WILLIAMS, MARY SCOTT HILL (1844-1930) Mary Scott Hill Williams was born July 25, 1844, twelve miles outside of Bastrop, Texas in the area known as Hill's Prairie. Her parents, Middleton Hill and Julia Foster Walker Hill, came to Texas in 1837. Middleton Hill obtained a land grant from the Spanish government in 1835. Mary Hill went to school in a log cabin near her home until she turned fourteen. She was then educated in Bastrop at a school run by a Mr. and Mrs. Carmer. When her father helped to found Ruetersville College, Mary and her two older sisters, Martha and Sarah were among the first students to enroll.
In 1859 Mary was fortunate to have attended the inauguration of General Sam Houston as Governor of Texas. She later described the pageantry of the occasion as ". . . Houston riding up in a carriage with glass doors drawn by two satiny-black horses boasting red plumes in their bridles, each horse covered with a netting whose tasseled edges reached almost to the ground".
She fought through a major thunderstorm to attend the event and was the last person who saw the occassion to pass away.
Mary was seventeen when the Civil War broke out and a student at Ruetersville College, the first women's college in Texas. She returned home to take charge of the plantation when the last of her five brothers was called to battle. She managed the day to day appertains of the plantation including the collection and branding of livestock and the ploughing and planting of the crops with the help of the plantation slaves. After the war, she dealt with the violations of life and property by carpetbaggers.
In July of 1869 Mary Scott Hill married James Duncan Williams. They moved to Giddings, Texas where they had one child, a daughter named Mary. James Williams died in 1885. Soon after, the wife of another Williams family member passed away in Giddings. Mary invited the widower and his nine children to move into her spacious home, where she then raised and educated them as well as the other children in the community.
Mary Scott Hill Williams died in Austin, Texas on March 20, 1930. She was buried in the Texas State Cemetery the next day. Her only surviving relative was her daughter, Mary Goldman.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Pickrell, Annie Doom "Pioneer Women of Texas," Jenkins Publishing Company, Pemberton press, Austin and New York, 1970; Certificate of Death #11-36-1007, Bureau of Vital Statistics; "Houston Inaugural Witness Dies Here: Rites Set for Pioneer of Republic," The Austin Statesman, Friday, March 21, 1930.