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Elizabeth (McKnight) Williams


Elizabeth (McKnight) Williams was born in 1851 in Fayette County, PA, the daughter of William and Mahala (Minerd) McKnight.

Circa 1879, when she would have been about 25 years of age, Elizabeth entered into the bonds of marriage with 23-year-old George W. Williams (May 16, 1855-1928), son of Charles Henry and Leah (Mauler) Willliams.  

Their four known children were Rev. Charles H. Williams, Mahala Williams, Leah Williams and Arthur Williams. 

George labored as a coal miner near Uniontown circa 1880, when the federal census enumeration was made. They later purchased a 14-acre tract of their parents' farm near Sandy Hill.

Central Christian Church
In 1880, Elizabeth's cousin, John Henry McKnight, son of Henry and Barbara (Minerd) McKnight, was living in their household.

Elizabeth and George were members of the Central Christian Church, and he belonged to the Knights of Pythias. Their home was located at 7 Franklin Street.

The couple endured the untimely death of their son Charles in Texas in 1910.

Sadly, Elizabeth died from a stroke of paralysis at the age of 66 on Sept. 15, 1917. She is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Uniontown.  

George outlived his bride by 11 years. In 1920, census records show him working as a coal miner. His final residence was at 441 Evans Street, Uniontown.

At age 73, having contracted cardiac asthma and influenza, George died on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1928 at his home in Uniontown. An obituary was published in the Uniontown Evening Standard. Rev. S.A. Paddock and Rev. W.H. Main jointly led the funeral service.

George's remains were lowered under the sod buried beside his wife's.


~ Son Rev. Charles H. Williams ~

Son Charles H. Williams (1879- ? ) was born in Sept. 1879 in Menallen Township.

He earned a living at age 20, in 1900, as a day laborer near Uniontown. He is known to have taught in common schools of nearby Perryopolis, Fayette County.

Still a bachelor in early 1910, at age 29, he was a supply minister for churches. Said a 1910 article in the Uniontown Morning Herald:

[He] was a self made man, rising from a farmer to a prominent minister of the gospel. In early life he expressed a desire to work for the Master and about 4 years ago entered the Nashville Bible school from which he graduated over a year ago. He received a call at Nashville and later went to Hamilton, Tex., where he was at the head of the Disciple church... [He] was well known in Uniontown and other parts of Fayette county [and] was highly respected by all. He attended the Menallen township schools and was an extremely bright pupil. In his one year in the ministry he spread the gospel through the South in a manner that astonished many of the older ministers.

Tragedy struck later in August 1910. Stricken with appendicitis, he underwent surgery in Hamilton. The operation did not succeed, and he died at the age of 30. His brother Arthur traveled to Texas to escort the body home via railroad. Rev. Leslie C. Harris of Perryopolis, oversaw the funeral service held in the Williams residence. Burial followed at Oak Grove Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Morning Herald. Among the mourners attending the funeral were Charles H. Williams Sr., Edward Williams and daughter Goldie, and Bertha Williams, all traveling from Perryopolis.

~ Daughter Mahala E. Williams ~

Daughter Mahala E. Williams (1882-1937) was born on April 30, 1882 in Menallen Township, Fayette County. She was named for her grandmother Mahala (Minerd) McKnight.

Mahala never married. Over the years, she dwelled with her parents and then remained in their home at 441 Evans Street, after their deaths.

Circa 1910, she earned income as a sales lady in a local department store. She is said to have been a "devout" member of the Central Christian Church.

Stricken with a subacute bacterial infection of her heart, contracted early in 1937, she endured the illness for 11 months. She succumbed to the spectre of death at age 55 on Nov. 14, 1937. Burial was in Oak Grove Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Uniontown Morning Herald.

~ Son Arthur W. Williams ~

Son Arthur Williams (1884- ? ) was born in June 1884.

Arthur learned the carpentry trade. At age 24, in 1910, he worked as a house carpenter in Uniontown. Later that year, when his brother died in Texas, Arthur traveled to escort the body home. 

He moved to Monessen, PA and was there in 1937. 

~ Daughter Leah Williams ~

Daughter Leah Williams (1888-  ) was born in about 1888.

At the age of 32, in 1920, she made a home with her widowed father and single sisteer Mahala in Uniontown. 

She appears to have married but by 1930 was divorced. She continued to dwell with Mahala in Uniontown in 1930. 


Copyright 2000, 2009, 2014, 2022 Mark A. Miner