For many years, the advertisement could be seen in the Lowell newspapers, “Williams THE JEWELER”. The advertisement was for the business of Uriah Brooks Williams Jr., jeweler, silverware and optical goods such as watches and clocks.
U.B. Williams was the son of U.B. and Susan Snell Williams. The father was a business man in town, owning the “Elk Horn Store”, dealing in ‘groceries and provisions, crockery, glass ware, etc.’ In 1874, he had his vacant building moved from south of Union Block, to a visible high traffic location on the bridge. In 1871 Susan’s mother, Caroline Snell, platted 100 lots on the west side of the village. The lots were sold out of Williams’ store, the “Elk Horn Store.”
The Williams family owned one of the grandest homes in Lowell. Today we know 314 S. Hudson as the Senior neighbors Center and Gilda’s club or even as the home of Dr. Look, but it once was the U. B. Williams home.
U.B. Williams Jr. was born on March 12, 1875.
Unfortunately for the Williams family, the father died suddenly three days later of heart issues.
Two years later, Susan Snell Williams would sell the home and ten acres to the John and Charlotte Look family.
Uriah Brooks Williams Jr. worked as the town jeweler, advertising heavily in the local paper and in community projects, such as the Island City Cookbook of 1912. He even had a clock in front of his store with his advertisement around the clock.
He moved his business around as it grew, and eventually he even had buildings built and added to the business community of Lowell. In 1914 he had two stores built. They adjoined the post office on the east. One was occupied by Mr. Macham and his barbershop and the other by Nahum & Terppa of Ionia for a wholesale and retail confectionary and ice cream business called “The Sugar Bowl.”
U. B. served the Village of Lowell as treasurer for many years. He also served in the Lowell Congregational Church, the 1908 Home Coming Festival organizational board, Lowell Masonic Lodge and the Ionia commandry of the Knights Templar.
After the death of his wife Jessie in 1919, U. B. Williams moved to East Lansing where he lived until his death in 1952. He moved to live with his wife’s parents following her death. When he made the announcement that he was moving the Ledger printed his announcement ‘with regret.’ He was well loved in town and had served the community. During his time in Lansing he remarried, but always came to visit his Lowell Village friends.
Images: U. B. WIlliams clock in front of his store; jewelry box from the U. B. Williams Jewelry store. 32.