Ransome Judson Williams

72nd Governor of the State of South Carolina 1945 to 1947

Date Born: January 4, 1892

Date Died: January 7, 1970

Place Born: Cope, SC (Orangeburg County)

Place Buried: Southern Palms Memorial Gardens, North Myrtle Beach, SC

Residence: Mullins, SC, then North Myrtle Beach, SC

Occupation: Pharmacist


Medical College of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

South Carolina House of Representatives: 1931-1932

Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina: 1943-1945

On January 2, 1945, Williams succeeded to the office of governor following the resignation of Gov. Olin Dewitt Talmadge Johnston

Williams served as a Trustee of Coker College, the Medical College of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina, and The Citadel


Ransome Judson Williams was born on January 4, 1892 in Cope, SC, the son of Theophilus Darius Williams and Ida F. (Smoak) Williams. He moved to Mullins, SC in 1909, and earned a degree in pharmacy from the Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston, SC in 1914.

In 1916, Ransome Judson Williams married Virginia Allen, daughter of Joel Isham Allen and Helen Laura (Bass) Allen of Dillon County, and they had two known daughters.

Williams was by profession a pharmacist and had business interests in Mullins, Florence, and North Myrtle Beach. He served as Mayor of the town of Mullins for eight years.

In 1930, Ransome Judson Williams was elected as one of two men to represent Marion County in the House of Representatives of the:
- 79th General Assembly that met from 1931-1932

Williams was elected as Lieutenant Governor in 1943, defeating Sen. George K. Laney. On January 2, 1945, Ransome Judson Williams succeeded to the office of governor of South Carolina after the resignation of Gov. Olin Dewitt Talmadge Johnston, who was elected to the U.S. Senate. Williams was one of eleven candidates who ran for governor in the 1946 Democratic Primary, but he failed to make a runoff election, which was won by Strom Thurmond.

Williams' friendly relations with the state legislature during his term as governor took a bitter turn after the end of the 1946 General Assembly, when he blasted the lawmakers for not enacting a state-owned liquor store system. He then called a Special Session of the legislature in an effort to get the ABC system enacted, but in nine days, the lawmakers did nothing, then adjourned.

Ransome Judson Williams was a past President of the SC Pharmaceutical Association and a six-year member of the SC Board of Pharmaceutical Examiners. He was also earlier the manager of the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company in Florence, SC. Williams had been a member of the Junior Order American Mechanics, Rotary's Club, Woodmen of the World, and Phi Delta Kappa fraternity.

Williams was active in the SC State Fair and was President of the SC State Fair Association for many years after his term as governor. He was formerly Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Medical College of South Carolina, and a member of the board of Coker College in Hartsville, SC.

Ransome Judson Williams died at Ocean View Hospital in North Myrtle Beach on January 7, 1970 and was buried in the Southern Palms Memorial Gardens in North Myrtle Beach, SC.


Born in Cope, South Carolina, Ransome Judson Williams studied at the Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston, where he later served on the Board of Trustees. He was President of Delta Drug Company in Myrtle Beach, part owner of a drugstore in Mullins, and manager of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company in Florence. He was a member of the Marion County Board of Education, Mayor of Mullins, and a member of the SC House of Representatives prior to being elected Lieutenant Governor. In his capacity as Lieutenant Governor, he succeeded to the governorship upon the resignation of Gov. Olin Dewitt Talmadge Johnston. During Williams’ tenure as governor, the state Department of Research, Planning and Development was established and a retirement system for public employees and teachers was created. In addition, the state legislature approved retention of the poll tax and lowered the voting age for members of the Democratic Party.

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