G. A. Williams & Sons, Inc. is the official name of the company doing business as Williams Coal & Oil Company, now Williams Energy. The South Shore-based coal and fuel company was started by George Arthur Williams in 1919 and incorporated in 1949. George Williams had seven sons, George, Harold, Lloyd, Elliot, John, Robert, and Charles, and a daughter, Marie – all of whom had been involved in the business over their careers. Having worked in the timber lands of Canada and New Hampshire, George Sr. was principally a lumberman, so it followed that the main business of Williams was construction.
The sons George, Harry, Bob, and Charlie were involved in the building side of the business. Lloyd operated the coal business, John was a plumber, Elliot managed the oil business, and Marie worked in the office. From the 1920s to the 1960s, Williams constructed many homes, banks, and nursing homes along with performing much renovation work throughout Greater Boston and the South Shore.
With the exception of electrical work, the company was unique in that the customer only had to deal with one family to complete a project. During this time period the company employed at times over 100 workers to handle the workload. Most of the work was designed by architects and the mill (located at rear of 39 Adams Street) was always active. Railcar loads of lumber would be delivered to the siding next to the mill and stored throughout the yard. The coal trestle was built in the 1920s so coal could be easily delivered by rail.
The company has delivered all types of anthracite and bituminous coals to customers all over Massachusetts and elsewhere. As area coal dealers got out of the coal business in the 1950s and ‘60s to concentrate on the oil part of their business, their coal customers turned to Williams for their supply. Staying in the coal business later proved to be a boom due to the oil embargo off the 1970s. The resulting oil shortages caused an unprecedented demand for coal and coal stoves during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s and the company had to work at a feverish pace to satisfy its customers. Since that time, the coal demand has declined.
Recently the business has concentrated on biofuel delivery and associated diesel fuels, along with natural gas and propane sales. There is a strong emphasis on heating, plumbing, and air conditioning services, and we strive to provide the best of all of these home comfort services to our customers and community.
See the article on Williams in Braintree Historical Society “The Lantern”, shedding light on our past Vol.XXXI, No. l, September 2010.