Jesse (James) W. Williams was born on November 18, 1881 in Spring Hill, Johnson County, Kansas. Jesse was the son of James and Mary Williams. James and Mary had 12 children. Among the 12 who remained in Butler County as well as Jesse were: Violet Schendler of Augusta, Frank of Augusta, Delila Markley of Augusta, and Mrs. Mary Cowen of ElDorado. Their father, James, died in 1913 and their mother moved from Butler County to Edgerton, Kansas shortly thereafter to live with children located in Edgerton.
Jesse received his education in the public schools of Ohio and Johnson County, Kansas. In 1898 the family moved to Butler County and located at Keighley where they stayed for one year. As a young man, Jesse learned the barber trade and served an apprenticeship at Overbrook, Kansas for 3 years. He then moved to Augusta and worked at the plasterer’s trade and cement work in Augusta and throughout Butler County.
On December 29, 1908 Jesse married Miss Pearl Malosh of ElDorado. They had two sons, James Duane and Howard Edward. Jesse and Pearl, along with their sons, lived for a time at 320 Broadway in Augusta.
He worked on many of the important buildings erected in Butler County in the early 1900s include the Butler County court house, Lincoln school in Augusta (the old school building located in the 1000 block of State), the Augusta Post Office building (located in the 500 block of School Street), the McKinley school building in ElDorado, the high school buildings at Leon and Rosalia and the Beaumont Hotel. Jesse was well known in Butler county in his specialized line of work.
At the time of his death, on January 25, 1952, Jesse lived in Wichita and is buried at White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Wichita. Pearl died on January 29, 1978 and is also buried at White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Wichita.
Photos: Headstone of Jesse and Pearl; and, a photo of Pearl Williams.