Edwin J. Williams, financier and the president of the Wilson County Bank, was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, Nov. 8, 1868, the son of D. T. and Mary T. (Davis) Williams. His grandfather was a native of Wales, where he lived and died. D. T. Williams was born in Wales, but came to America and located in Ohio, where he became interested in rolling mills. He belonged to the Ohio state militia, but never was called on to carry arms in defense of his adopted country. He died in Ohio in 1895. Edwin Williams' maternal grandfather, David R. Davis, came to Kansas in 1872 and built a rolling mill at Rosedale that year, becoming one of the pioneer manufacturers of the state.
Edwin Williams was reared in Ohio and received his education in the public schools. In 1900 he came to Kansas, located at Waverly and engaged in the mercantile business but soon moved to Salina where he remained three and a half years. He went to Quenemo in 1905 to accept the position of vice-president of the Farmers' State Bank. Mr. Williams was successful as a banker and decided to organize a bank in which he would hold the controlling interest. With this end in view he located at Burlingame and organized the Burlingame National Bank, of which he was president. It is capitalized at $25,000 and has a surplus of $10,000. Ever since its organization the bank has conducted a flourishing business, which reflects great credit upon the promoters and it is regarded as one of the most substantial banking concerns in the eastern part of the state.
On Jan. 31, 1900, Mr. Williams married Ina, the daughter of Louis Gephart. Mr. Gephart is a native of Ohio, who came to Kansas in 1888, took up land and also conducted a mercantile house. At different times Mr. Gephart bought more land and has made a fortune. He is one of the stockholders of the Burlingame National Bank and has a number of fine farms. He has retired from active business and spends his time looking after his property. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Williams, Louis Edwin, who is four years old (1911). Mr. Williams is a Mason, belonging to Knight Templar Lodge No. 5, of Topeka, Kan.; he also belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and is a stanch supporter of the Republican party. The family are members of the Presbyterian church.
In February, 1911, Mr. Williams sold the controlling interest in the Burlingame National Bank and after spending the summer in California, returned to Kansas, located at Fredonia, bought a large interest in the Wilson County Bank and became its president, which position he now holds. The Wilson County Bank is one of the strongest financial institutions in the state, having done business since its organization in 1871. Its capital, surplus and profits are $75,000.Pages 998-999 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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