Biography of Robert E. Williams
Oregon Biographies





Robert Evans Williams, now serving his second term as postmaster of The Dallies, is a native of Wisconsin, born in Dodgeville in 1850, and is a son of Robert E. and Jane (Roberts) Williams, who in 1852 crossed the plains to Oregon. While making the trip the father died and was buried at Well Springs, Oregon. Following this sad event, Mrs. Williams and her little family continued the journey and finally reached Portland, where they settled for a time. In 1853 they removed to Oregon City, where Robert E. Williams, Jr., received his early education. He later attended the National Business College at Portland, from which he was graduated in 1872. He spent the next two years as a clerk in a shoe store and the two following years worked in a mercantile establishment. After a year in railroad service, Mr. Williams removed to Boise, Idaho, in 1876, and there worked as a surveyor for three years, returning to Oregon City in 1879. In 1880 he removed to The Dallies, where for the next eight years he was employed in the store of E. Wyngate & Company. In 1888 he again made his home in Boise, Idaho, but during the following year returned to The Dallies, where he has since continued to reside, being one of the best known men in the business and public life of the city. In 1890 Mr. Williams became one of the owners of The Dalles Mercantile Company, continuing in that line until 1894, when he sold his interest in the business and established a clothing store, which in turn he also sold. He then engaged in farming until 1912, when he disposed of his farming interests. He was a careful and painstaking farmer and was successful in his operations.

It was in 1913 that President Wilson appointed Mr. Williams to the responsible position of postmaster of The Dalles, his services in that office proving so acceptable that he was reappointed in 1918 and is still serving, his present term expiring in 1922. In 1894 he was the candidate of the democratic party for the office of county treasurer of Wasco county but failed of election as the county was then, as now, largely republican. Mr. Williams is one of the most active and zealous workers in the ranks of the democratic party in this part of the state, and he stands high in its councils, his advice and views being frequently sought at times when his party's fortunes are at stake. He is one of the best liked and popular men in Wasco county, where be is regarded on all sides as a sterling citizen. He is one of the most influential members of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce and is public spirited to an unusual degree, as is shown by the fact that the handsome federal building at The Dallies was erected during his incumbency as postmaster.

In 1889 Mr. Williams was united in marriage to Violet Matlock, a daughter of John P. Matlock, a well known and prosperous Wasco county farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Williams are the parents of five children, namely: Robert E., Jr., Olive V., Daisy H., Georgiana M. and Mabel F. The Williams family have ever been active in all social and public movements intended to advance the best interests of the community in which they live.

From:
History of Oregon Illistrated
Vol. 3
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922


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