Richard Williams

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 26, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 341

RICHARD WILLIAMS. The coal industry of West Vir-
ginia has furnished an opportunity for the achievement of
success and position by many men of the younger genera-
tion, who have assumed responsibilities formerly assumed
or gained only by men many years their senior. It is
doubtful, however, if there are many who have accomplished
in the same length of time what has been achieved by
Richard Williams, who has already become a well-known
figure in the industry mentioned and who occupies the
position of president of the Glogora Coal Company of Hunt-

Mr. Williams was born at Shamokin, Pennsylvania, Febru-
ary 6, 1891, a son of Morris and Jennie (Stager) Williams.
His father, now a resident of Overbrook, Pennsylvania, was
born in 1855, in Monmouthshire, Wales, and was one year
of age when brought to the United States by his parents,
the family settling near Hazelton, Pennsylvania, where he
was reared. Morris Williams received the equivalent of a
college education, studying under a private tutor, and was
married at Hazelton, following which. event he was the
superintendent of a Wyoming gold mine for a time. Re-
turning to the East, he became president of the Susque-
hanna Coal Company, residing at Overbrook, a suburb of
Philadelphia, whence he directed the policy of this concern
as the head of the Pennsylvania Railroad coal interests. Mr.
Williams retired in 1918. He is a Presbyterian in religion
and for many years has been an elder and member of the
board of trustees in the Philadelphia Presbyterian Church.
In politics he is a republican, and his fraternal affiliation is
with the Masonic order. Mr. Williams married Miss Jennie
Stager, who was born in 1863, at Audenreid, Pennsylvania,
and they became the parents of three children: Margaret
Morris, who is the wife of George B. Garrett, a broker of
Germantown, Pennsylvania; Richard, of this notice; and
Jean Stager, who is unmarried and makes her home with her
parents at Overbrook.

Richard Williams attended a private institution of learn-
ing, the Lawrenceville School, of Lawrenceville, New Jersey,
following which he enrolled as a student at Princeton Uni-
versity and attended that college until through the junior
year. By this time he was anxious to enter upon his busi-
ness career, and accordingly secured employment as a mem-
ber of the engineer corps of the Susquehanna Coal Com-
pany, which position he retained for one year. For the
following six months he was in the mechanical engineering
department and for one year in the electrical engineering
department, and then, formed a new connection, going to the
Southeast Coal Company as mine superintendent at Seco,
Kentucky. He spent one and one-half years with this firm
and then went with a selling company, the Middle-West Coal
Company, of which he became Western sales manager, with
headquarters at Detroit, Michigan. Both of these com-
panies were ones in which Mr. Williams’ father was im-
portantly interested.

On May 18, 1917, Mr. Williams enlisted at Philadelphia
in the United States Navy, and went to Cape May, where he
spent two months, being then transferred to the United
States Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he was com-
missioned an ensign November 17, 1917. He was then
assigned to the cruiser Des Moines, on convoy duty for the
remainder of the war, and received his honorable discharge
in December, 1918. Like others engaged in the same duty,
he had numerous thrilling experiences during his naval
duties, but came through all his adventures safely and with
a creditable record. Upon his return to civilian life he
came to Huntington and established the Glogora Coal Com-
pany, which is incorporated under the state laws of West
Virginia, and which operates a mine on Beaver Creek, Floyd
County, Kentucky, and another on Coal River, Raleigh
County, West Virginia, these mines having an approximate
capacity of 400,000 tons a year. Mr. Williams, who oc-
cupies offices at 704-5-6 First National Bank Building,
Huntington, is president and treasurer of this concern, and
is likewise vice president of the Northeast Coal Company.
He is a young business man of the energetic and result-
attaining type, and has the fullest confidence and regard
of his associates. In polities he is a republican, but political
matters have played only a minor part in his career, and his
religious identification is with the Presbyterian Church.
He holds membership in the Guyan Country Club of Hunt-
ington and the Union League of Philadelphia.

In June, 1919, Mr. Williams was united in marriage at
Philadelphia with Miss Louise Brown, daughter of George
and Lucy (Buckner) Brown, the latter of whom is a resi-
dent of Philadelphia, where Mr. Brown, who was vice presi-
dent of the Philadelphia & Reading Coal and Iron Com-
pany, died. Mrs. Williams is a woman of numerous graces
and accomplishments and a graduate of Dana Hall,
Wellesley. To Mr. and Mrs. Williams there has come one
daughter, Janet, who was born at Philadelphia, July 2,