Biography of Barnum R. Williams
Tompkins County, NY Biographies





Williams, Barnum R., who for thirty or more years has been identified with various business and political interests of Tompkins county, was a native of Herkimer county, born March 14, 1836. His parents were Ralph and Matilda (Taylor) Williams, and of their four children he was the youngest. He was brought up on a farm and from early youth had to earn his own way in life. In 1853 he came to Groton and attended the academy, his brother being its principal at that time, and later on our subject taught a winter term of school. Still later he worked as a machinist in the Separator shop, where he remained until 1862, then going to Ithaca, where he was employed in the office of the county clerk, Mr. Delano. Three months afterward he purchased an interest in the Tompkins County Democrat, which he conducted until February, 1863, and then united that paper with the American Citizen, which he published under the name of Citizen and Democrat. The name, however, was subsequently changed to Ithaca Democrat, by which it is still known. Mr. Williams continued with the paper until 1842, then retired, and for three years was chief of the Ithaca police, then bookkeeper for Reynolds & Lang, and then became deputy county clerk during Mr. Partenheimer's term of office. During his residence in Ithaca Mr. Williams was five years clerk of the village, and four years chief of the Fire Department, and in connection served one year as president of the State Firemen's Association. In 1887 he returned to Groton and became secretary of the Groton Bridge and Manufacturing Company, which latter position he still holds. Mr. Williams has always been a firm Democrat, and as such received the nomination for the shrievalty in 1890. The standing majority against his party in the county is about 1200, and although defeated at the polls the majority against him was only about 600, he carrying two districts of the strong Republican town of Groton. For three years Mr. Williams was a member of the Board of Education of Groton village. In 1859 he married Rosa K. Noble, of Auburn, and they have one child by adoption.

From:
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
Including a History of Cornell University
Edited by: John H. Selkreg
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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