Gravesend Characters Past: Henry R. Williams (1840-1904)

Continuing the challenge posed by my fellow members of the Society for One-Place Studies that we blog about 52 residents of our respective places, I turn my attention to Henry R. Williams with this excerpt from The Eagle and Brooklyn: The Record of the Progress of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Issued in Commemoration of its Semi-Centennial and Occupancy of its New Building; Together With the History of the City of Brooklyn From its Settlement to the Present Time, edited by Henry W. B. Howard (Brooklyn, N.Y.: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1893), vol. 2, pages 1141-42:

Henry R. Williams (1840-date)

Henry R. Williams (1840-1904)

Captain HENRY R[OBERT]. WILLIAMS, one of the assessors for the town of Gravesend, was born on November 22, 1840, in New York City, but his parents moved to Brooklyn when he was nine years old. He attended one of the public schools until he was fifteen, when he engaged in the printing business. he worked as a printer until the civil war [sic] began, and in the spring of 1861 enlisted as a private in the 14th Regiment. His attention at all times to his duty and his bravery in the field soon won him the approbation of his superiors, and he passed rapidly through the different grades until he attained the rank of first lieutenant in 1862. In January, 1863, he served as acting assistant inspector-general of a brigade, in the First Army Corps, and thence was transferred to the command of the Balloon Corps of the Army of the Potomac. While serving on the staff of Major-General French, 3d Army Corps, he was severely wounded in the leg, near Culpepper [sic] Court House; when convalescent, he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, and thence to the 45th U.S. Infantry, finally retiring from the service in 1871. he then took up his residence in Buffalo, remaining there until 1886, when he removed to Gravesend and began to deal in real estate. Four years ago he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of one year as a member of the board of assessors, and subsequently was reappointed for a further period of three years. Captain Williams was president for two years of the Republican Association of Gravesend, of which he is now the secretary; he was a delegate to the national Republican convention, in Minneapolis, in 1892, and to the New York State Convention. He is connected with Long Island Post, G.A.R. [Grand Army of the Republic], and with Coeur-de-Leon Encampment, Knights of Malta.

Copyright © 2015 by Joseph Ditta (


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