William’s Prairie History

William’s Prairie skirts the south bank of Pond Creek in section 2 of Lake Creek Township and extends to the southwest into adjoining sections. Among the early landowners were Pleasant L. Finney, Samuel Beasley who gave his name to Beasley’s branch, Condon Potts, John Hayes, and Benjamin Odle. The old trail from Jordan’s fort to the Big Muddy crossed this prairie, and it was but a short distance to the county seat of old Franklin County. The store and post office at Dwina later served the residents of William’s prairie.

William D. Stilley made several land entries on this prairie from 1840 to 1854, chiefly in the southwest side of the prairie extending into section 11. The Stilley land amounted to 320 acres or more, and church, school, and cemetery stand upon it. Undoubtedly, the first landowners name was given to the prairie and these three landmarks. William D. Stilley (1818-1890) married Nancy Swafford (1820-1888) and both are buried in William’s prairie churchyard.

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(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939 which is on sale at the Williamson County Museum)