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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Bedford H. Williams Papers MSS.3683


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

September 2012


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2012-09-13T11:05-0500

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Collection Title:

Bedford H. Williams papers

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University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


1.0 Linear feet




Legal documents, financial records, correspondence, and other personal papers of this Tuscaloosa County probate judge in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Williams, Bedford H.

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Preferred Citation:

Bedford H. Williams Papers, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

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unknown; revised by Martha Bace, 2012

Biographical/Historical note

Bedford H. Williams (1822-1917) owned and operated a cotton gin and served as Probate Judge of Tuscaloosa County in the late 19th through early 20th centuries. He married Elizabeth Shepherd on 17 February 1845 and they had five children (Sarah, James, Mary, Emeline, and Dock). Elizabeth probably died before 1880, as the 1900 U.S. Census shows Penina as his wife of 20 years.

When Williams died in February 1917, Joe A. Searcy became guardian to Williams' wife, Pennina E. Williams. Searcy was a surveyor and ran for Probate Judge in 1928. The relationship between Searcy and his father, Reuben, to the Williams remains unclear.

Scope and Contents note

The majority of the papers consist of legal documents issued by Williams while serving as Probate Judge, along with financial records, correspondence, and other miscellaneous materials. Surveying notes of Searcy, along with financial records of his and his father, and records from the construction of the Warrior River Bridge are included.


Searcy, Joe A. (local)

Searcy, Reuben (local)

Williams, Pennina (local)

Alabama (local)

Daily Life and Family (local)

Southern Life and Culture (local)

Deeds, 1847-1888 Box 5734 Folder 1

Deeds, 1891-1894 Box 5734 Folder 2

Deeds, 1895-1914 Box 5734 Folder 3

Sheriffs Deeds Box 5734 Folder 4

Land Deeds Box 5734 Folder 5

Quit Claim Deeds Box 5734 Folder 6

Warranty Deeds Box 5734 Folder 7

Deeds of Conveyance Box 5734 Folder 8

Mortgages, 1867-1895 Box 5734 Folder 9

Mortgages, 1896-1902 Box 5734 Folder 10

Powers of Attorney Box 5734 Folder 11

Records of Estates Box 5734 Folder 12

Petitions and Declarations of Exemptions Box 5734 Folder 13

Contracts Box 5734 Folder 14

Petitions and Letters of Administration Box 5734 Folder 15

Incorporations Box 5734 Folder 16

Bonds Box 5734 Folder 17

Records of Judgement Box 5734 Folder 18

Patents, Licenses, Rights Box 5734 Folder 19

Contract of Confession of Judgement Box 5734 Folder 20

Satisfaction of Mortgages Box 5734 Folder 21

Liens Box 5734 Folder 22

Town Beats Box 5734 Folder 23

Miscellaneous Legal Documents Box 5734 Folder 24

Constructions of Warrior River Bridge Box 5734 Folder 25

Tax Receipts Box 5734 Folder 26

Money Owed to B.H. and P.E Williams Box 5734 Folder 27

Bills and Receipts of B.H. and P.E. Williams Box 5734 Folder 28

Bank Records of B.H. and P.E. Williams Box 5734 Folder 29

Correspondence to B.H. Williams Box 5734 Folder 30

Envelopes Box 5734 Folder 31

Personal - B.H. and P.E. Williams Box 5734 Folder 32

Advertisements and Miscellaneous Box 5734 Folder 33

Miscellaneous Court Papers of B.H. Williams Box 5734 Folder 34

Surveys - Joe A. Searcy Box 5734 Folder 35

Money Owed to Rueben Searcy and Son Box 5734 Folder 36

Papers unrelated to Williams or Searcy Box 5734 Folder 37

Joe A. Searcy's Receipt Book Box 5734