Marion County


By reason of numerous rare innate qualities, together with his pleasing personal qualities, together with his pleasing personal address, his honesty of purpose and his loyalty to his native community, Mr. Williams has reached a conspicuous round in the ladder of success in his chosen field of endeavor and justly merits the high esteem in which he is held by all who know him.

A. R. Williams, the popular and well known teller of the Salem State Bank, Salem, Illinois, is a native of Marion county, having first seen the light of day in the city of Salem on December 15, 1875, the son of Rowland H. Williams, a native of New York City, who was born near Delaney street. He early decided to leave the congested metropolis and seek his fortune in the freer and less trammeled West, and consequently in casting about for an opportunity to properly get his initial start in the business world he decided to try Ohio and soon set out for Columbus and finally located near that city, then in about 1870 he came to Salem, Illinois, where he elected to remain, being impressed with the superior prospects of the place. He was proprietor of the Salem Marble Works for a number of years and at the time of his death, which occurred on December 10, 1890, he was post-master of Salem, this important appointment having been made in recognition of his valuable services and his unflagging loyalty to the principles of the party then in power. He also showed his loyalty to the Union by enlisting in the Eighty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Regiment, serving with credit throughout the war between the states.

The grandfather of the subject on the paternal side of the house was Robert Williams, a native of Wales, he and his good wife having settled in New York and later coming to Ohio. His wife, late in life, came to Salem where she died. The grandmother of the subject on his maternal side was a native of Tennessee. She, too, died in Salem where she had lived only a few years, having been called to her eternal sleep shortly after the war.

The mother of the subject was known in her maidenhood as Margaret Keeney, a native of near old Foxville, Illinois, this county, the daughter of A. W. Keeney, who moved from Indiana to Marion county where he settled on a farm, but moved to Salem during the Civil war. He had a son killed in the battle of Shiloh and this caused him to desert the old farm homestead and move to Salem. He was associated with Seth Andrews in the Salem Milling Company of Salem for many years. The last few years of his life he lived in retirement. He passed away July 2, 1890. The mother of the subject, a woman of many praise-worthy traits, is still living in 1908.

Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rowland H. Williams, one having died in infancy. Frank L. Williams, the living brother of the subject, was born in Salem May 25, 1881, and is a well-known contractor.

A. R. Williams, our subject, spent his boyhood in Salem attending the local schools, having graduated from the Salem high school in 1893, after making a splendid record for scholarship. Mr. Williams was with Cutler & Hays in the mercantile business, during which time he added very much to the prestige of the firm and won scores of customers from all over the county by reason of his courteous treatment and conscientious work, and the fact that his services were so long continued by this firm is a criterion that they were eminently satisfactory in every particular. Desiring to better fit himself for a business career which he soon determined should be his life's chief aim, he entered Brown's Business College at Centralia, from which he graduated with distinction in 1906.

The unusual ability of Mr. Williams was soon known to the business people of Salem and when the State Bank became in need of an efficient and reliable teller, no one worthier of the place could be found than our subject, consequently he was en-treated to accept this important post, which he did on December 26, 1906, after resigning his position with Cutler and Hays, much to their regret, for they well knew that they would have much difficulty in filling the place of such a valuable man.

Mr. Williams has shown rare business ability in handling his new position and has given entire satisfaction to his employers from the first, having become known as one of the most trusted and thoroughly efficient bank tellers in this part of the state.

A. R. Williams was married to Miss Olive M. Peters, of Sandoval, Illinois, October 25, 1908. She is a daughter of D. M. and Lydia (Neff) Peters. Fraternally Mr. Williams is a member of the ancient and honorable order of Masons, a member of Cyrene Commandery No. 23, Knights Templar, of Centralia, also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Salem; he is also a member of the Wood-men and the Modern American Fraternal Order.

Mr. Williams is strong in his religious convictions, being a faithful member of the Presbyterian church.

Extracted 03 Nov 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 47-48.

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