William Lewis was born in Elmdon Parish, Warwichshire, England about 1829. He was the son of Ann Clark and William Lewis (born 1801). His grandfather was Isaac Lewis.
It is said, Isaac Lewis came to Berkswell from Wales; west of Shrewsbury around the end of the eighteenth century. Wales was a land of proverty and he came as Welsh people still do to seek work. It is believed that William (born1801) settled in Backlane Cottage, about one mile from Bear Inn. He later moved to a cottage near Berkswell Church. Three of Williamís (born 1801) sons, Isaac, John, and George, remained in England while the other three, William, Charles, and Thomas, and daughter Sarah, emigrated to America. William Lewisí (born 1801) wife, Ann Clark, was the daughter of the proprietor of the country inn known as the "Coach and Horses" on the Stratford Road, Sparkbrook near Birmingham.
William Lewis (born 1829) married Ester about 1851; they lived near Backlane. Their children, William H., Harriet, John, and Charles were born there.
William (born 1829) was the first of Williamís (born 1801)children to travel to the United States. About 1863 William (born 1829) and his family left England in an old wooden sailing vessel. The voyage lasted three months. One child, possibly John, died and was buried at sea.
Williamís (born 1829) brother Thomas Lewis and family came to the United States a year later. He traveled by steam ship which took six weeks.
Williamís (born 1829) sister, Sarah Fox and her family. his brother. Charles Lewis and his family, came to the United States together.
William Lewis (born 1829) took a train to Decatur. Macon County, Illinois. He is listed on the personal property tax record in Decatur Township in 1865 and 1866. While in Decatur Township. William lost his first wife, Ester, and later married Jane Boneham Gunnels. Jane had two children; James and Clara Jane.
On the twenty-fifth day of April 1867. William and Jane together with her parents, Jane and Samuel Boneham purchased one hundred-ten acres in section thirty-three of Friends Creek Township located two miles west and one half mile south of Argenta, Illinois. William and Jane had four children while he owned this property; Samuel, Walter, Isaac, and George. On the first of October 1873, William sold his interest in this land.
William (born 1829) and his family except his son William H. from his first marriage, moved to Kansas by covered wagon. The older children walked and drove the livestock. Jane and William had three daughters; Sarah, Ida and Esther after arriving in Kansas. Harriet, William's (born l829) oldest daughter returned to Illinois in 1876 and married Jane's younger brother, John E. Boneham.
On the twenty-fifth day of October 1878, William Lewis (born 1829) purchased eighty acres of section twenty-five Richland Township from Sarah M. Meece. He purchased one hundred-sixty acres in section twenty-five from the United States government on the seventeenth day of February 1879. On the twenty-first day of October 1879, he purchased an additional eighty acres in section twenty-five from Sarah M. Meece.
William H. Lewis (born 1852), son of William (born 1829) and Ester, married Sarah in Illinois and then moved to Kansas in 1879 with their son William Walter.
When William Lewis (born 1829) lived in Illinois, the law required the livestock to be fenced. In Kansas open range prevailed, therefore, he permitted the livestock to run loose during the day and put them in a corral at night.
William Lewis (born l829) dug a well for the family water. The livestock drank from Richland Creek that ran through the property. They cut firewood on the property for fuel. When they went to Winfield shopping it took all day. They made bread from the wheat, had meat supplied by beef, hogs, and sheep, and enjoyed fresh garden vegetables.
The 1880 census indicated William Lewis (born 1829) did not read or write, his brothers Charles and Thomas were listed the same way. William died the fifteenth of January, 1881. His real property consisted chiefly of one half section of land, twenty-three head of cattle, six horses, twelve hogs, ten acres of growing wheat, farm implements, household furniture, eighty sheep and interest in one thousand ninety-five head of sheep that he was keeping on shares. William Lewis was buried at the Wakefield Cemetery near Atlanta, Kansas.