|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
A spirit of marked enterprise and industry characterizes the business career of Charles E. McWilliams, engaged in the real-estate, loan, abstract and insurance business in Chillicothe. His standing in the commercial circles is indicated by the fact that he is now serving as secretary of the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce, in which connection his labors have been effective and far reaching in promoting the general conditions and interests of the city, whereby the public at large has benefited while individual prosperity has been advanced. With a nature that could never be content with mediocrity he has utilized his opportunities for progress and, having left the ranks of the many, stands among the successful few. He was born in Plattsburg, Missouri, and is a son of W. E. and Martha (Shoemaker) McWilliams, the former a pioneer of that section of the state. The father enlisted in the Civil war but before he had served his term engaged a substitute, whom he paid fifteen hundred dollars. In 1866 he came to Clinton county, Missouri, where he has since made his home. His wife is a daughter of Peter Shoemaker, a native of Harrison, Pennsylvania, born in 1824 and is still living. The family on both sides is of Scotch-Irish origin and representatives of both branches have been in America for many generations.
In the acquirement of an education Charles E. McWilliams attended public school in Plattsburg and was graduated from the high school of that place. He began his business career as a traveling salesman for a general farm supply house and worked in that capacity for two years after which he returned to the farm and remained there until 1901. In that year he became identified with the grain and milling business and when he abandoned that field of activity he became connected with newspaper and real-estate interests in Meadville, Missouri. In the fall of 1907, he came to Chillicothe, Missouri, and developed the different branches of his business into the large concern, of which he is now the head. He is one of the leading business men of Chillicothe - president of the Chillicothe Abstract & Realty Company, president of the Chillicothe Automobile & Supply Company, president of the Chillicothe Cemetery Company and of the Livingston County Fair Company, and secretary of the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce - and in many other ways he has been the moving factor in measures for the general progress.
He was married to Hattie M. Reece, a daughter of James and Martha (Newman) Reece, of Lathrop, Missouri. Her father was a native of South Carolina and a pioneer of Missouri. During the Civil war he was a teamster in the Black Hills.
In politics Mr. McWilliams adheres to the progressive wing of democratic party, but the demands of his business have left him no time for active participation in political affairs. He is a man of marked force of character, strong determination and honorable purpose, and these qualities have been general elements in a career which is most commendable in all its phases.