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Williams, John (Springfield, IL)

Born: 1808-09-11 Bath County, Kentucky

Died: 1890-05-29 Springfield, Illinois

Flourished: 1852-04-07 Springfield, Illinois

Williams first started working at a store in Owensville, Kentucky, before moving to Sangamon County, Illinois, with his family in 1824. He settled in Springfield and soon acquired a job in Elijah Iles' store. He worked there for six years before becoming owner in 1830. In 1840, he married Lydia Porter, with whom he had six children. He was a friend of Abraham Lincoln's, and their children played together. In 1851, Williams became a charter stockholder in the Springfield Marine & Fire Insurance Company. A Whig and later a Republican, Williams campaigned for Lincoln in 1860. In 1864, he chartered the First National Bank and became its first president.

Susan Krause, Kelley A. Boston, and Daniel W. Stowell, Now They Belong to the Ages: Abraham Lincoln and his Contemporaries in Oak Ridge Cemetery (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2005), 110-12.