Charles Ellsworth Williams
Charles Ellsworth Williams

Charles Ellsworth Williams

© 1997, Sam Behling

My great grandfather, Charles Ellsworth Williams, was born November 14, 1862 in Porter County, Indiana, son of Thomas Patton Williams and Amanda Barnard. He married before 1889 in Dallas County, Iowa, Lydia S. Bell, daughter of George Bell and Lucretia A. Herdon. Charlie and Lydia had four children, Edna, Arthur, my grandfather, and two other boys, Joy and Dewey.

What little I know about my great grandparents comes from a faded copy of a newspaper article, apparently published in Dallas County Iowa where they lived and reads as follows:

"A hoosier among the hawkeyes, genial, cheery, good natured, Charlie E. Williams came to Perry just 18 years ago and bought in the barber business with Al Hoblet who was running a shop in the old Miller billiard parlos on Second Street. In a few months, however, as the trade of the new firm increased, the location was moved to the Aikin building in the present site of the Fenfgeld's Tailoring establishment. He has been continuously in the business here since, except the irregular intervals when he has been engaged in trading or exchanging or consumating sales with Bellamy, his one time partner, and always close friend. It is on record that Williams and Bellamy have traded or made other deals 23 times in 18 years and for a long time the printers kept an item standing to that effect. And the farmers would take the announcement as an indication that the time had come to begin seeding and our merchants would order their spring goods. When he isn't trading, Charlie runs one of the best 3 chair shops in all this section, is comfortably located in the basement of the 1st Nat. Bank blck, and has a splendid run of custom [sic]. Charles took the show fever a few years since and took a traveling troop out on the road. It isn't recorded who brought it back, but Charlie returned, traded once more with B____ added another chair to the splendid outfit in the shop, he had kept as a kind of fall back, and with the same old smile began again to holler, "next".

"He is industrious, hence prosperous, honest, hence has the confidence of the people, good natured, hence has many friends, and on First Avenue lives in a pleasant home with the interesting family to whom he is devoted. Charlie has four children, 3 boys and a girl. The eldest, Edna, married, is now Mrs. R. G. Wean and lives in Cedar Rapids. She has one child, a boy, and Charlie thinks he is the only one in the state. His oldest son, Arthur is like his father, a barber, and has a position in Perry. Joy, his next son is in the show business at Pine Bluffs, Ark. where he is making a success. The other boy, Dewey is in school. Mr. Williams is a consistent member of the Odd Fellows and Woodman Lodges, and is regarded as one of our reliable citizens."

Charlie died May 14, 1928 in Perry, Dallas Co., Iowa while Lydia died May 28, 1938 in Perry. Both are buried at Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry.

Williams Family

Back: Charles Ellsworth Williams, Great Grandfather; Arthur K. Williams, Grandfather

Front: Minnie (Hiney) Williams, Grandmother Lydia (Bell) Williams, Great Grandmother

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