Biography of William P. Filmer
San Francisco, CA Biographies





WILLIAM P. FILMER
As a member of the second generation of his family to engage in the electrotyping business, William P. Filmer is now president of the Filmer Brothers Electrotype Company, at 330 Jackson street in San Francisco. Mr. Filmer was born in Morrisania, now a part of New York city, March 2, 1866, and is a son of the late William and Elizabeth (Royal) Filmer. When he was four months old, his parents moved to San Francisco, California. William Filmer was one of the inventors of the electrotype process in 1849, and he followed this vocation during his active life. He was an expert printer, and established the first electrotyping business in San Francisco. He was a leader in his line and his business grew rapidly from year to year. His death occurred in 1900. His wife, also a native of New York, died in 1895. To them were born three sons, all of whom became interested in electrotyping.

William P. Filmer attended the public schools, and as a boy became associated with his father in business, starting at the bottom and learning every step under the expert guidance of his skilled parent. To further his knowledge of the business, his father sent him to New York, where he worked in the firm of F. A. Ringler Company for nearly one year. This company does a large law book business, and operates more linotype machines than any other firm west of Chicago. When his father died, William P. Filmer became president of the concern which is now known as Filmer Brothers Electrotype Company, and he is also secretary of the Cooperative Binding Company.

In public affairs pertaining to the bay region, Mr. Filmer has been conspicuously active. He was president of the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District, a quasi public association which was permitted existence by legislative act. The directors of the association are selected by the supervisors of the following six counties: San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Del Norte, and the object is the building of the proposed mammoth Golden Gate bridge. Mr. Filmer was elected president of the organization by the directors. He directed the campaign of publicity and attended to other duties of preliminary nature, then the bonds were voted by a large majority and preparations are being made for the construction of the bridge, one of the largest undertakings of its kind ever attempted in the history of the world.

On May 26, 1886, in San Francisco, California, Mr. Filmer was married to Miss Matilda Sproul, a native of San Francisco, and a daughter of John and Mary (Sproul) Sproul. Mr. and Mrs. Filmer have one daughter, Marion Filmer Bradford. The Filmier residence is situated at 711 Scott street in San Francisco.

In the Masonic order, Mr. Filmer has attained the thirty third degree, and has been an active member of the Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States for twenty years. He is past grand master of the Free and Accepted Masons of California, and is president of the Masonic Club of San Francisco. He belongs to the Bohemian and the Commonwealth Clubs in this city. His political affiliation has been with the republican party. Trout fishing and outdoor life have usually appealed to him as the most desirable recreations. He is universally considered one of San Francisco's substantial and public spirited citizens, always willing to cooperate in affairs which meet with his approval.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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