The Good Roads movement, driven initially by the bicycling craze, gains urgency during the 1910s with the advent of the motor vehicle.
Heeding his wife’s superstitions about the number 13, William (Billy) Wallace Williams Sr. opens the W.W. Williams Contractors’ Machinery and Supplies Company in December 1912, on High Street in Columbus. Our slogan: “Everything for the Contractor and the Best of Its Kind.”
The company begins representing Koehring concrete mixers and shovels.
In 1921, the concept of interstate highways linking county seats is introduced.
WWW’s sons, Jules Clare (JC) and William Wallace (Wally) Williams Jr., join the company. JC is named to VP just two years later.
The company moves its operations to Goodale Blvd. in Grandview Heights, Ohio, where WWW’s headquarters is still located.
Mechanization and internal combustion lead to tremendous improvements in the size and efficiency of construction equipment.
In the midst of the Great Depression and with the death at age 58 of WWW Sr., Rose Williams is elected Board Chair as sales plummet and only one Williams office remains open. Rose and her sons, JC and Wally, make sure employees get paid, and together, they save the company.
In the mid ‘30s, Williams adds several major accounts: Austin Western Road Machinery Company, International Harvester and Euclid Road Machinery Company.
World War II sparks a crash program to construct defense plants and military facilities nationwide, and the Armed Forces procure and export enormous numbers of construction machines.
The company begins re-opening locations that closed during the Depression. Soon, they represent 40 different manufacturers, totaling more than $4 million in sales in 1946.
A Toledo location opens; the Cleveland office expands to full service; and the Columbus facility on Goodale upgrades to improve customer service.
Construction of the Interstate Highway System commences in 1956.
David F. (Dave) Williams joins the company, working in the credit department before moving to sales, and JC Williams becomes the new Board Chairman.
GM acquires Euclid Machinery, which starts a 50-year relationship of WWW distributing GM products.
Construction of the Interstate Highway system peaks in the 1960s.
Dave Williams becomes President in 1963 and soon takes the company public in 1968, providing capital to expand the business.
Under GM’s continued ownership, Euclid is rebranded TEREX, “King of the Earth.”
Construction of large dams in the United States begins to wind down as practical sites are completed and environmental concerns impact future development.
Tri-W Equipment Rental is established, expanding to 17 locations in Florida before the eventual sale in 1992.
Acquires Morgan Engine Company of Savannah, GA in 1977, becoming W.W. Williams’ first Detroit Diesel-Allison (DDA) distributorship. Launches parts and transmission remanufacturing operation in Charleston, SC, later known as Williams Technologies. The business was sold in 1998.
EPA adopts stringent emission standards for diesel powered trucks and buses.
In 1981 the company purchases the DDA distributorship for northern and central Ohio, and liquidates its Ohio construction equipment business. In 1983, WWW acquires the Georgia DDA distributorship. Ed Mullaney, who was named President in 1984, directed the sale of the remaining construction equipment dealerships to provide capital to expand the DDA business.
Gordon “Rosy” Rosencrans, a World War II hero later honored at the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, retires after a 40-year career as Vice President of Sales. He originated “Ring of Excellence,” now in its 32nd year honoring top performers.
The EPA is given authority to regulate emissions from non- road vehicles.
In 1991 Robert G. (Bob) Peyton, after 15 years with WWW, is promoted to President.
In 1993, after 25 years on the NASDAQ stock exchange, WWW returns to private ownership.
Expanding its DDA footprint, WWW acquires the distributorships for Arizona in 1990, Southern Nevada in 1991, Alabama in 1992 and Michigan in 1994.
William S. (Bill) Williams succeeds his father as Chairman in 1999.
In 1999 the company enters the Carrier Transicold transport refrigeration business in Ohio and Kentucky.
In the late 2000s soaring diesel fuel prices and continued weakness in freight volume make for some of the worst years for the trucking industry.
The new millennium sees the birth of Williams Logistics to serve defense-oriented businesses, along with a power generation business, now representing MTU Onsite Energy.
In 2003 Mark L. French is elected President upon Bob Peyton’s retirement.
Under Daimler’s ownership, the marriage of Freightliner and Detroit Diesel drives Williams to adapt again, offering customers total truck service.
In combination with other DDA distributors, the company establishes the WheelTime® Network of nearly 200 Quality Truck Care locations in the US and Canada.
... and Into the Future.