Elmer Williams*

Elmer Williams*

donor plaque

The late Elmer Williams was born February 14, 1870 in DeWitte, Ill. The son of Eli and Lavina Williams, who helped start the first bank in McPherson, Kan., in 1878 and later founded the city of Hugoton, Kan. Mabee Library's archives indicate that Williams was a student in Washburn's preparatory school from 1887-89. He most likely boarded on or near campus as McPherson is listed as his hometown. His family moved to Kansas City, Mo. in 1900.

Williams was a prominent real estate developer and builder in the Kansas City area and owned several well-known hotels, apartment buildings, and stores, including the Loraine Hotel, Brookside Hotel, Elsmore Apartment Hotel, Berkley Hotel, and the Westgate Hotel. Before retiring in 1933, he was president of Elbrook Investment Company and was a partner in Security Realty, Brookside Investment, and Williams Realty, a company he started with his brother, Charles. He moved to Los Angeles in 1947. He died of a heart attack at age 86 on October 7, 1953 while on a return trip to Kansas City.