Williams, Archibald

Born: 1801-06-10 Montgomery County, Kentucky

Died: 1863-09-21 Quincy, Illinois

Archibald Williams, father of John H. Williams, was admitted to practice law in Tennessee in 1828, and the following year moved to Quincy, Illinois, and opened a law office. Williams was a Whig and later a Republican, and during his political career, he served in the Illinois Senate (1832-36), Illinois House of Representatives (1837-40), as a member of the 1847 Illinois constitutional convention, and as United States district attorney for Illinois. In 1857, Williams formed a partnership with his son and Jackson Grimshaw, establishing the firm of Williams, Grimshaw & Williams. Their partnership dissolved in 1861, when President Abraham Lincoln appointed Williams district judge for the state of Kansas, a position he held until his death.

Arthur Charles Cole, ed., The Constitutional Debates of 1847, vol. 14 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, Constitutional Series (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1919), 982; Frederic B. Crossley, Courts and Lawyers of Illinois (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1916), 1:230-31; Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: The Chicago Legal News, 1879), 238-43; John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 1:182-183, 2:880; David F. Wilcox, ed., Quincy and Adams County: History and Representative Men (Chicago and New York: Lewis, 1919), 151; The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men: Illinois Volume (Chicago: American Biographical, 1876), 151-52, 573. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.