JACOB EBY WILLIAMS

 

Williams Family Picture taken around 1940: (left to right)
Back row: Jacob N., Elizabeth, Ira, Delilah, Aaron & Mary
Front row: Sara, Martha, Annie, Jacob E., Esther & Ann

 

August 1980 Williams Family Reunion: (left to right)
Sara, Martha, Ira, Ann, Delilah, Elizabeth, Aaron, Mary and Jacob N.
 
Williams family children in 1915: (left to right)
Jacob N., Jessie (the dog), Sara, Aaron, Mary and Ann
ASIA Quartet:
Standing for Aaron, Ira, Sara and Ann
(left to right)
Ira, Sara, Ann and Aaron
 

      Jacob 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 Delilah.

      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 1:2,3b,6a

       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 mathematical problems.

       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 children.

       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 one morning.

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 children.

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.” - Jeremiah 6:16a

CHILDREN OF JACOB AND ANNIE WILLIAMS: 

1.     Elizabeth Neideigh, born August 5, 1904 and died April 7, 1983.
2.     Mary Neideigh, born August 14, 1906 and died December 3, 1980.
3.     Jacob Neideigh "Jake", born June 17, 1908 and died August 27, 1989.
4.     Sara Neideigh, born December 7, 1909 and died February 20, 2001.
5.     Aaron Neideigh, born August 29, 1911 and died August 7, 1997.
6.     Ira Neideigh, born October 30, 1912 and died November 2, 1999.
7.     Anna Neideigh "Ann", born March 16, 1914 and died October 8, 1989.
8.     Andrew Allen Neideigh, born June 30, 1915 and died October 5, 1915.
9.     Martha Neideigh, born April 11, 1917.
10.   Joseph Mark Neideigh, born July 11, 1918 and died May 5, 1919.
11.   Esther Neideigh, born December 27, 1919 and died April 20, 1964.
12.   Delilah Neideigh "Dit", born September 3, 1922.
 
REFERENCES: 
1.         Family History written by Martha (Williams) Mumma on July 22, 2004.
2.         Phone conversation with Martha (Williams) Mumma  on June 21, 2004.
3.         Phone conversation with Delilah (Williams) Emenheiser  on June 20,2004.
4.         Jacob Eby Williams Family Bible
5.         Jacob E. Williams Obituary, Lebanon Daily News, Lebanon, PA, July 25, 1968
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.
 
LINKS:
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
1910 Census
1920 Census
1930 Census

 

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