Williams, Charles Edwin - Erie County

CHARLES EDWIN WILLIAMS, senior member of the firm of Williams, McNaughton & Bapst, and President of the German Rock Asphalt & Cement Company, the Buffalo Expanded Metal Company, the Lake Erie Dredging Company, and the Continental Engineering & Contracting Company, is one of the foremost contractors and industrial executives of Western New York. Mr. Williams comes of a family which has been identified with Buffalo since the pioneer period of that city.

William I. Williams, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born near Fort Niagara in 1823, being the son of Daniel Williams, an army officer stationed at the fort, who later conducted a hotel at Black Rock and Utica. As a young man he learned the tobacconist's trade, and that of carpenter and joiner. In 1849 he went to California and accumulated enough money to enable him to start in business. Returning to Buffalo in 1850, he purchased a lumber yard, and later bought a lumber yard in Main street, conducting a lumber, contracting and building business for the next fifteen years, and admitting to partnership his son, Charles E. Williams, under the firm style of William I. Williams & Son. Mr. Williams erected many large buildings, and upwards of 2,000 houses, stores and other structures in Buffalo were of his construction. He retired from business in 1884, and died November 7, 1885. In 1845 Mr. Williams married Eliza C. Ramsdell, daughter of Capt. Alexander Ramsdell of Buffalo. Their children were: Charles Edwin, and Cora E. (Mrs. Reuben J. Getz).

Charles Edwin Williams was born in Buffalo February 21, 1852, and was educated in the public schools and at Heath cote School. On leaving school he became his father's bookkeeper, continuing in that capacity for three years. He then went to Germany, and entered Stuttgart Polytechnic Institute, where he pursued a two years' course In architecture, engineering and similar subjects. Returning to Buffalo, he entered into partnership with his father, and in 1884 became associated with D. W. McConnell. The firm of Williams & McConnell being dissolved by the death of the junior partner, Mr. Williams organized the firm of Williams, McNaughton & Bapst, which soon .stood in the front rank of the general contracting business.

Mr. Williams is a Republican, but has never held office. In the military affairs of Buffalo he has a creditable record, having served as a member of the old Company D, City Guard, and also as Quartermaster of the 74th Regiment, National Guard. He is of high, standing in the Masonic order, being a Scottish Rite Mason of the 32d degree. He is a member of the Ellicott and Press clubs, the Chamber of Commerce and the Historical Society, and is connected with various other organizations.

June 6, 1906, Mr. Williams married Jeanette J. Hodges, daughter of the late Edward Hodges.

SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I