Your Silent Neighbor
by David K. Leff
Canton Town Historian
Born in New Hartford, one of ten children, Albert Williams (1828-1906) attended a one room schoolhouse there before moving with his parents at age 12 to Pleasant Valley. He started work in a Winsted general store and was employed by several businesses, including in Georgia, coming to Collinsville in 1857 as station agent for the New York and New Haven Railroad, a position he held for about twenty-five years. Afterwards, he went into the grain, feed, and coal business for over four decades.
Williams became a member of the Collinsville Congregational Church in 1858 and served as superintendent of the Sunday school and as a deacon. Children of the school eagerly looked forward to winter sleigh rides with him.
Active in civic affairs, Williams served several terms on the board of selectman. He was also a member of the Village Lodge of Masons.
Williams married Helen Graves of Agawam, Massachusetts in 1853 and the couple had three children, two boys and a girl. Only this daughter survived him. Williams died at home on Maple Avenue at the corner of River Road (where the used car dealership is today). He had been stricken with “a paralytic shock” two weeks earlier while weighing a load of coal and had to be carried home where he gradually grew worse.
Albert Williams is buried in the Village Cemetery, Collinsville.
“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past. Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.