CHARLES E. WILLIAMS, of Dalhart, during the last fifteen or twenty years has probably drilled as many wells in the Panhandle country as any other one man, and in this industry, so indispensable to the welfare and progress of this part of the state, he has been unusually successful, and he is recognized as a business man of large ability and a citizen of eminent public spirit and personal worth.
Mr. Williams is a native of the state of Indiana, born near Greensburg, Decatur county, in 1863, his parents, Louden and Harriet Emily (Evans) Williams, being natives of the same state and now residents of the Panhandle. The entire family moved to Texas in 1880, locating near Lawrence in Kaufman county, and four years later went out into the western country and located on a ranch in Fisher county, where the father was engaged quite extensively in the cattle business. Mr. Louden Williams lived in Fisher county for sixteen years, his sons in the meantime going up into Northwest Texas in the newer country, and in 1900 he followed them and moved to Dallam county, he and his good wife now residing on one of the Williams ranches seventeen miles east of Dalhart.
In 1886 Mr. Charles E. Williams left his father’s ranch in Fisher county and took a contract with the Capitol Syndicate Cattle Company (X I T ranch) to dig a number of wells on their ranch. At that time the X I T was the biggest ranch in the world, extending over several counties in the Panhandle and comprising three million acres of land. In the fulfillment of his contract Mr. Williams drilled wells in Hockley, Lamb, Floyd and other counties, and he has been extensively engaged in this line of business ever since 1886. He was drilling wells for the X I T company south of the Canadian river until 1888, when the came up to Hartley county and drilled a well at Hartley for the Fort Worth and Denver road, which was completed through this county in 1888. For several years thereafter he was drilling wells along the line of the Fort Worth and Denver form the city of Fort Worth to Pueblo, Colorado.
When the Rock Island System graded their El Paso line through Dallam and Hartley counties early in 1901, Mr. Williams entered into a contract to drill wells along the line, and since that time has put down thirteen wells for that company. Since the town of Dalhart was started in 1901 he has made his home at this place, where he has built a nice, comfortable residence, identifying himself thoroughly with the life of the town. In July, 1901, he drilled a well in Dalhart three hundred and sixteen feet in depth, and established the Dalhart water works, which has ever since that time supplied first-class water to the residents and has proved one of the most important additions in making Dalhart a flourishing, up-to-date little city. In September, 1904, Mr. Williams sold this plant to a company known as the Dalhart Water Works Company, and since that time he has continued his occupation of drilling wells for railroads and private individuals in this section of the country.
Mr. Williams has three older brothers who are successful cattle ranchers in this part of the state. Sam and Otto W. are in Dallam county, and F. S. is in Hartley county. Mr. Williams was married in October, 1896, to Miss Anna Atkinson, a daughter of George F. Atkinson, a prominent old-timer of Texas who was born and reared in Jack county and for several years has lived in the Panhandle. Mr. Williams was elected and served as treasurer of Hartley county when it was first organized, in 1891. Mr. Williams affiliates with the Knights of Pythias, and his wife is a member of the Methodist church.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 464-465.