LaSalle County

Biography - SILAS W. WILLIAMS

The gentleman here named is a retired paper manufacturer and a prominent citizen of Streator. He was born in Albany, Vermont, on March 22, 1841, a direct descendant of Roger Williams, of colonial fame, to wit: Roger Williams, Joseph, John, Nathaniel, James, James R., Cyril, Silas W. The grandfather, James R., served in the Revolutionary war, and Darius, an uncle, was a soldier in the war of 1812.

Cyril Williams was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1801, and was taken by his father, in change of residence, to Vermont in 1807. At the same time his grandfather emigrated to that state with them. Cyril Williams married Catherine Wetherbee, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, a daughter of Caleb Wetherbee and a granddaughter of Nathan Wetherbee and Elizabeth Dunton, also of the Bay state. Nathan Wetherbee was a minute man of the Revolution. Mrs. Williams attained the remarkable age of ninety-three years.

Silas W. Williams was educated in the public schools of Caledonia county, Vermont, and the Orleans Liberal Institute, of that state. In 1869 he came to Ottawa, Illinois, and engaged in the manufacture of strawboard and straw wrapping paper. He afterward owned paper mills at Dayton, Marseilles and Streator, all in this county. In 1893 he sold out his paper-mill interests to the Columbia Straw Paper Company and retired from the manufacturing business, engaging in banking and real estate. He was a director of the City National bank, and was the president for some years of the Young Men's Christian Association. He has also filled the position of president of the board of education since 1896. He is an active member of the Streator Social Service Club, and also of the Streator Social Club, and in his religious relations a member of the Park Presbyterian church, in which he was for a number of years the president of the board of trustees. In politics he is a Democrat, with no ambitions for political office. He has the broadness of character to vote for a Republican if he thinks that the public welfare will be best promoted thereby.

In 1873 he married Catherine E. Worthingham, a daughter of Morrison and Sarah Angeline (Barker) Worthingham. Her father was a lieutenant in the One Hundredth Illinois Regiment in the civil war, and was killed at the Battle of Stone River near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He was but nine years old when brought to Canada by his father in his emigration from England, his native land. Shortly after their arrival in America his father returned to England on business, and died there. Later the son came into the United States. Mrs. Williams' grandfather, Benjamin Barker, was in the war of 1812, and her great-grandfather, Zenas Barker, served in the war of the Revolution. Her brother, Charles, served in our late war with Spain. Her grandmother was Catherine Goodrich, of Roxbury, Connecticut. The American Goodriches settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut, about 1643. The family in England can be traced to an ancestor who fought and fell in Harold's army at Hastings in 1066.

Mr. and Mrs. Williams have two children, — Alice Amelia and Blanche Catherine.

Extracted 17 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 500-501.


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