Grave dedication will honor Revolutionary War veteran

Published 10:55 pm Friday, May 18, 2012

A Grave Dedication Program for Jonathan Williams, Revolutionary War soldier and early settler of Pike County, will be held at the Blanton Field Cemetery near Brundidge at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The dedication is sponsored by the Wiregrass Chapter Alabama Society Sons of the American Revolution. The public is invited.

Williams, the great-great-great-grandfather of Lawrence Bowden of Brundidge, is one of several soldiers of the Revolutionary War known to be buried in Pike County.

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Bowden said Williams was born in Connecticut in 1764 and, at the age of 14, enlisted in Colonel Beardsley’s regiment of Militia and served much of the war in the South with the Army of General Green.

Williams later married and moved westward and spent three years in Georgia before arriving in1824 in Pike County where he built a log home.

“Before long, circuit riders came into the area and started holding services in the Williams’ home,” Bowden said. “That was the beginning of the first Methodist church in the county. It eventually became Williams Chapel Methodist Church.”

Robert Williams, who was born in the Pike County area, was a great-grandson of Jonathan Williams.

“Robert Williams moved to the Indian Territory and became Oklahoma’s first Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court and the state’s third governor,” Bowden said.

Robert Williams was a wealthy man and provided funds to place a concert fence around the first Methodist church and cemetery.

“He planted pecan trees so the crops could help fund activities of the church,” Bowden said. “The pecan trees that are standing today are thought to be part of his planting.”

Jonathan Williams died in 1836 and is buried at Williams Chapel cemetery.

The grave dedication service on Sunday will honor Jonathan Williams and his service to his country, to Pike County and to his faith.

The service will include remarks by the Rev. Marvin Vickers, president of the Wiregrass Chapter, the headstone dedication and unveiling, piper music, a musket salute and the playing of “Taps.”

A reception will follow at Williams Chapel Methodist Church.

The Brundidge United Methodist Church will provide bus transportation from Williams Chapel to the Blanton Field Cemetery.

The cemetery is located about three miles from Brundidge on the Hardshell/Tennille Road. The cemetery is on the right just beyond the Blanton home and before Williams Chapel United Methodist Church.