Born in Carthage in 1895 to Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Williams, H.E. Williams went on to the University of Missouri-Columbia after graduating from Carthage High School in 1913. His BS degree earned there in electrical and mechanical engineering would soon be put to good use.
He worked for three years with the War Department where he designed heavy gun carriages. Upon his return to Carthage in 1921, with his wife, Althea Bacon, he founded H.E. Williams Products Co. in a 25 by 50 foot room located one block north of the Carthage Square. He and his one employee manufactured many kitchen utensils, auto accessories, static signs, and cold storage lockers. By the 1930’s he had become interested in fluorescent lamps and he began to manufacture them when he realized their potential.
His son, John E. Williams succeeded him as head of the Company and John ran the business until his death in 2006. John Williams’ son, Mark Williams heads the Company today.
H.E. Williams was a community minded person, served on several boards in his lifetime, helped found Flex-O-Lators, Inc., retiring from his position as their Chairman of the Board in 1980.
In only its fourth location, H.E. Williams, Inc. went from a 25 by 50 foot space in 1921 to a 275,000 square foot manufacturing plant today. This prosperous Company is in its third generation of family ownership and has grown from employing one person in 1921 to now employing 300 people.
H. E. Williams died in 1981 at age 85 and is buried in Park Cemetery, Carthage. His widow Althea survived him by seven years.