Amos Williams (1797-1857) was the clerk of the Vermilion County Commissioner's Court at its first meeting in 1826. As county agent, he conducted the first officially advertised sale of lots in Danville in 1827. Williams also held other county offices and was appointed the first postmaster in Vermilion County from 1826 to 1844. This collection contains the papers of Williams, illustrating the local politics of the day, with special reference to Vermilion and Edgar Counties in the 1830's and 1840's, and contains a number of letters from important political leaders of the state and from various early residents of eastern Illinois. In addition, the collection details business matters in Danville, including the routine business of the postmaster, the land agent, the county official, and the storekeeper. The collection also documents Williams' interest in farming, ferries, sawmills and gristmills, saline works, transportation, and schools.
The collection also contains the papers of Williams' son-in-law, Dr. W. W. R. Woodbury (1824-1901). The Woodbury papers concern drug and general merchandising, farms, seed orders, and road improvements, as well as historical, community, and family interests. In addition, there are some papers relating to Gurdon S. Hubbard and the Indian trade near Danville, as well as papers concerning various Vermilion county settlers. The collection also contains ledger books used by the Woodbury Drug Company, scrapbooks, notebooks, class books, bankbooks, and feed books.
Amos G. Woodbury, son of Dr. Woodbury, preserved and arranged the collection. His sister, Flo Woodbury, donated the collection to the Library.