John Benjamin Williams

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John Benjamin Williams
Born June 12, 1817
Venice, Cayuga, New York
Died March 8, 1851
Weston, Platte, Missouri
Father John Andrew Williams
Mother Mercy Farrington
Spouse(s) Clarissa Harden

John Benjamin Williams (June 12, 1817 - March 8, 1851)



John Benjamin Williams was born June 12, 1817 in Venice, New York, a small town located in Cayuga County, which lies in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Very little is known about his early life.

In September 1938, John married Clarissa Harden and they settled in Venice, about mile away from his brothers. In 1840 John and Clarissa had their first child, a boy they named James Return. A girl was added to the family in April 1842 with the birth of Susan Clarissa but the joy was short-lived as John's father died the same month after a long illness.

It was about this time that John and Clarissa and John's sister Sarah became aware of the teachings of Mormon preachers in the area, and John and Clarissa were baptized into the Mormon faith on July 4, 1842. Soon after joining the Mormons, they began to lay in supplies and made plans to move to Nauvoo, Illinois. They were unable to sell their property in Venice, so a few months after the birth of their third child, Bateman Haight, they abandoned their farm, horses, cattle, and sheep, and left for Nauvoo with John's sister Sarah. John's brothers Daniel and Martin delivered a load of freight and Sarah to the Erie Canal, while John and Clarissa followed behind in a buggy.

They made their way via Buffalo, Cleveland, Portsmouth and St. Louis, finally arriving in Nauvoo in October 1, 1844. They stayed with Daniel Spencer until Spring, then moved to the Spencer farm several miles out of town. They lived on the farm for about a year, but moved back into town in the winter of 1845 due to the increase in mob violence directed toward the Mormons. In May of 1846 Clarissa gave birth to their 4th child, Ellen, and a month later they crossed the river into Iowa with a group of Mormons led by Hiram Spencer. After wintering in Council Bluffs, they went to Mosquito Creek, where son John Jr. was born, then on to Missouri.

In the fall of 1848, they visited John's sister Sarah in St. Joseph before moving to Weston, a small town on the Platte River in Western Missouri. While living in Weston, daughter Elizabeth was born in June of 1850. Later that year, John Jr. became ill and eventually died in November. In 1851, Elizabeth died in January, and John himself died in March after a lengthy illness.


James Return Williams

Susan Clarissa Williams

Bateman Haight Williams

Ellen Albinia Williams

John Benjamin Williams, Jr.

Elizabeth Mercy Williams



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