Ohio Wesleyan University.
In 1855 he began study of law, was admitted to the bar in 1857, and opened an office in Washington Court House. In 1859 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Fayette County, and served two terms. Williams was elected in 1869 and again in 1871 to represent Fayette County in the Ohio House of Representatives.
In 1884, Williams was chosen Judge of the Circuit Court for the Second State Circuit.
In 1886, he was nominated by the Republicans for Supreme Court Judge, and defeated incumbent Democrat Martin Dewey Follett. He was re-elected in 1891, and 1896, and served until July 7, 1902, when he died at Columbus.
His cause of death was diabetes, and burial was at Washington Cemetery in Fayette County. Williams served as the first dean of the Ohio State University College of Law starting in 1891.
The law school opened to 23 students in the basement of the Franklin County Courthouse.
He lectured for two years before resigning in 1893. Williams married Bertha Williams of Amelia, Ohio on May 9, 1860. They had one adopted daughter.
Married Bertha Taylor, May 9, 1860.