||William Conrad “Billy” (W.C.) Williams was born in Matagorda County on February 20, 1854, to John Aaron Williams (1816 - 1865) and Catharine Elizabeth (Franz) Williams (1827 - 1914). John was a ship’s carpenter from Denmark. Catharine, his wife, was from Germany. W.C. Williams married Martha Alice Franz, (1860 - 1952). In 1876, the union which produced seven children. Before moving to Palacios, Williams was a childhood friend of well known author Charles Angelo Siringo and is mentioned several times in A Texas Cowboy. The families lived near each other on Matagorda Island in a small colony called the “Dutch Settlement”. In 1903, Williams, his brother and son were involved in oil ventures in the lucrative Big Hill Oil Discovery Area in Jefferson County. Williams came to Palacios in 1904 at the age of fifty and purchased a lot intending to erect a commercial building.
The Williams Building was completed in 1909 in the Romanesque style with circular arches. The 4200 square foot brick structure was the cornerstone of the business community and an anchor to Palacios’ Downtown. The first recorded occupant was Palacios Hardware owned by O.L. Sparks and then G.H. Davis. The building was also home to Traylor Hardware, the office of Dr. Joseph Wagner, Golden Rule Grocery, Price Cash Hardware, and Lawson Hardware. Williams continued to live in Palacios until his death on November 24, 1946 at the age of ninety-two. The Williams Building remained in the family until the 1970’s. This historic building is a reminder of Downtown Palacios before Hurricane Carla in 1961 destroyed many commercial buildings and homes.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2015