My mother was born to Effie Ora "Jane" (Grissom) Williams and Ralph Benton Williams. She also has told me that Ralph's father was "John Vance Williams" and - this is the important clue I think - that he was the President of the Memphis Cotton Exchange.
I went to the MCE website and it does list a Williams as a past president for two terms. However that man's name was was "John Sneed Williams." Could this be a lead and a correction to a young girl's cloudy memmory?
I have seen messages posted here by a Williams and a Sneed....coincidence?