William Baugh Lewis was born in Calloway County, Kentucky, July 6, 1834 and passed away at his home in Pope Co, IL, (bordering Johnson Co) on Dec 20, 1905. He came into Illinois from Kentucky with his father and brothers Ben and Robert in 1842 and settled on land near Ozark, IL. He obtained a home in Christ at about age 17, and joined the Cedar Creek Baptist Church near his home.
He became a diligent student of the Bible and soon manifested preaching ability. This was soon noted by his brethren, and he was ordained to the ministry on the Cedar Creek Missionary Baptist Church in 1852. He was also a farmer, schoolteacher and surveyor. He taught in Reagan School, a log school which had previously been used by his father Samuel. It is believed to be the first school taught in Johnson County, IL. He taught 16 terms of school, and 1 term as County Superintendent.
During the early part of his ministry he farmed in summer, taught school in winter, and was pastor all the following churches: Cedar Creek, Mount Hopewell, Mt. Carmel, Spring Hill, Pleasant Valley Zion Hill, Tunnel Hill, Ozark and Corinth, serving all of them once a month. He rode horseback to all of them. He was full-time pastor of the Corinth church at the time of his death.
On Sept 15, 1855, he was married to Nancy Murthy. Eight children were born to this union:
- Frank Lewis – never married
- Robert Lewis – married Laura Tramwell, called “Pope County Robert”
- Mary Lewis – married a Rhea
- Martha Lewis – married Reuben Stone
- Lizzie Lewis – married Harvey Boyd
- Charles Lewis – married Liza Miller
- Susan Lewis – married Andrew Atterbury
- Adelia Lewis – married George Griffin