Biography of M. Parker Williams


History of Columbia County, New York

By Captain Franklin Ellis

Published by Everts & Ensign

Philadelphia, PA



Pages  211 &212


       M. Parker Williams, editor and proprietor of the Hudson Gazette and Daily Register, was born in Belfast, Maine, on the 24th of February, 1826.  His father, Captain John Williams, was a prominent ship-owner and sea-captain of his time, and was largely engaged in the East India and Liverpool trade.

     He died in 1831, when the subject of this sketch was five years old.  He came from sturdy Revolutionary stock on both the maternal and paternal sides.  His mother, Sarah Parker, was the oldest daughter of Mighill Parker, who performed valuable service for his country during the War of 1812, and granddaughter of Captain Parker, commander of the "minute-men" at Lexington, who left his plow in the furrow on the day of that memorable battle, and led his little army to victory.  His father was a lineal descendant of David Williams, one of the captors of Andr, and of William Williams, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

     Like most successful editors in this country, Mr. Williams is a self-made man.  He was thrown upon his own resources when quite young, but by a strong will, indomitable perseverance, and industrious habits he mastered all the practical, and many of the intricate, branches of education, and was never behind his class.  He early manifested a literary taste, and took naturally to the pen.  He commenced writing for periodicals before he reached his eighteenth year, and from this source received a considerable income, a large part of which came from good old "Father Norris," editor of the Boston Olive Branch, then one of the leading literary papers of the country, and who took special pride in developing literary talents in the young.

     In 1848, at the age of twenty-two, he became editor of the Gazette, at Thomastown (now Rockland), Maine; but aiming for a larger field of labor, he went to Boston in 1850, and was connected with the Herald of that city.  In 1851 he was called to Philadelphia, and was there connected with the Daily Register.

     On the 7th of September, 1857, he purchased the Hudson Gazette, which was in a decaying condition.  He built it up to a paying basis, and on the 26th of May, 1866, established the Hudson Daily Register.  He purchased a franchise in the Associated Press, which was a bold venture [p. 212] at that time, but with his experience in journalism, and the facilities at this command, the success of the journal was assured at the outset; and the result has not disappointed his sanguine expectations.  Under his lead rural journalism in this section of the State has greatly improved in mechanical appearance, and no small degree of the improvement in enterprise and energy in Hudson within the last decade may be attributed to the influence of the Gazette and Register.