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Williamston in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

West Allen Williams Memorial Gravesite

“To All Who May Come...Remember”

 
 
"To All Who May Come...Remember" Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2009
1. "To All Who May Come...Remember" Marker
Inscription.
"Embraced by the gratitude of an entire community and held in the love and admiration of a descended family, here rests the earthen tabernacles of our beloved founder, West Allen Williams, and family. Reverently moved from a forgotten cemetery a few miles hence, they are laid here in honor and absolute respect on this Seventeenth day of November, in the Year of out Lord, Two Thousand and Two. Within the sound of our children's play, and in the shadow of our fellowship and recreation, we consecrate this sacred ground. At this place, we are reacquainted with out history as a community, and renewed to a devotion of perpetual care by a grateful family. To these, and to all who may come, may we forever remember that unselfish giving made Williamston a community, and this giving will continue a legacy for time and in memorial." Phillip E Clardy, Mayor
 
Erected 2002.
 
Location. 34° 37.083′ N, 82° 28.733′ W. Marker is in Williamston, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (South Carolina Route 20) and Minor Street, on the left when traveling west on West Main Street. Click for map. Marker is located on the grounds of Mineral Springs Park. Marker is in this post office area: Williamston SC 29697, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
"To All Who May Come...Remember" Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2009
2. "To All Who May Come...Remember" Marker
At least 10 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Williamston 9-11 Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Gist Rifles Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Williamston Female College (within shouting distance of this marker); West Allen Williams (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Williamston Municipal Center (about 300 feet away); Confederate Skirmish (about 300 feet away); Williamston (about 400 feet away); Big Creek Baptist Church (approx. half a mile away); Pelzer Presbyterian Church (approx. 2 miles away); "Lord, We Are Grateful" (approx. 4.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Williamston.
 
More about this marker. West Allen Williams and the others were originally buried across the Saluda River on Holland Ford Road.
 
Also see . . .
1. West Allen Williams Memorial Gravesite. The Williams family remains were moved to their new resting place within the Mineral Springs Park. (Submitted on June 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. A Brief History of Williamston, SC. Upstate South Carolina was once the homeland of thousands of Cherokee Indians. (Submitted on June 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Town of Williamston, SC. The Williamston Municipal Center was originally
"To All Who May Come...Remember" Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2009
3. "To All Who May Come...Remember" Marker
constructed by WPA labor in 1939 as Williamston High School. (Submitted on June 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Williamston, South Carolina. Williamston is a town in Anderson County, South Carolina, United States, that is adjacent to the small towns of Pelzer and West Pelzer. (Submitted on June 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Samuel Williams, Father of West Allen Williams. The following is posted for those researching Samuel Williams, father of West Allen Williams. (Submitted on June 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Park to be founder's final place of rest
Williamston Journal
Oct 16, 2002

The legend states that West Allen Williams was traveling across his property and stopped to rest. When he awoke he found a spring, around which a town eventually grew.

Williamston's founding father will soon have a final resting place in the center of the town he is credited with founding.

With descendant relatives of Williams present, Town of Williamston employees began the process of disinterment of the founding father and three family members last week.

West Allen Williams' remains will be reinterred, along with the remains of the
West Allen Williams Tombstone Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2009
4. West Allen Williams Tombstone
Born
Sept. 12, 1804
Died
Oct. 7, 1857
three family members, in Williamston's Mineral Spring Park in an area near the Gist Rifle monument in November.

The original marble and rock mausoleums will be renovated and reassembled with the graves spaced as they were originally in the family grave plot on Holland Ford Road in South Greenville County, Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said.

A reinterment ceremony and memorial service will take place on November 17 at 2 p.m.

Plans call for Williams to be brought by horse drawn caisson from Big Creek Baptist Church to the memorial gravesite in the park.

The public will be invited to participate by walking with the procession which will culminate with a graveside service performed by Dale Harper.

Cooper Funeral Home in Dillion, S.C. will donate their services to provide the caisson, Clardy said.

Nine generations of descendents, including a 101-year-old great grand daughter from Texas, plan to be at the ceremony, Clardy said.

Connie Barnwell, who is the great, great, great, great niece of West Allen Williams, has been instrumental in the effort and was present during the disinterment last week.

Also present was Betty Welch, a great, great, great granddaughter who resides in Texas.

Welch said in an email sent to the Town, "I never expected to be able to stand at my great, great, grandfather's grave nor
Samuel Williams Sr. Tombstone Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2009
5. Samuel Williams Sr. Tombstone
Sacred
To the Memory of
Samuel Williams, Senior
He was born September 23rd 1770
Died June 17th 1852
Whilst in this tomb our
father lies
His Spirit ___ above
In realms of bliss it
never dies But knows
a Saviour's love
my great, great, great grandparents' graves. It was a very moving experience and meant a great deal to me to be there at the time the graves were opened."

She said that when the original garden cemetery was set aside, she thought the Williams family envisioned the land passing from one generation to the next, always remaining in the family."

"The reality is that it did not, and the graves were nearly lost to overgrowth and neglect," Welch said.

Clardy and local family descendents began looking at the possibility of relocating the graves approximately two years ago.

West Allen Williams died Oct. 7, 1857 at the age of 56. The family cemetery contained the graves of his mother, father and a brother.

Mary Williams, West Allen's mother died Jan. 26, 1811 at age 41. His brother Samuel Williams, Jr., died in 1830 at the age of 27, as the result of drowning in the river near the home place. His father, Samuel Williams, Sr., died June 17, 1852.

Clardy said the project was researched through the South Carolina Archives and History Center and the State Historic Preservation Office. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) approval was also necessary.

For the actual disinterment, a licensed funeral director was required to be present.

"We didn't just start digging," Clardy said. "We were in
Mary Williams Tombstone Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2009
6. Mary Williams Tombstone
Here lies the body
of
Mary Williams
who was born the 8th of August 1779
and departed this life
the 26th of December 1844.
compliance with DHEC requirements for exhumation and had approval from the current landowner Dewey Lemon."

Funeral Director Larry Strom of Gray Mortuary helped with the day-long disinterment.

"It was the most exciting disinterment because we did find the intact remains of Mr. Williams," Strom said.

Strom said Williams' grave was as close to a vault construction in the ground as he had seen. "It protected his grave so well."

Williams' skeletal remains were carefully placed in a wood coffin to await reinterment in November, Clardy said.

Strom said the younger Williams' grave appeared to have had special attention to the brick work which was constructed to outline the actual coffin.

The old style coffins were wider at the shoulders and narrowed at the head and foot, according to Strom.

The mother's grave appeared to have been constructed primarily of river rock. All of the graves were covered with marble tops.

Strom said the emotions of the family members present were apparent during the process.

"I was honored to be involved with it." Strom said. "Joe Sullens and the other Town employees who helped were very professional."

There was very little remains left of the other family members, Strom said.

A tedious process of sifting through the dirt yielded only bone fragments, teeth and several
Samuel Williams Jr. Tombstone Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2009
7. Samuel Williams Jr. Tombstone
Here Lies the body
of
Samuel Williams Junr.
who was born
the 14th of November 1802
and departed this life
the 13th of April 1830.
coffin nails which were removed along with the dirt in the grave for reinterment.

The mayor and family agreed that moving the family gravesite would be a very tedious and possibly controversial decision.

"It is not the intention of my office to disturb hallowed ground, but to acknowledge that hallowedness of any ground that holds, in resting, our beloved founder and family. Such a place of interment deserves reverence and memorial. Providing that care is my fullest intention," Clardy said during Council discussions held earlier on the project.

Williamston Town Council discussed the request at their September meeting.

Clardy said the timing of the announcement of the graves being relocated to Williamston is also exciting. "It is a very fitting event for one hundred fifty years since our founding," he said. "Paying tribute to our founding father during our Sesquicentennial Celebration is a very moving thought."

Clardy and family members had expressed concerns about the conditions of the family cemetery in which Williams was buried, which had remained a shambles for decades, hidden under brush and fallen tree limbs on a hilltop in Southern Greenville County.

Clardy said that the marble markers are still legible and will be restored and placed on the memorial graves.

The remains of the three family members will be placed in the memorial prior to the service for the founder, Clardy said.

There will also be additional acknowledgement and memorial of the Williams family and their contribution to the township placed at the gravesite.

"With every measure of progress there is a measure of controversy, but to secure that progress you have to weigh out the measure of the greater good," Clardy said.

"By respecting the families' wishes, we are able to reacquaint our town with the legacy of its founder and make that vital history tangible to Williamston's people."

"It will be something the town should be very proud of," Clardy said.
    — Submitted June 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Reinterment service Nov. 17 for town's founder
Williamston Journal
Nov. 13, 2002

The remains of West Allen Williams will soon be buried alongside those of three family members recently reinterred in Williamston's Mineral Spring Park.

A reinterment ceremony and memorial service for Williamston's founder will take place this Sunday, Nov. 17.

Plans call for William's skeletal remains to be brought by horse drawn caisson from Big Creek Baptist Church to the memorial gravesite located in the park.

The public is invited to participate in the procession which will begin at Big Creek Church at 12:45 and culminate with the reinterment of Williams' remains and a memorial graveside service at 2 p.m. performed by Dale Harper at the burial site.

West Allen Williams is credited with founding the town first known as Mineral Springs. It was later renamed in his honor and was officially chartered Williamston on Dec. 16, 1852.

Williams, a large landowner with holdings in Anderson and Greenville counties, donated a part of his property around the mineral spring, to be used for churches and a school for the town which was growing around the medicinal springs.

After the town was chartered, several grand hotels could be found in Williamston including the Williamston Hotel in the mid 1850's, and the Williamston Springs Hotel, which made Williamston one of the largest resort centers in the South during the few years prior to the War Between the States.

Williams died Oct. 7, 1857 at the age of 56. The family cemetery located in southern Greenville County contained the graves of his mother, father and a brother.

Mary Williams, West Allen's mother died Jan. 26, 1811 at age 41. His brother Samuel Williams, Jr., died in 1830 at the age of 27, as the result of drowning in the river near the home place. His father, Samuel Williams, Sr., died June 17, 1852. All three family members' remains have been reinterred in their final resting place in Mineral Spring Park.

West Allen Williams' wife is buried in Big Creek Cemetery as is Richard, the oldest brother of West Allen Williams.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy first proposed moving the graves into the Williamston township shortly after taking office in January of 2001.

Clardy and family members had expressed concerns about the conditions of the family cemetery in which Williams was buried, which had remained a shambles for decades, hidden under brush and fallen tree limbs on a hilltop in Southern Greenville County.

Clardy said the graves of Williams and his family deserved to be in a place where they could be cared for and where they could be a memorial to the man recognized as the founder of Williamston.

A local family member Connie Barnwell, a great, great, great, great niece of West Allen Williams and other family members from as far as Texas have given their consent and are expected to be present for the service.

Williamston Town Council discussed the request at their September meeting.

Clardy said the timing of the graves being relocated to Williamston is exciting.

"It is a very fitting event for one hundred fifty years since our founding," he said. "Paying tribute to our founding father during our Sesquicentennial Celebration is a very moving thought," Clardy said.

Though damaged by vandals, the original marble and rock mausoleums were renovated and reassembled with the graves spaced as they were originally in the family grave plot on Holland Ford Road in South Greenville County, Clardy said.

Additional acknowledgement and memorial of the Williams family and their contribution to the township will also be placed at the gravesite, according to Clardy.

"By respecting the families' wishes, we are able to reacquaint our town with the legacy of its founder and make that vital history tangible to Williamston's people," Clardy said.

"It will be something the town should be very proud of," Clardy said.
    — Submitted June 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesNotable PersonsSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,785 times since then and 120 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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