As with everything else Pope County, I looked in the index for Williamsons. There was my main man William Woodberry, who was very active in this group and happened to be its President for five years.
This annual convention brought together area congregations for a weekend of spirituality and song. Along with the minutes, in this book there were photocopied images of people and churches. Imagine my surprise to see a picture of ol' WWW and his two grown sons Jack and Sam. William Woodberry Williamson was seated, with his two eldest sons standing formally, one on each side. The copied photo was of poor quality, but there was no doubt: there were my great-great grandfather, Wood, my great-grandfather Sam and his brother Jack.
Thoughts were swirling in my mind. Who has this photo now and how can I get a copy of it? The book was privately printed in 1980 and I was pretty sure Mr. Lemley was long gone.
For months I plotted a strategy to locate this photo. It became my white whale just like the book Moby Dick. I planned to ask the Russellville library, but I had my doubts about that long shot. The county historical asssociation had no web site. I didn't even know if it existed anymore. I pondered the chances of getting a reply on a message board.
More weeks passed and I spent my time getting ready for this Arkansas road trip. I planned to bring the bad photocopy of the picture and ask around, but I had a lot of other tasks to accomplish as well.
The days flew during our stint in Arkansas. Suddenly it was the last day and time for our visit with our relative. If you read my entry titled, Arkansas Road Trip, Part 4, you know that while we were in Pope County, we phoned a complete stranger, explained how we were related, and received an invitation to his home. So off we drove to meet new family.
After some confusion, we located the right house and rang the bell. We were warmly greeted and invited in to the kitchen. On the table was a pile of photos and albums, clearly full of common ancestors.
Guess what was sitting on top of the pile? My white whale:
Standing to the left is Jack Lawrence Williamson (1884-1960). Standing to the right is Sam Hill Williamson (1878-1943). Seated is their father, William Woodberry Williamson (1853-1942).
I believe this picture was taken during WWW's stint as president of the Pope County Singing Convention. It was definitely taken before Sam left for medical school. Date range: 1894-1904.
This is why I do it. Leave no stone unturned...