Theodore O. Williams

Page 364-365 - Theodore O. Williams, our county surveyor, was born in Allegan, Michigan, May 27, 1861, a son of William B. and Maryette (Osborn) Williams. William B. Williams was a prominent attorney of Allegan and Grand Rapids for many years having an office in both cities. In Grand Rapids the firm of Williams & Harlan and Williams & Wylie will be remembered by all of the old attorneys. He was a member of congress from 1873 to 1876 and had the honor of defeating for the office the Honorable C. C. Comstock who was at that time a very prominent citizen of Grand Rapids. After his congressional career he was one of the first railroad commissioners of the state and many of his rulings are still in force in the present railroad commissionerís office. In his home life William B. Williams was a strict church man and was vestryman of the Episcopal church from its organization until his death, while Mrs. Williams was the organist of the same church for over thirty years. Theodore graduated from the Allegan high school in 1879 and attended the Michigan Agricultural College. After two years on the farm he spent three years in the then booming southwestern Kansas. Returning to Allegan in 1886 he was appointed Allegan county surveyor. In 1891 he came to Grand Rapids to survey the new territory recently annexed to the city. While in the employ of the city he received the nomination and election as Kent county surveyor and took his office on January 1, 1893, where he took root and has remained continuously in the office with the exception of a short vacation in 1897, from 1893 to date the completion of this term will make thirty-four years of active service as Kent county surveyor. At present he is president of Williams & Works, an engineering corporation having offices at 232 Ottawa avenue. Their work includes general surveying and platting in and around the city of Grand Rapids, municipal engineering for the smaller cities and villages and drainage work for Kent county and several of the surrounding counties. Theodore O. Williams was married in 1892 to Ida Whitcomb of Plainwell, Michigan, and they have one son Wilfred B. Williams who was born in 1895. He graduated from the city high school in 1914 and would have graduated from the Michigan Agricultural College in 1918 if the World war in which he enlisted has not broken his plans. At the end of the war he was discharged with the rank of lieutenant. He was married to Emily Castle of Mt. Clemens, Michigan, in 1919 and graduated from the Michigan Agricultural College in 1921. He is now following along the path surveyed by his father and is now treasurer and manager of the corporation of Williams & Works as well as deputy county surveyor. At the present time Theodore O. Williams has varied business interests and is a member of the Masonic order, Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen. He owns a very comfortable home in the village of East Grand Rapids and with his good wife is trying to enjoy the fruits of his long service, but does not believe in rusting out, and every day finds him in his office at the court house.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 29 January 2004