Biography of Charles E. Williams


Williams, Charles E., was born in Buffalo. February 21, 1852, and has spent his whole business life in that city. He has been one of the fundamental thoroughgoing workers who have done so much to make Buffalo a great modern city in all respects. His father was a prominent contractor, and the subject of this sketch was for many years engaged in the building business. Mr. Williams was educated in the public schools of Buffalo, and at that well known private institution, the Heathcote School. After completing his course at the High School he entered his father's office as bookkeeper, retaining the position for three years. Having resolved to obtain a technical education, he went to Germany, and pursued a two years' course .at the celebrated Stuttgart Polytechnic Institute. His work there was devoted, for the most part, to engineering, architecture, and kindred subjects. Upon his return to this country in 1876 he was taken into partnership by his father, under the firm name of William I. Williams & Son, general contractors and builders; after the dissolution of this firm, he entered into partnership with D. W. McConnell, under the style of Williams & McConnell. Among the big contracts undertaken and successfully carried out by this firm was the great reservoir at Charlottesville, Va. Mr. Williams has paid much attention to the important problem of street paving, and he has extended his business interests in that direction. He is president of the German Rock Asphalt and Cement Company (Limited), which has laid many miles of smooth asphalt pavement on the streets of Buffalo. He laid the first Medina blockstone pavement on a concrete base ever put down on a public thoroughfare. He was the contractor of the government breakwater extension at the port of Buffalo in 1884. On the death of his partner, Mr. McConnell. Mr. Williams organized a new firm, of which he is senior member-Williams, McNaughton & Bapst. This firm is largely engaged in the paving and general contracting business, and is interested in the grade crossing changes now going on at what is known as the Terrace in the city of Buffalo. This work is extremely important, as it will permit the trains of the Central-Hudson, Lake Shore, Michigan Central, and other railroads to enter the Union station at Buffalo without crossing at grade several streets whose congested traffic is now so endangered. Mr. Williams is treasurer of the Buffalo Dredging Company, vice-president of the Buffalo Floating Elevator Company, and president of the McConnell Catch Basin Company. Not only in business circles is Mr. Williams active and prominent, but equally in social and military affairs is he a factor. For five years he was a member of old Co. D, Buffalo City Guards, and for an equal period was quartermaster of the 74th Regiment, N. G. N. Y. He is a Scottish Rite Mason of the 32d. degree, a life member of the Buffalo Press Club, and a member of the Buffalo Republican League.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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