The land that the Williams brothers farmed was previously farmed by the Putnam brothers, in 1834. The Putnam brothers lived in Jackson, but traveled to the Williamston to farm land near the riverbank of the Red Cedar River. After one unsuccessful season of farming this land the Putnam brothers decided to no longer farm there.
The Williams brothers, James Miles, Oswald and Horace were the first to settle in the small village of Williamston, around the mid-1830’s. They had settled there to farm the land, once farmed by the Putnam brothers in 1834. The Williams brothers built a sawmill in 1840 and a gristmill in 1842. The brothers started to make this village a more attractive place, but James was the only one of the three brothers to remain in Williamston, which is who, the village was named after. Later James Miles Williams was named Williamston’s first Mayor in 1871.