Blakely & Williams


“Picturesque Sunbury,”1 published in 1896, shows T. F. Blakely and A. C. Williams owners of Blakely & Williams. It was located on Vernon Street at the corner of Cherry Street. I’m not sure who built the building as Charles Webster and Kimball Sedwick were co-owners of a general store at the same location in the 1880's.2

Theodore Francis Blakely was born May 20, 1842 to Robert and Hannah (Kingman) in Lincoln Township Morrow County. He was the second of at least 8 children. Robert’s main occupation was a farmer but he was appointed postmaster from March 1854 to Dec. 1856 in Lincoln Township in Morrow County. In 1870 census seven of the children, including Theodore  were still living with Robert and Hannah. Robert’s worth as a farmer was $800. His son Theodore was a huckster with a value of $600.

In April 1870, Theodore married Anna Elizabeth Mosher in Morrow County.  In the 1880 census, he was a dry goods merchant in Sunbury.  Their home is still standing at 144 North Columbus Street.  At

Postcard of Blakely & Williams about 1909

the time of this writing it is owned by Stone Care Day Care Center.

No children are shown for Theodore and Anna.  However Theodore had a brother Perry Nelson who was four years younger.  In the Williams Directory of 1872-3, P.N. Blakely was a grocer in Olive Green.  He married Frances A. "Fannie"  Harrison in Franklin County in 1875.

Perry is shown as a grocer in Sunbury on the 1900 and 1910 census.  He was retired in 1920 census.  "I recall buying a delicious stick of peanut candy at Perry Blakley's Store for one penny, now it would be at least ten cents, wrote Kathryn Irwin Thornton in her article about J. T. and Orra Irwin in "The People Book."2  Was this store in the Blakely - Williams building?

Alfred Collins Williams was born in 1863 the son of cabinet maker Frank and Mary (Moran) Williams who moved to Sunbury from Franklin County. He married Minnie Mosher, the daughter of Anna Blakely’s brother, Dr. Edmond and Martha Moser of Porter Township. They had a son Edmund. I believe the A.C. Williams family lived on the north side of Cherry Street a few doors east of Vernon Street.

Home of T. F. Blakeley
in "Picturesque Sunbury"


Blakely - Williams thrived.  When Burrer family was experimenting with electricity, Blakely - Williams was the first mercantile building to have the new light.   In April 20, 1917, Blakeley-Williams Company filed with Secretary of State showing $24,000 in Capitol Stock.

Theodore died in 1917 and his wife in 1927.  Perry died in 1921 and Fannie in 1930.  Alfred, known as A.C. died in 1925.

Different parts of the building were rented out to businesses. 

March 16, 1956, the building owned by Mrs. A. C. (Minnie Moser) Williams and her daughter-in-law Mrs. Edmund (Velma Tompkins)  Williams was destroyed by fire. It housed Burrer’s Sunbury Electric, Satterfield’s Red & White Store and Meat Market.

Cause of fire was an explosion of a gas-light pipe left in the building when Burrers installed electricity.   Read more about the fire that resulted in the formation of B.S.T. & G.

Shoe-Horn Donated to the Museum by James Gorsuch

Blakely & Williams Memorabilia from Red Edwards

                                       Cash is Better than Credit - probably when charge cards were just starting
Notebook front, inside cover, back inside cover and back of notebook.

Hosiery Package


Back of Hosiery Package



Many thanks to Jim Gorsuch and Red Edwards.  You inspired me to learn the history of this town from my youth,
                                                                                                                                   Polly Horn, curator of the Myers Inn Museum.
  1 .      Picturesque Sunbury.  Published by Letts, Whittier and Cring, Sunbury, 1896.
  2.       People Book. Compiled by Ruth Domigan Truxall and Esther McCormick.  1976-1989.  Article by Mary Elizabeth Webster Lien
              (Mrs. Julian Lien), page 362.  Article by Kathryn Irwin Thornton, page 164.
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