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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
of
San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

MACK W. H. WILLIAMS, treasurer of San Bernardino County, has done many things which are of paramount importance to the people of the county. He is one man who is especially fitted to the office, in whose administration is shown great shrewdness of perception and masterly exhibition of skill in finance. His stewardship of the wealth of the county has shown him to be a man of real ability and fitness, one who can handle the monetary affairs of his commonwealth with severe exactitude, a master of every detail.

His work is worthy of chronicle for it has all been constructive and upbuilding. His keen knowledge of finance is inherent and he is able to instantly cope with any situation which arises. His rare maturity of judgment has placed him at the head of the treasurers of the State in points of earnings, for which the citizens of San Bernardino County owe him a debt of gratitude.

Mr. Williams was born in Morristown, Tennessee, January 3, 1879, the son of J. S. and Mollie E. (Ellis) Williams, both natives of Tennessee. J. S. Williams was, in his early life, a millwright and flour mill operator but afterwards a builder and contractor. He died in 1911, but his wife is now living in Redlands. They were the parents of three children, all now living: Dora, wife of Rufus B. Knapp of Hollywood; Cora L., wife of C. W. McIntosh of Redlands, and Mack W. H.

J. S. Williams moved his family from their native state first to Texas, then to Southwest Missouri, later to Colorado, and then to Redlands, California, in January, 1899, where he followed his regular line of business.

Mack W. H. Williams attended public schools in Texas and Carthage, and then went to business college. There he learned the printer's trade in Carthage, Missouri, on the Carthage Press, remaining there four years. He then went into the paint contracting business which he followed for two years in Colorado. In 1899 he came to California, locating in Redlands, and followed the same business in that city for about seven years. The next eight years found him prospering in the real estate business, but his real life work commenced when he was appointed county treasurer and tax collector under the old charter. In 1918 he was elected treasurer under the amended charter.

Previous to this he was mayor of Redlands a year and a half and city trustee for two and a half years. During his term as mayor and city trustee of Redlands the municipal water plant was built, the main city park was constructed and the ornamental lighting system was installed. These three improvements are among the most important of the city's public improvements and the supervising of them, with the myriad of details, problems and adjustments called for a vast amount of executive ability. It called for talents of an unusual order but Mr. Williams proved himself the keystone of the arch, winning golden opinions from everyone. In fact he placed himself in line for higher offices in the gift of the people.

During his term as treasurer he has taken advantage of the system which has permitted him to save the tax payers of the county many thousands of dollars, for he made the money placed in his hands earn an interest, which pro rata rate exceeded any other treasurer in the State. After the report of the State Controller showing his earnings in excess of other treasurers', many of the county treasurers of other counties became more active and are now showing increased earnings.

The following extract from one of the county grand jury reports is of interest: "The records of the treasurer's office are in excellent condition and we feel he is to be commended for conducting his office with such thorough efficiency and care and for so utilizing the funds in the treasury to earn for the county a large sum of interest." The interest earned on current deposits by Treasurer Williams, January 4, 1915, to January 4, 1922, seven years, was $136,924.71.

The State Controller's report for 1916 shows that Treasurer Williams earned more from current deposits than any other county treasurer in the State, regardless of the fact that other treasurers had more money, and the controller's subsequent reports show his pro rata earnings to be at the top.

Mr. Williams was married in 1901 to Edith E. Baughman, a daughter of C. H. Baughman, of Redlands. They are the parents of four children : Eva E., a student at Stanford University; Ray E. and Donald C, attending Redlands High School, and Betty E., attending grammar school.

He is in religious faith a Baptist. In politics he adheres to the principles of the democratic party. He is a member of Redlands Lodge No. 300, Free and Accepted Masons; Redlands Chapter No. 45, Royal Arch Masons; Al Tir Sar Temple No. 189, Knights of Khorassan: Redlands Lodge No. 186, Knights of Pythias, and Fraternal Brotherhood No. 27. He is also a member of the Young Men's Christian Association.

 

Source:
History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011