G. G. Williamson biography

G. G. WILLIAMSON, owner of ten hundred and eighty acres of valuable Texas land in Scurry county, is engaged at the present time in general farming, having five hundred acres under cultivation. He was born in Springfield, Ohio, September 12, 1850. His father, James Williamson, was a native of North Carolina, born in 1808, and became one of the early settlers of the Buckeye state, to which he emigrated in 1836. He had removed from North Carolina to Virginia when a young man of twenty-one years and in the Old Dominion had educated himself for the ministry, becoming a preacher of the Christian church. When the division occurred in that denomination he was one of the organizers of the New Light church. In Springfield, Ohio, he edited a paper called the Christian Herald, continuing its publication for several years. He was married in the Buckeye state to Miss Phoebe Monfort, a native of Ohio, and in 1857 he removed to Iowa, where he began farming. His death occurred in Columbus City, Iowa, in 1886, while his wife died in the town of Tribune, in Greeley county, Kansas, in 1890, having made her home with her daughters in that place. In their family were five children, three sons and two daughters: Francis, who is a resident of Renfrow, Oklahoma; P. M., who is living in Como, Colorado; Annie Maria, the wife of Columbus Orr, of Greeley county, Kansas; G. G. of this review; and Elizabeth, deceased.

Gilbert Gordon Williamson was born in Springfield, Ohio, and made his home with his father until 1872. In March of that year he went to California, having just five dollars left after buying his ticket. The trip was attended with various difficulties, because the train was snowbound on the way, and he reached his destination with twenty-five cents in his pocket, which sum was expended for a breakfast. He then started for the country, where his brother-in-law, Columbus Orr, was then living, his home being in Napa county. Soon afterward he obtained employment with a neighbor of Mr. Orr named Wilson. He worked for his board for two weeks, at the end of which time he secured a position in a dairy near Napa at a salary of thirty-five dollars per month and board. He worked there for three months, after which he was employed in connection with a steam thresher outfit, carrying sacks at three dollars per day and for one hundred consecutive days he was thus employed at threshing in the service of a Mr. Hubbel. Later the firm of Hubbel & Williamson was formed and they rented land from Mr. Wilson, for whom Mr. Williamson had first worked when he went to California. They put in a crop of wheat of one hundred acres in the fall of 1872, and from that planting harvested five thousand bushels or an average of fifty bushels to the acre. This gave Mr. Williamson a start in business and he then purchased and he then purchased a half interest in a steam thresher, Mr. Hubbel being his partner, and together they operated a thresher through the summer and fall, or until November, 1873.

By this time Mr. Williamson had accumulated quite a comfortable competence, and he decided to make a trip back to Iowa to visit his people in that state. This he did, remaining there until March, 1874. He spent the winter in Iowa but the climate proved too severe for his comfort and he gain started for California, where he once more followed threshing and farming until 1879. When he sold out his threshing business he accepted a position as agent at the State Insane Asylum at Napa, California, at forty-five dollars per month and placed in charge of the largest ward in the building, containing from one hundred to one hundred and twenty patients. He was thus engaged until March, 1882, and while there he met the lady who afterward became his wife. She bore the maiden name of Miss Mima Henry, and was an attendant and night watch in the asylum for seven years. After his marriage Mr. Williamson went to Las Vegas, Mexico, where he purchased a flock of sheep of twenty-six hundred head, which he drove overland to Teas. He was accompanied by a Mr. Grigsbee, who also bought two thousand head. They bunched their sheep and drove them through together, leaving Las Vegas on the 28th of July and arriving at Colorado, Texas, about the 1st of September. There the two men divided their sheep and Mr. Williamson brought his flock to Scurry county, arriving where Snyder now stands about the 1st of October. He decided to locate here, for looking over the country he was pleased with its natural resources and its possibilities for future development. He settled on section 146, Scurry county, the land being surveyed by Judge Loony, of Colorado, Texas. The place originally comprised fourteen hundred and forty acres, but at a recent date Mr. Williamson sold a small tract and now has ten hundred and eighty acres of good land, of which five hundred acres is under cultivation. It is situated on the road between Colorado and Snyder, two miles north of the village of Dunn. After surveying the place he hauled lumber from Colorado and put up a house fourteen by twenty-eight feet, doing all the work himself. On the 3d of November he met his intended wife, Miss Mima Henry, at El Paso and they continued their journey on the 4th of November, 1882, in the Baptist church, which was the first house of worship erected in that city. The young couple removed to the new home on the hill and there began housekeeping. Their nearest neighbor was three miles distant and there was not a half dozen families in the county at that time. Here Mr. Williamson has since made his home and has been an active factor in the development and progress of the county along various lines. He was one of the first commissioners of Scurry county, which was organized in the summer of 1886, and in the fall of that year he was elected for a full term and was re-elected in the fall of 1888, thus serving until 1890. In 1896 he was again nominated and was elected to the same position, continuing in the office until 1900.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Williamson have been born five children, three sons and two daughters, all of whom are living. In the long period of his residence in this county, covering twenty-three years, Mr. Williamson’s bills for medical attendance have not exceeded seventy-five dollars—a fact which indicates the remarkably healthful conditions of the country. The children are Gilbert De Witt, Annie Maude, James Gordon, Jennie Varena and Edward Henry.

As the years have passed by Mr. Williamson has prospered and yet there have been many hard and difficult experiences in his life. He has, however, persevered in his work and is now numbered among the successful men in the county. He has probably sunk as many as two hundred wells in different parts of the county. He continued in the sheep-raising business until 1890, when he began digging wells and the same year he started in the cattle business, win which he continued until 1905, when he sold his cattle and is now giving his entire attention to farming, which he finds to be a profitable industry, the productive soil of Texas, responding readily to irrigation and cultivation. He is a member of the Methodist church and also belongs to the Odd Fellows and Woodmen societies, having been identified with the former for twenty-six years and the latter for six years. He has had an eventful career but on the whole has made consecutive progress and is today accounted one of the prominent and influential residents of his community because of the part which he has taken in advancing material, intellectual, social and moral progress here.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 409-410.