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Photo of the Week, 3: C.U. Wiliams and Son Co., 1914

C.U. Williams and Son Co., 207 E. Washington St., Bloomington, dates to 1914

This photo of C.U. Williams and Son Co., 207 E. Washington St., Bloomington, dates to 1914. It was part of a Williams advertisement appearing in a souvenir program for a December 7-8, 1914 minstrel show staged by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Bloomington Lodge 281, at the Chatterton Opera House on E. Market St.

C.U. Williams & Son Co. opened this four-story automobile showroom and garage in 1911. Five years later a second building opened to the immediate east (left) with the Castle Theater on the street level and Williams & Son occupying the upper floors for additional garage space. Both buildings had freight elevators large enough to accommodate autos.

This 1914 advertisement highlighted Williams & Son's “livery" service, or what we would call the car rental business today. “Auto livery day and night," read the advertisement. “Open and closed autos by the hour, trip or day … Positively the best autos ever put in livery service in the city. Phone us next time you need a conveyance."

For more information on C.U. Williams & Son, see Bill Kemp's most recent Sunday Pantagraph “A Page from Our Past" column at http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/c-u-williams-son-led-bloomington-into-auto-age/article_3528cf76-788c-11e2-b6b6-001a4bcf887a.html

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History