Williams Brothers Department Stores
Ask an old-timer where to shop in Lockport and he might slip up and say, “Williams Brothers Department Store.” For over a hundred years, Williams Brothers was a mainstay of commerce on Main Street in Lockport; first on the north side of the street in the 1800s and then on the south side in the twentieth century. The business was a casualty of Urban Renewal and closed in the late 1960s. Before that, the company took its heritage very seriously and began to market itself as, “The Shopping Center of Niagara County.” Youngsters in the 1950s, still remember the pneumonic tubes that delivered cash to the business office upstairs and the elevator with attendant (if you were nice to the attendant, he wouldn’t make you jump up or down between floors.)
As part of the company’s community relations, it published an annual day-planner called the Ready Reference Diary. This book contained a day-by-day calendar as well as many charts of interesting facts and references. In the 1931 edition, Williams Brothers included a list of “The Fifteen Rules of Health.” Adherence to these strategies would help insure a long life. They are listed here to see how we measure-up today.
Douglas Farley, Director
Ann Marie Linnabery
Erie Canal Discover Center
24 Church St.
Lockport NY 14094