Alvin Luther Williamson, one of the leading millers of eastern Kansas, is a man who has gained his present important position in the commercial circles of Clay county as the result of his careful and successful management of the only capital he possessed when he came to the Sunflower State, and the possession of a good business head and a pair of industrious hands. He was born near Wataga, in Knox county, Illinois, July 12, 1877, sixth son of William and Katharine (Olson) Williamson. The father was born in Sweden, in 1834, and there learned to be a practical farmer, but heard of the many opportunities open to a man in the new world and emigrated from the old country in the late '40s. Mr. Williamson located near Wataga, Knox county, and was married there in 1850. Ten children were born to him and his wife at the old home in Illinoissix boys and four girlsMary J., Henry, Amelia, Louis O., Amanda, Martha, Edwin P., George E., Fred I., and Alvin L., five of whom are living.
Alvin L. Williamson was reared on his father's farm, attended the district school near his home in the winter and led the ordinary life of a country boy in the summerplowing corn, herding cattle, and attending to the many things to be done on a farm. He was ambitious, and after completing the common school entered Brown's Business College at Galesburg, Ill., where he completed a course with great credit. In 1901 he determined to come west and seek what fortune had in store for him, a trip that was not in vain. He located at Clay Center and entered the employ of the milling firm of Wickstrum & Williamson, of which his brother, Fred L. Williamson, was the junior member. In 1902 he formed with his brother the firm of F. L. Williamson & Company and the interests of Wickstrum & Williamson were purchased. In 1909 this partnership was succeeded by the Williamson Milling Company, of which Alvin L. Williamson is the president and general manager. The company owns a modern plant with a daily capacity of 600 barrels and it is operated by water power furnished by the Republican river, the dam, erected in 1911, being one of the best examples of reënforced concrete constructions in Kansas. The product is marketed principally in the Eastern States and bears an excellent reputation for quality. Mr. Williamson is one of the modern, progressive, up-to-date business men who introduces the latest methods into his business, and he is one of the rising men of Clay county. He supports every movement for the betterment and upbuilding of the city where he elects to make his home and stands high with men of the business world and he has a host of social acquaintances. Mr. Williamson married Miss Lena McKee, Dec. 1, 1909. She is a daughter of John McKee, president of the Union State Bank of Clay Center. She was educated at the public schools of Clay Center and afterward completed a course in the State University at Lawrence. She is a lady of broad refinement and charming manner, is interested in all progressive movements, and a member of the Baptist church. Mr. Williamson is a member of the United Commercial Travelers and a director of the Clay County Chautauqua Association.Pages 949-950 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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