Old Bill Williams Mountain Man


“The research on Williams’ background and early adult life is superb and the author also does a fine job of keeping the historical perspective as he moves along through the trapper’s life….No fur trade library is complete without this story of his life.” – Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly


Born during the American Revolution, Williams was a child of the early frontier. In his young manhood he became an itinerant preacher and appointed himself a missionary to the Osages, who soon converted him to their lifeway. The young Osage woman he married died after bearing his two daughters. From this point on, Old Bill forsook civilization and made the wilderness his home. He was a master trapper and so identified himself in signing his name. He was one of the guides of the Sibley survey of the Santa Fe Trail in 1825 and some twenty years later was a guide with two different Fremont expeditions.

ISBN 978-0-8061-1698-3

234 Pages

University of Oklahoma Press, 1962