Ezekiel Williams - New Franklin, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 00.746 W 092° 44.273
15S E 522693 N 4318188
Zeke was raised in Kentucky. The year of his birth is some where between 1775/1780. Where is unknown. If he was born in 1780, that made him 15 years old when his son Samuel Ezekiel was born in 1795.
Waymark Code: WMQR5N
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 03/22/2016
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member MountainWoods
Views: 2

County of memorial: Howard County
Location of memorial: MO-5 & Katy Trail, S. limits of New Franklin
Artist: Harry Weber
Dedicated: 31 August 2013
Granite Etchings artist: Kevin Hale
Engineer: Crockett Engineering
Contractor: Bill Sullivan Excavations

Plaque Text:

Ezekiel Williams
1780 to December 24, 1844
Ezekiel (Zeke) Williams, "Grandfather of the Santa Fe Trail," was born in Hampshire County West Virginia, to David and Sarah Denton Williams. The family soon moved to Kentucky. He was married in 1795 and had a son. His wife's name is unknown. Zeke was commissioned captain of two Cornstalk Militias; Green County's 16th Regiment and later Cumberland County's 46th Regiment. After his wife died he joined an expedition in 1809 to safely return Mandan Chief Sha ha ka (Big White) and his family to North Dakota after visiting President Thomas Jefferson. Zeke stayed to trap the Missouri River headwaters; returning in 1811 to Fort Manuel Lisa. News of Spanish trade with Indians led to an expedition along the Platte River and into Colorado territory. Zeke and two companions were captured by the Arapahoe and held through the severe winter of 1812. After gaining his freedom he was again captured by the Kansas Indians as he canoed down the Arkansas River. Osage Indians negotiated his release and he walked back to Fort Osage and then returned to the Boonslick country. In 1814 Zeke served as a ranger at Cooper's Fort and bought 270 acres of land. He married widow Mary (Polly) Jones and received guardianship of five stepchildren. In 1821 William Becknell advertised an expedition to "far western places." Because of his frontier experiences, the August 14th planning meeting was held at Zeke's home. Zeke did not make the first trip, but in 1827 he captained the largest and most profitable caravan of that time. It included 105 men and 53 wagons and pleasure carriages. Sixty men returned with 800 horses and mules worth $28,000; a 40 percent profit. Zeke was a prosperous Boonslick landowner when Polly died. He married third wife Nancy Davis in 1831 and moved to Benton County. Zeke held the first county election, purchased the first saloon license, and operated the first post office. He named the post office Cole Camp after the Kentucky settlement he and the Boonslick Cole family came from and where his beloved wife and son had lived. He moved the post office to the small village of Blakey which later took the name Cole Camp. Ezekiel Williams is buried in Union Williams Cemetery, Benton County, Missouri

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
These markers have some misinformation which distorts history.They say he was born in 1780 in West Virginia, yet West Virginia did not exist until 1861.

Additional point: Not Listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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freezer54 visited Ezekiel Williams - New Franklin, MO 05/08/2021 freezer54 visited it