John Williams

Source: Roberts, C. R., et al, History of Lehigh County Pennsylvania, 1914, Vol. 3.



(1831 – 1904)


When but a little over eight years of age, he was brought to America by his parents and located at Schenectady, N. Y. At the age of fourteen he entered the employ of John Fullagar of that city, as a clerk. In 1845 he followed the rest of the family, who were then living at Catasauqua, and at once entered the office of the Crane Iron Company. His first duty was to weigh the ore and limestone that was hauled hither by team, to feed three furnaces. Those were busy days, for team was followed by team all day long. In 1849 he was promoted to the position of Assistant Cashier, and, after the death of Owen Rice, he was promoted in 1856 to the office of Cashier. He performed the duties of this office with signal fidelity throughout the remainder of his life Mr. Williams was actively connected with many local enterprises the Catasauqua Manufacturing Company in which he held office until his decease. He served as Passenger Agent for the C. & F. R. R. Company for many years, and was Director and later the President of the Catasauqua Gas Company. He was a Director and at the time of his death Vice-President of the National Bank of Catasauqua. He was also a Director in the Lehigh Valley Trust and Safe Deposit Company of Allentown, and President of the Farmers' Fire Insurance Company of Upper and Lower Saucon Townships, and President of the Fairview Cemetery Association. Since man's acts are more eloquent than his words, it is but necessary to point to the many associations in which his counsel and encouragements were sought to show the shrewd and pleasing character of the man, and his earnest endeavor to promote the welfare of his fellow townsmen.


She, whom he led to the bridal altar, September 14, 1852, was Emma Caroline Heilig, daughter of Rev. George Heilig, a Lutheran clergyman. Her mother's maiden name was Susannah Hook. They began housekeeping on Church Street in one of the Company homes. Mrs. Williams repeatedly declared the happiest period of her life was the season of her housekeeping on Church Street. For a while the family lived in Fuller's Block. After David Thomas left the "Mansion" on Front Street, John Williams and family occupied it. During 1870 he erected the beautiful home on Bridge Street which he occupied until his death, May 24, 1892, and his widow after him, until her death, September 29, 1913. The hospitality of the Williams home was as genuine as its surroundings, which being adorned with palms, ferns and many rare plants, were beautiful and inviting. In 1852 Mr. and Mrs. Williams took up their membership in the First Presbyterian Church, in which he was elected an Elder in 1872; and he served his people as Superintendent of the Sunday School for many years-until his death. With an intermission of one year he served the Borough as Burgess from 1861 to 1873.


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