TexasEscapes.com 
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas Towns by Region
  • Texas Hill Country
  • Central Texas North
  • Central Texas South
  • South Texas
  • East Texas
  • West Texas
  • Texas Panhandle
  • Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Towns A - Z
    Over 2700 Towns

    Texas Ghost Towns
    Over 700 Ghost Towns

    Book Hotels
  • Texas | Columns

    Faithful wife, dutiful daughter

    by Wanda Orton

    Her husband, Samuel May Williams, gained fame in Texas in the struggle for freedom from Mexico and as a wheeler-dealer in the world of finance.

    Her father, William Scott, was well-known as an early colonist in Baytown and as the organizer of the Lynchburg Volunteers in the Texas Revolution.

    Her husbandís brother, Nathaniel Felton Williams, developed a sugar plantation that evolved into a business we know today as the Imperial Sugar Co.

    Going away back in history, we find that the Williams brothers claimed a famous ancestor, Roger Williams, the New England pioneer.

    So what is she, Sarah Scott Williams, known for -- besides being Sam Williamsí faithful wife and Bill Scottís dutiful daughter?

    Thatís about it, but thatís saying a lot. Sarah Williams was one of those stoical pioneer women who kept things in order single-handedly on the home front, and it never was easy. Although financially secure with a lovely home in Galveston Ė thanks to her husbandís Midas touch Ė Sarah Williams led a lonely life. Sam was an absentee husband/father, always on the go, traveling often to New York and Washington, and when home, he was preoccupied with business deals.

    To make matters worse, Sam Williams was not the most popular guy in Texas, having been accused Ė rightly or wrongly -- of shady business practices. Along the way he had collected enemies and some folks called him ďthe most hated man in Galveston

    Whatís a wife to do when she hears derogatory remarks about her husband and when people make her the victim of their wrath, branding her with accusations because Sam himself was nowhere in sight.

    Sarah Williams suffered in silence. She didnít fight back; she didnít respond; she just took it.

    Meanwhile, she had a house to manage, myriad decisions to make.

    For example, she had to make arrangements to evacuate in Racerís Storm, the vicious hurricane that struck Galveston and the bay area in 1837. I presume she and the kids came to Baytown, but that must not have been much a homecoming for Sarah. Her father died in the wake of the storm.

    The Scott home on Scottís Bay (in the vicinity of present-day ExxonMobil docks) took a beating, and with her fatherís death came more responsibilities for Sarah. She became a primary caregiver for her mother and young sister, spending much of her time in Baytown looking after them.

    A year before, she had to decide whether or not to join the Runaway Scrape as the Mexican Army was advancing. Sarah and the children ran. Iíve not read where they went but likely the destination was one of two places, Anahuac or New Orleans.

    Not having her husband by her side during a crisis was not the worst for Sarah. The worst was not knowing always where Sam was or what he was doing. Once he was in s shipwreck. Another time he was imprisoned briefly in Mexico.

    Sarah even heard that he had died, but that report, as Mark Twain would say, was highly exaggerated.

    Until her eyesight failed, Sarah sewed garments for her family. No need -- she had servants who could have done that and she could have afforded store-bought clothes. The lady of the house just liked to sew.

    Four out of her seven children died in childhood, and these tragedies took a tremendous toll on Sarah Williams. Failing vision and other maladies made life even tougher and by the age of 47 she was described as an old, white-haired woman. In her last years, her responsibilities increased as she inherited the family land in Baytown.

    Sam died in 1858 and she, in 1860. They are buried in the Episcopal Cemetery in Galveston .

    Sarah Scott Williamsí life reminds me of an inscription I saw on a tombstone in a Nacogdoches cemetery. "She did what she could."


    © Wanda Orton -
    March 1, 2012
    Baytown Sun Columnist

    More "They Shoe Horses, Don't They?" Guest Columns
    Related Topics: Baytown, Texas | Columns | Texas

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic/contemporary photos of their town/subject, please contact us.
    Custom Search
    Book Hotel Here - Expedia Affiliate Network

    CITY SEARCH


    TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
    HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
    TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

    Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
    TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

    Texas Attractions
    TEXAS FEATURES
    People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
    COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

    TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
    Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
    Vintage Photos

    TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

    Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
    Website Content Copyright ©1998-2011. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved