John L. Williamson was the oldest son of Beverly A. Williamson
and Mary Pitts Yandell Williamson. He was born in Rutherford County,
on October 1, 1832. The family moved to Gibson County around 1839.
He attended the Institute at Murfreesboro. He studied law under the late
Col. M. R. Hill of Trenton, and was admitted to the bar in 1857. He
represented Gibson County in the lower House of the General Assembly
and was a federal judge in Memphis, Tennessee around the time of the Civil War.
John L. Williamson married Martha Caroline Zachary of Rutherford County, Tennessee on February 9, 1858. They had 4 children:
Sarah Elizabeth "Bettie" Williamson (1860 - 1938) married (1) James R. Hutcherson (1858 - 1881) and (2) William Nance Trimble (1858 - 1923). She and her second husband moved to Greensboro, North Carolina shortly after their marriage. Bettie had 2 children from her first marriage and 3 children from her second. Bettie and William N. Trimble are both buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Milan, Tennessee.
Nannie Williamson (1862 - ? --died young)
Mary Alice Williamson (1865 - 1877)
Laura Anne Williamson (1868 - 1942) married John Richard Person (1863 - 1943). They moved to Sumner County, Tennessee in the early 1900's and had 8 children. J. R. Person was a barber, originally from Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky. Laura and John Richard Person are buried in the City Cemetery of Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee.
John L. Williamson's wife, Martha Zachary Williamson, died in 1871. He married again to Mrs. Viola Mosely of Owensboro, Kentucky in 1875.
I found the following references to John L. Williamson in the Milan Exchange, between January and October, 1876:
(March) --- "Judge Williamson is finishing his handsome brick residence on R.R. Avenue, and building a substantial and neat fence around it".
(April 23) --- "Judges Turney and Lea, of the Supreme Court, on their return from New Orleans, stopped over here and took tea with Judge
Williamson last Sunday evening."
(July 29) --- Judge Williamson was called on for a speech Saturday, and made a short talk in favor of public schools.
Judge J. L. Williamson and W. M. McCall, Esq., have entered into a co-partnership for the practice of law in all the courts held in this state. This is a strong team, and will be hard to beat by any bar in this state.
(October) Judge J. L. Williamson has been quite ill at his residence here for several days. We hope he may recover soon.
John L. Williamson passed away on November 14, 1876 at the age of 44 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Milan, Tennessee.
I found the following article about John L. Williamson in a book about Gibson County:
"Judge John L. Williamson was for a long time a member of the bar at Trenton. He was noted for his brilliancy and wit as well as his high legal attainments. In 1867 he was appointed chancellor, which place, however, he held for only a short time. He resigned the office to resume his practice, which was large and lucrative."
Something else that I have learned about him is during his time as a Federal Judge in Memphis during the Civil War, it was said that one day while holding court he was captured by Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, but held only for a short time.