Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Elbert J. Williams

ELBERT J. WILLIAMS in early life was a Wisconsin farmer, school teacher and railroad man, came to Kansas as an employe of the Central Branch of the Missouri Pacific Railway, and that experience gave him his first knowledge of Western Kansas. For nearly forty years he has been identified with Rooks County, where he is best known as a banker. He is president of the Stockton National Bank and is also one of the large farm owners in that vicinity.

Mr. Williams was born at Windham, New York, January 1, 1840, a grandson of Joseph Williams and descended from a branch of the English family of Williams which produced the noted founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams. Daniel Williams, his father, was born in Connecticut in 1819. About 1828 the family moved to Windham, Greene County, New York, where Daniel was reared and married. He took up the business of lumbering, was an expert sawmill operator and millwright, and later pioneered to Southern Wisconsin, establishing his home at Elkhorn in 1851, three years after Wisconsin was admitted to the Union. He developed a farm in that vicinity, but later owned and operated a flour mill. He died at Elkhorn in 1913, at the venerable age of ninety-four. He was a republican after that party was formed, and an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Daniel Williams married Julia A. Judson, who was born in Windham, New York, in 1833 and died at Elkhorn, Wisconsin, in 1908. Elbert J. is the oldest of their children. Laura A., a resident of Glen Dale, California, married I. E. Weaver, who was a Wisconsin farmer until 1909, when he retired to California and died in 1918. Daniel J. is a retired farmer at Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and Chester B. is a retired capitalist there.

Elbert J. Williams was eleven years old when his parents moved to Southern Wisconsin. He acquired most of his education in the public schools of Richland County in that state, and also attended the Albion Academy in Dane County. At the age of nineteen he left his father's farm and for six years taught school at Jefferson City, Missouri. During 1866-67 he was a student in Eastman's Business College at Poughkeepsie, New York. He then returned to Southern Wisconsin, and for two years operated his father's mill, and for five years later was an employee of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company.

Mr. Williams came to Kansas in 1878, and spent ten years with the Central Branch Railway, much of the time along the frontier and also two years as agent at Kansas City, Missouri. In 1888 he organized the Citizens State Bank at Plainville, but sold his interests therein after six months. He then helped organize the Exchange Bank at Stockton, and was its cashier until be sold out in 1890. He organized the Exchange State Bank, and when a national charter was secured in 1910 it was changed to the Stockton National Bank. He is the president, George Yoxall is the vice president, and E. W. Winters is the cashier. The bank has a capital of $40,000, with surplus and profits of $30,000. This bank has for many years been one of the strong and reliable institutions of Northwest Kansas, and is a member of the Kansas and American Bankers associations. Mr. Williams' interests as a farmer lie in Trego County, where he has 800 acres devoted to grain and livestock.

Elbert J. Williams is a republican, and for ten years served as mayor of Stockton. He is a past noble grand of Stockton Lodge of Odd Fellows and several times has been representative to the Grand Lodge. He is past master workman of Stockton Lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and has represented that order in the Grand Lodge.

He owns one of the fine homes in Stockton, a house that was built in 1885, and at that time was one of the most complete and modern residences in the entire county. In January, 1871, at Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Mr. Williams married Miss Myra Weaver, a native of Millard, Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have three children: Mrs. Laura A. May, a graduate of the Stockton High School and of the Salina Business College, now living at Los Angeles, California; Elbert Lee, a graduate of the high school and was in Washburn College through the sophomore year, now lives at Salina, and is a state bank examiner; and Ella May, a graduate of the Stockton High School, is a missionary with the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, and since 1917 has been in Guatemala, Central America, and was there during the great earthquake of 1917.

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