Eby Williams was born on August 23, 1882 in White Oak, Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania, the youngest son of Jacob D. Williams and Mary M. Eby.
Jacob E. was united in marriage with
Annie Naomi Snyder Neideigh on April 7, 1903 in East Petersburg. Annie
was born on April 7, 1884 in Blain, Perry County, the daughter of
Alpheus Neideigh and Jemima Snyder.
Shortly after marriage, Jacob and
Annie both became saved by grace and joined themselves with the Brethren
Church. Jacob wore a beard his whole life and Annie was plain clothed
with a caped dress and a covering upon her head.
Jacob and Annie were tremendously
blessed with the birth of twelve children: Elizabeth, Mary, Jacob,
Sara, Aaron, Ira, Ann, Andrew Allen, Martha, Joseph Mark, Esther and
Jacob was a farmer his entire life.
He moved the family to the Keppering farm around 1914. Then around
1919, they relocated to Simon Cameron’s farm on Colebrook Road between
Rheems and Donegal Springs in West Donegal Township, Lancaster County.
Mr. Cameron served as a United States senator as well as Secretary of
War under President Lincoln’s administration during the War Between the
States. Jacob and Annie raised their children on this farm and lived
there for a total of 35 years.
The two-story farmhouse had four
bedrooms, which included the parent’s room, a large girl’s bedroom with
2 double beds, which slept four, a very large boy’s bedroom also with 2
double beds and a spare room. Jacob hired men to help on the farm and
they also slept in the boy’s room. Electricity was introduced in the
house while the children were still young and indoor plumbing wasn’t
installed until after the 1940’s.
The kitchen had a wood box, which
Annie used to cook on and heat the house. Any stored water in the house
would occasionally freeze in the winter months during inclement weather
conditions. Annie would ensure that the children had sufficient
blankets and a comforter to stay warm.
Jacob led a very scheduled upbringing
of the children, similar to that of a military family. On a typical
workday, the family would rise early at 4:00 a.m. and begin their farm
chores, which included tending of the farm animals.
At 6:00 a.m.. they would gather to eat breakfast
and have family worship time. “Except the LORD
build the house, they labour in vain that build it:”
- Psalms 127:1a
Either Jacob or Annie would read the
scriptures and lead the family prayer. All would kneel to pray followed
by everyone reciting together the Lord’s prayer. Jacob and Annie
were always consistent with family devotions up until the children were
married and left the house. The family would meet again at 11:00 a.m.
for lunch and 5:00 p.m. for supper.
Numerous animals were raised on the
farm. Jacob had up to eight workhorses, including two named Pete and
Jolly, which teamed together frequently. They also maintained up to 25
milk cows, which were typically milked with electronic milking
machines. However, occasionally the equipment would malfunction and the
children would milk the cows by hand. A few steers, pigs and chickens
were also raised to provide meat and eggs for the family. Jacob
butchered his own meat and Annie also had a large garden.
Jacob and Annie raised a hardworking
family on the farm. They grew tobacco, corn, wheat, hay and some barley
on the approximate 100-acre farm. The landowner would determine which
crops to grow and would also market the farm produce. Jacob would keep
half the market proceeds for his labor efforts and the owner would keep
the remaining half.
Jacob and Annie started out farming
with horses, and then switched to an International Tractor with steel
cleats. In addition, the family first traveled in a horse and buggy.
Later, they purchased a Dodge Eight automobile.
Annie was an absolutely wonderful
Lancaster County cook. She would often serve pudding (“pud’n”) and mush
along with scrapple for breakfast. For dinner, the family would
often eat fried ham, beef, potatoes, snitz and knepp, corn pone, bologna
and vegetables from the garden. Annie also baked frequently and would
make up to 10 pies at a time. She also sewed all her children’s
clothes. Annie was definitely a virtuous wife and mother as described in
Proverbs, Chapter 31.
Mary assisted her mother in caring
for the younger children and keeping them occupied while Annie would be
doing other tasks such as cooking and sewing.
The older children attended Little
Donegal School, which they walked to and the younger children went to
Maytown Elementary. All of the children attended Maytown High School
up until the Eighth grade at most. They each received a work permit to
excuse themselves from further studies.
Joseph Mark died from convulsions at
only 10 months old. Andrew Allen also died because he wouldn’t take his
mother’s milk or other formula. He decayed and became thinner and
thinner and later died.
Jacob was the godly
leader and provider of his home and led his family by example. He was
strict and his children learned to be obedient and not to question him.
However, Jacob was also a very loving father and husband who was jovial
and had a very good sense of humor.
Jacob was a Psalms I man. “his
delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day
and night…that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also
shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper…For the LORD
knoweth the way of the righteous.” – Psalms
Jacob mentioned frequently the importance of
living out one’s Christian faith and walking in obedience to God’s
word. “Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in
heaven.” - Matthew 5:16
Jacob also deeply valued the
significance of honesty and integrity. He was occasionally heard saying
that he hoped the Holy Spirit would never leave him.
Jacob was not a perfect man. He made some
mistakes just like all men do. However, Jacob was forgiven. He had a
repentant and believing heart and brought forth the fruit of good works
to testify of his salvation by grace. “But that
on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having
heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”
- Luke 8:15
Although he never received a formal
education, Jacob was extremely bright and self-educated. He read the
Bible and many other books. He also loved mathematics. Jacob had an
accountant friend who could never out whit Jacob when it came to
Jacob could also speak Dutch
fluently, since his mother, Mary Eby, only spoke Dutch with some broken
English. Jacob taught Annie the Dutch language and they would speak it
in front of their children when discussing personal items. In addition,
Jacob and Annie always treated each other with unconditional love and
they were never heard arguing with each other in front of their
Jacob and Annie also ensured that the
family never missing a Sunday morning or evening worship service.
The family attended the Rheems Church of the Brethren as the
children were growing up. Then the family switched to the West Green
Tree Church of the Brethren around the 1940’s or 1950’s.
Jacob taught a men’s Sunday school class and was
the superintendent of Sunday school at the Rheems Church. Jacob had a
strong voice and would also lead singing in the church.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast,
unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye
know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” –
I Corinthians 15:58
The family would also sing old hymns
and gospel music, like the Chuck Wagon Gang. Jacob and Annie had an
organ and a piano to sing music unto the Lord. Jacob would also buy
gospel records to play in their Vic Rolla record player.
Aaron, Sara, Ira, and Ann joined
together to form the “ASIA Quartet”, named after the first letter of
each of their names. They recorded albums and broadcasted their gospel
songs every Sunday evening at 4:00 p.m. on WHP580. They sung together
for about two years until they started their own families. John E.
Miller from Maytown taught the Williams children how to sing and his
wife, Nanie, would play the organ. The quartet was introduced on the
radio by J.K. Whitaker and they were sponsored by the Spangler Music
Store in Harrisburg.
Jacob E.’s father, Jacob D., moved in
with the family around 1933. Jacob D. became blind and had previously
resided at the Brethren Village. However, Jacob E. observed that his
father was not being property cared for, so he took Jacob D. into his
home. Annie would take care of him and daily feed him a half moon
sponge cake filled with cream, which he absolutely loved.
Sometimes Jacob D. would fall out of
bed and his grandsons would pick him up and gently set him back in
place. Jacob D. was also a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. He
passed away in Jacob E.’s house around 1935 and was buried at the
Brethren Church cemetery in White Oak, near Manheim.
Jacob E. also lost his eyesight
around 1942. The blindness set in suddenly one day while he was working
in the field. However, Jacob could still look up at night and see the
stars. He could also feel his way around the house to move from room to
room. The blindness was attributed to the nerves in his eyes and was
untreatable by the doctors. Annie took excellent care of him and Jacob
stayed inside the house most of the time.
Around 1954, Jacob and Annie moved
from the farm into a small tenant house about one mile away on another
Simon Cameron farm.
Martha (Williams) Mumma wrote the
following memories of her parents:
We lived on a farm. My father was
a very strong man and chose to be a farmer. My mother was a
wonderful cook, a born seamstress and a precious woman of God. She had
seven girls to sew for, besides rugging and making quilts.
My parents became Christians shortly
after their marriage and lived the life to the fullest. We had
family worship every morning. Father and Mother took turns in
reading The Bible and praying, then they would name one of us
children to pray the Lord’s Prayer. I never remember us ever skipping
I made a commitment at 10 years old when
hearing Preacher Rufus Bucker, an evangelist from Mechanics Grove Church
of the Brethren.
My father was a leader in the home
both spiritual, and in all family matters. He not only talked the way,
he lived and walked the way and our Mother likewise. Father and Mother
were both blessed with a sense of humor. Father was also blessed with
the smoothest low base voice and he passed that along with all the
There was a mixed quartette, ASIA who
sang over the Harrisburg radio and they were the best. Spangler
Music Store sponsored the same usually on Sundays and Wednesdays. They
were also asked to sing in many churches.
Father was asked to be Sunday School
Superintendent for years at the Rheems Church of the Brethren and was a
song leader. We girls took place leading singing and taught Sunday
School there. Daddy taught the Men’s Bible Class for years. We were a
family who worked together and prayed together.
Annie went home to be with the Lord
on June 19, 1968 at the age of 84. Jacob was so very heartbroken at the
passing of his wife and helpmeet of over 65 years. Annie had also been
Jacob’s eyes for the last 26 years of his life.
Jacob just didn’t have a desire to
eat following the passing of his beloved wife. Only five weeks after
Annie’s death, Jacob also passed over to his eternal home on July 25,
1968, less than a month before his 86th birthday.
Jacob and Annie’s bodies lie buried
at the West Green Tree Church of the Brethren Cemetery near
Elizabethtown, their souls of which have passed on to their eternal
heavenly home prepared for them before the foundation of the world.
Jacob and Annie built their house
upon the Lord and left a godly heritage for their posterity to enjoy.
“But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon
them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;”
- Psalms 103:17
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and
see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein,
and ye shall find rest for your souls.” -
CHILDREN OF JACOB
AND ANNIE WILLIAMS:
Elizabeth Neideigh, born August 5, 1904 and
died April 7, 1983.
Mary Neideigh, born August 14, 1906 and died
December 3, 1980.
Jacob Neideigh "Jake", born June 17, 1908
and died August 27, 1989.
Sara Neideigh, born December 7, 1909 and
died February 20, 2001.
Aaron Neideigh, born August 29, 1911 and
died August 7, 1997.
Ira Neideigh, born October 30, 1912 and died
November 2, 1999.
Anna Neideigh "Ann", born March 16, 1914 and
died October 8, 1989.
Andrew Allen Neideigh, born June 30, 1915
and died October 5, 1915.
Martha Neideigh, born April 11, 1917.
Joseph Mark Neideigh, born July 11, 1918 and
died May 5, 1919.
Esther Neideigh, born December 27, 1919 and
died April 20, 1964.
Delilah Neideigh "Dit", born September 3,
Family History written by Martha (Williams)
Mumma on July 22, 2004.
Phone conversation with Martha (Williams)
Mumma on June 21, 2004.
Phone conversation with Delilah (Williams)
Emenheiser on June 20,2004.
Jacob Eby Williams Family Bible
Jacob E. Williams Obituary, Lebanon Daily News, Lebanon, PA, July 25,
Jacob E. Williams, 86, Retired Farmer, Dies
Jacob E. Williams, 86, Mt. Joy RD 1, died
early this morning at St. Joseph's Hospital, Lancaster. He was a retired
farmer. A native of Rapho Twp., Lancaster County, he was a member of the
West Greentree Church of the Brethren. His parents were the late Jacob
D. and Mary Eby Williams. Surviving are nine children: Jacob N.,
Harrisburg; Aaron N., Myerstown RD 1; Ira N., Manheim RD 1; Elizabeth
N., wife of Eugene Rice, Shippensburg; Mary N., wife of Aaron B. Good,
Marietta RD 1; Sara N., wife of Harry Becker, Manheim RD 1; Martha N.,
wife of Levi Mumma, Lebanon RD 5; Delilah N., wife of Harry Emenheiser,
Mt. Joy RD 1; and Miss Ann N. Williams, at home. Also 26
grandchildren, 45 great-grandchilden, and two sisters, Mrs. Minnie
Colten, Ridley Park, and Mrs. Mary Long, Manheim RD 3, survive.
Jacob Williams Marriage Certificate From Family Bible
Jacob Williams Family Record From Family Bible
Jacob E. Williams WWI Draft Registration Card
Jacob E. Williams WWII Draft Registration Card