Biography of William E. Tanner
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Tanner, William E., was born in Newport, England, May 20, 1864. His parents, Thomas and Anna (Gatehouse) Tanner, came to America when he was quite young and resided one year in Albany, N. Y., then moved to New Bedford, Mass., where they remained for three years and then came to Fall River. Mr. Tanner obtained his education in the public schools of New Bedford and Fall River. He was a messenger boy in the Western Union Telegraph office, then became operator for the Western Union Telephone Company; was soon promoted to switchman and when the company was consolidated with the American Bell Telephone Company he was made inspector of instruments and later had charge of the construction work for this company. After learning the telephone business, Mr. Tanner was employed in the city fire alarm department and wheu Edwin Lee was superintendent performed the duties of that position for him. He next had charge of the electrical work for the Old Colony Railway between Whittenton and Newport, R. I., remaining in that position five years. In 1889 he engaged in business for himself at 64 North Main street, and later removed to 175 North Main street, dealing in electrical supplies, bicycles and sporting goods. He is a thirty second degree Mason, a member of Godfrey de Bouillon Corn mandery, Knights Templar, Royal Arch Chapter, and Fall River Council of Royal and Select Masters. He is also a member of the Red Men, Odd Fellows and Knights of Pthias. Mr. Tanner was married to Hattie L. Smith of Fall River, a daughter of Chester I. Smith, who was a purser on the Fall River Line for twenty two years. They have four children; William Chester, Walter Edwin, Susan Elizabeth and Ethel Louise.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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