Willie J. Williams

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 10, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 309-310

WILLIE J. WILLIAMS. With the coal mining that con-
stitutes the principal industrial activity of the Junior local-
ity in Barbour County Willie J. Williams has been identified
nearly all the years since he attained his majority, first as a
practical miner and later as an operator. He is president
of the Mildred Coal Company there.

Mr. Williams was born in Valley District of Barbour
County, October 21, 1877. His father, Andrew Jackson
Williams, was born in Bath County, Virginia, and as a
young man accompanied his parents to West Virginia, the
family locating near Laurel Hill Mountain, where his father
spent the rest of his life as a farmer. Besides Andrew
J. the other children were Robert S., George and Benjamin,
all of whom went to the Western States; Mary, who mar-
ried Milton Curtis and lives at Rich Mountain in Randolph
County; Sarah, who became the wife of Mark Carter and
died at Coalton, West Virginia; Celia, who married Bud
Wright and both died near Belington; and Mrs. Noah Sluss,
who lives in California,

Andrew J. Williams had only a limited education during
his boyhood, and his working energies were bestowed almost
entirely upon the farm. He was a Union man during the
Civil war, and some of his brothers were in the Union Army.
He died at his old home in Valley District in 1898, at the
age of sixty-three. His wife was Julia Row, daughter of
Benjamin Row, and she died, the mother of the following
children: Mary, wife of S. B. Elbon, of Junior; Sarah, who
married John Shomo; Henrietta, who became Mrs. Peter
F. Ware; Lillie, who married Charles Shomo; Grant, twin
brother of Lillie, now deceased; Julia and Celia, twins, both
deceased, Celia, having been the wife of Warren Corley and
Julia, wife of I. D. Shomo; James M., who died at Junior;
Lorenzo, also deceased; Dora, wife of Samuel Ball, of
Kingsville, West Virginia; and Willie Jackson.

Willie J. Williams spent his early life on the home
farm in Valley District, and his education came from
the old German school in that locality. As a school
boy he became acquainted with systematic labor on the
farm, and on reaching his majority began his career in the
mines. His first employment was as a coal digger on
the property of the Miller Coal & Coke Company, which
subsequently was sold to the Gage Coal and Coke Com-
pany and finally to the West Virginia Coal and Coke
Company. He was in the employ of all these organizations.

The Williams Coal Company was organized in 1917 by
Willie J. and Grant L. Williams, Mittie Wiseman and
Loma Lipscomb. These owners had in partnership some
coal lands, and developed operations near those of the
Gage Coal and Coke Company. During the World war
the mine was operated first as a wagon mine and later
under an arrangement with the Gage Coal and Coke Com-
pany. Willie J. Williams was manager. In 1920 the
Mildred Coal Company opened its mine, and since No-
vember, 1921, Mr. Williams has been manager of the
property and president of the company. This is one of
the few coal mines in active production during the winter
of 1921-22.

Mr. Williams has been a regular republican since cast-
ing his first vote for McKinley in 1900. He is a mem-
ber and has served as steward of the Methodist Episcopal

At Junior, February 3, 1899, Mr. Williams married
Mrs. Lillie Williams, widow of his deceased brother Grant,
and daughter of Jacob Spotswood Thacker of Philippi.
By her first marriage she had three children: Grant L.,
Mrs. Mittie Wiseman and Mrs. Loma Lipscomb. Mr.
and Mrs. Williams have the following children: Pax, a
miner of Junior; J. Hop, J. Spotswood and Phletus.
Grant L. Williams, son of Mrs. Williams by her first
marriage, wag a soldier in the World war, and was on
the firing line ready to go over the top when the hour
of the armistice arrived. After returning home he took
up mining, and is now mine foreman of the Mildred