Alfred Brinsmead Williams
Alfred Brinsmead Williams was the brother of Hadley Brinsmead
Williams and the daughter of Rachel Brinsmead and Thomas Williams. He grew up in
St. Giles in the Wood, but at a young age emigrated, via the US, to London,
Ontario, Canada. It was his son who
visited St. Giles
in the Woods in the 1970's. This biography appeared in a book about
prominent Phoenix citizens published in 1901.
Alfred B. Williams
To Mr. Williams belongs the distinction of conducting the largest catering establishment in the territory. In eastern cities it would be difficult to find a better equipped hostelry wherein people may satisfy the cravings of the inner man, for every device for the comfort and convenience of guests has been carefully thought out, and tactfully applied for their disposal.
From the comparatively small beginning as a waiter, Mr. Williams has risen since first coming to Phoenix to a partnership with Mr. Haffner, and to the management of the restaurant at Nos. 9 and 11 West Washington street. The first floor of the establishment is 20x138 feet in dimensions, and has an accommodating lunch counter and public dining room. The second floor is typical of the best eating houses in the east, and is fitted up with private dinning rooms and boxes.
To facilitate the supplying of the best materials procurable, and the preservation of same, there is a cold storage plant, wherein is manufactured the ice necessary for the carrying on of the business. Through the whole management of the concern is evident the tact and knowledge of human nature possessed by the genial host, and his oft manifest desire to please.
Mr. Williams was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, August 21, 1862. Of an interesting ancestry, the original paternal side of the Williams family came from Wales. Upon emigrating to England, his grandfather settled in Worcestershire, and was there educated as a clergyman in the Church of England, and graduated belles letters. His erudition received substantial recognition, for he was elected to the chair of classics at Cambridge University, and became one of the distinguished educators of that historical institution.
The father of Mr. Williams, Thomas by name, was born in Worcestershire and died as a young man. He was secretary to Mr. Ransom, the head of a large agricultural implement manufactory in Ipswich. His wife, formerly Rachel Brinsmead, was born in Devonshire, at St. Giles in the Wood, and was daughter to Thomas Brinsmead. The paternal great-grandfather, Brinsmead, was also a native of Devonshire, and was the owner of a large estate handed down through many generations. The paternal grandfather was a farmer and manufacturer of agricultural implements. He died at the age of eighty years. Mrs. Williams is now living in London, Ontario.
Mr. Williams spent his early boyhood at St. Giles in the Wood and at Exeter, and received his education in the public schools. As early as fourteen years of age he began to earn his own living, and worked in an office as errand boy. In 1880 he came to the United States and after a short sojourn in Boston, Mass., went to London, Canada, and clerked in a shoe store until 1883. He then started a shoe store of his own and was fairly successful until 1887, when he went west, and in Santa Monica, Cal., engaged in the wholesale and retail fish business.
In 1891 he located in Phoenix, and was for a time employed as a waiter in a restaurant, and was also interested in a candy kitchen as a partner in the business. Upon selling his interest in the candy kitchen, he started a small restaurant and was so successful that he branched out and eventually opened the large concern which is such a credit to the city and manager.
Mr. Williams has numerous interests aside from that which engages most of his time. He is interested in mining and oils, and the various enterprises which tend to the development of his adopted town. Fraternally he is associated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Royal Arch and Knights Templar Masons. He is a member of the board of Trade, and an ex-director of same. In national politics he is a Republican, and in religion is a member of the Episcopal Church.