William Wallace Wines was a pioneer merchant and leading business man of Ann Arbor for many years and
also figured in financial circles as the Vice-President of the Ann Arbor Savings Bank. Watchful of opportunities
and making the best of his advantages, he carried his business interests forward along progressive lines and
belonged to that class of representative American citizens, who, while promoting individual success, also
contribute in large measure to the general welfare. He came to Ann Arbor about 1848, being at that time a man
of thirty-two years.
William was only twelve years of age when he left home and went to New York city, where he attended the
public schools. He acquired a good education and afterward accepted a position as clerk in a store in New
York City and was likewise employed in other business there. His time was thus passed until 1841 when he
came to Washtenaw County, Michigan, as one of it's early settlers. Taking up his abode in Ypsilanti, he there
purchased a lumber mill and engaged in the manufacture of lumber for several years, or until 1848 when he
came to Ann Arbor. The embryo city offered him a good field of labor, and from that time until his death he was
closely associated with the commercial development and substantial progress of his place. Here he entered into
partnership with Mr. Becker under the firm style of Becker & Wines and they were engaged in the dry-goods
business together for several years. On the expiration of that period they dissolved the partnership and Mr.
Wines was afterward associated with other partners, eventually admitting Charles H. Worden to a partnership.
Their store was located at No. 120 S. Main Street and they conducted the largest retail dry-goods business of
any firm in the city. The relation between them was maintained until the death of Mr. Wines and the business
constantly grew in volume and importance, returning them an excellent income. Progressive in all that they did,
following modern lines of business activity and instituting methods that neither sought nor required disguise, they
enjoyed a trade which yielded them a profitable return upon their investment and made their house one of the
valued factors in mercantile circles here. Mr. Wines also became one of the stockholders of the Ann Arbor
Savings Bank and for many years was its Vice-President, acting in that paucity up to the time of his death.
William was a republican in his political views and took an active interest in the work and success of the party.
He and his wife held membership in the Presbyterian church to which their daughter also belonged. He was
greatly and helpfully interested in the church work and acted as one of the trustees for many years. his life was
honorable and upright and commended him to the confidence and good will of all with who he was associated.
In matters relating to the welfare of the community, he was public-spirited and his co-operation could be
counted upon to further public progress. He was always ready to lend a helping hand to the poor and needy
and within the closer circle of his social associated he won warm friendships, based upon the appreciation of his
many sterling traits of character. he became well-to-do and was recognized as a prominent and representative
citizen of Ann Arbor.
|Transcribed from ~
Past and Present,Washtenaw County Michigan, by Samuel W. Beakes
TOGETHER WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF MANY OF IT PROMINENT AND LEADING CITIZENS AND
Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906