Biography - William Wooster

WILLIAM L. WOOSTER. The biography of the successful gentleman whose name introduces this sketch furnishes another instance of a poor boy who by industry and thrift has gained wealth and social position through his own unaided efforts. A prominent business man of Litchfield, he is also popular and well known throughout the surrounding country. Our subject is a son of William C. and Mary (Gilbert) Wooster, honorable residents of Connecticut, where the father conducted a general store until his death, which occurred in 1863. His faithful wife still survives him and makes her home in Connecticut, where she has lived for so many years.
The son of these parents, the subject of his sketch, was born in New Preston, March 23, 1861, the year memorable in history as that in which the great Civil War burst upon the country with such fury. When only two and one-half years of age, death deprived our subject of a paternal guide, but a devoted mother supplied the place of the departed parent, and young William grew to manhood under her gentle supervision. He received his education in New Preston and Washington City, but always made his home in the former place while pursuing his studies. In 1880, Mr. Wooster came to Litchfield, where he first engaged as clerk in a clothing store; but ability such as lie possessed could not be confined to work like this and he soon entered the employ of the Big Four Railroad. As he was unfamiliar with the work, he was obliged to begin with an inferior position, but during the last four years of the nine he was in their employ he was their agent.
About that time, Mr. Wooster found a favorable opportunity to engage in the tile business and accordingly entered it, but as he did not realize his anticipations he withdrew after six months. Next he formed a partnership with Capt. Kirby, which continued until 1889, when he withdrew and entered the employ of the Wabash Railroad, where he continued for six or eight months. His next enterprise was the conducting of a furniture business with Jesse McHenry as partner for one year, when Mr. Wooster bought Mr. McHenry's interest and continued the business alone for one year. In 1892, the Litchfield Furniture, Hardware & Implement Company was incorporated with Mr. Wooster as President and Manager, and he withdrew from the furniture business to accept the responsibilities of his new position. This corporation has a capital stock of $12,000, and in addition to hardware and farm implements the firm deals in furniture and queensware and carries on an undertaking establishment. They occupy a substantial building two stories high, and have the largest retail store, not only in the city, but in this part of the county. The stock is new and complete and the firm gives employment to twelve men.
June 12, 1883, Mr. Wooster married Miss Mary, daughter of William Fisher, a prominent citizen of Litchfield. Three children have been added to their family, namely: Lawrence Fisher, Grace Kirby and Russell Hill. Mr. Wooster is an earnest member of the Presbyterian Church, while his wife is equally devoted to the Baptist denomination. Our subject is very prominent in Litchfield Lodge No. 517, F. & A. M., and has the honor of being its Past Master. No one in Litchfield has been more successful in so short a period of time, with no assistance from any one, than has Mr. Wooster. He never allowed anything to discourage him, but persevered until he has attained the proud position of President and Manager of the leading retail house in this section of the country. His is certainly an example to emulate.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, page 261.

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