Thomas and Rose Williams
By Douglas H. Shepard, 2012
The earliest notice is in the Fredonia Censor of 8 November 1911: “Bargain at East Main Store. Thomas Williams begins a special sale at his Department Store, No. 17 E.Main street, Friday. Some of the prices will be found in this paper and are sure to attract customers. His shoe department is a marvel for cheapness and the shoes are good. His shelves are full of fine goods. Go in and look at them. Miss Williams is very pleasant and will show you goods and prices cheerfully.”
The 1912 Directory lists Thomas and Rose with a “Dry Goods and Shoes” store at 17 East Main Street. They live there as well, no doubt over the store. Phebe Williams, clerk, works at 17 East Main and resides there. Mylan and Letitia Williams live at 120 Eagle Street. He is a clerk in the dry goods store. The business is listed in the 1913 and 1915 Classified Directories printed in the Fredonia Censor.
The 1915 Federal Census lists on East Main Street “Thomas Williams, dry goods merchant, 57, born in Syria. Came to the U.S. 15 years ago. Still an alien. His wife, Mary, 50, born in Syria. To the U.S. 13 years ago. Their son Louis, 29, a dry goods merchant and daughter Mary, dry goods clerk, both born in Syria and to the U.S. 13 years ago. Ida, 13, born in the U.S. and Thomas, 11, also born in the U.S.”
1915 Directory: Louis Williams, dry goods, 17 East Main and Mrs. Lizzie Williams.
1917 Diretory: Louis and Rose Williams, dry goods, 17 East Main Street.
On 1 May 1918 Louis married Anna George of Buffalo at St. Joseph's Church in Fredonia. (A cousin?)
1919 Directory: Lews and Rose Williams, dry goods, 17 East Main Street, Samuel Williams, grocer, 20 Water Street, resides at 17 East Main Street, Thomas Willams resides at 17 East Main Street.
16 July 1919, Mary Rose George Williams died, age 57. Born in Syria. Survived by her husband, Thomas, eight children. A brother, Ayoub George. Funeral at St. Joseph's. Burial at St.Mary's.
22 September 1920. Ida married Joseph Thomas of Lackawanna at St. Joseph's.
1921 Directory: L. Williams & Co Louis and Peter Williams, Wholesale confectioners, 17 East Main Street, Louis and Amara Williams reside at 17 East Main Streeet, Peter Williams resides at 17 East Main Street, Thomas Williams, retired, owns 17 East Main Street, Thomas Williams, Jr., glassworker, resides at 17 East Main Street.
1923 Directory: L.W. & Co. (Louis and Peter Williams) Wholesale confectioners. Louis and Anna Williams, Peter and Martha Williams, Thomas Williams, Retired, Thomas Williams, Jr., all at 17 East Main Street.
1925 Directory: Louis and Amora Williams, Wholesale confectioners, 17 East Main
The Assessment Rolls for 1926 through 1931 show Thomas Williams as continuing to own 17 East Main Street, although by 1930 it had become the Herrick Electric Shop.