revolution. The wounded British and American soldiers were left with the Quakers to take care of and my ancestor Richard Williams caught small pox from a British officer and died. His fourth child was also named Richard Williams and he came to Wayne County Indiana to a farm near Fountain City. I am Norman Williams the grandson of King Rider Williams and Harriet Haxton of Greensfork, Indiana. My grandfather King Rider Williams had only one eye because a horse kicked it out. Horses played a big part in the Williams family and I grew up at a time when the horse was the way of life. I live in Florida today and you can write to me Email on the Internet at cknorm@ij.net

Revised: January 20, 2006