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Ralph Lindsay Williams

Politician. Born: August 21, 1815, Pulaski County, Kentucky. Married: Mary Hume, 1839. Died: 1870s, Lawrence, Kansas.

The son of Elizabeth Bowen and Bayliss Williams, R. L. Williams was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky, on August 21, 1815, but moved with his family to Shelby County, Illinois, in 1830. Williams married Mary Hume in 1839 and in 1849 joined the Gold Rush to California, but after a year in the gold fields Williams returned to his family and studied medicine in Chicago. He practiced briefly in Williamsburg, Illinois, before moving his family to Kansas in 1857 and immediately becoming involved in the Kansas conflict. According to his daughter Elizabeth, Williams "built a stone store building" during the summer of 1857 "and stocked it with general merchandise," but "he was primarily a physician." After serving as a Douglas County delegate to the Wyandotte Convention, Williams served in the 1862 legislature and continued to be otherwise active in politics, as well as a practicing physician; in the late 1870s he moved to Lawrence, where he died at his home on "Quincy street, just west of the Quincy school," on December 17, 1897. "For the last twelve years," read Williams's obituary, "he has been partially blind, and has been compelled to withdraw from the active practice of his profession, living quietly at his Quincy street home."

Entry: Williams, Ralph Lindsay

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: July 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.