William Spooner Walbridge
William Spooner Walbridge was the president of the William S. Walbridge Co. and the Kent-Owens Machine Co. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on September 19, 1854. His father Levi was a partner in a furniture company. He attended the Boston public schools while he worked at his father's firm. After the death of their father, William and his brothers took over their father's part of the firm. William was senior partner in the company known as Walbridge and Briggs. He was a prominent businessman in Boston, but in 1898 moved to Toledo to become the treasurer of the Toledo Glass Company. He later became treasurer and vice-president of the Owens Bottle Machine Company.[John M. Klllits, ed. Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio, 1623-1923. vol. 2 (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1923), p.69]. With Michael Owens and Edward Libbey, William S. Walbridge developed the glass making machine. He later became president of Kent-Owens which manufactured the machines.("W.S. Walbridge Rites to be Held Tomorrow," Toledo Times, 24 November 1935).
William S. Walbridge was a director of the Northern National Bank and of Citizens Safe Deposit and Banking, Co. He was also a director at the Collin-Norton Company. He later founded his own investment firm, the Williams. Walbridge Co.("Industrial Leader Dies," Toledo Blade, 24 November 1935). In 1927 he resigned as chairman of the board at Owens Bottle Co. He still continued to serve on their board of directors.("William S. Walbridge," Toledo News Bee, 23 November 1935).
On October 25, 1882, William S. Walbridge married Alice Langdon Libbey who was a sister of Edward Drummond Libbey.Harvey Scribner, ed. 1910. [Memoirs of Lucas County and the City of Toledo, vol. 2 (Madison Wis: Western Historical Association, 1910), p.109]. He owned a collection of ancient and modern glass containers, flasks, and bottles. He authored a book on bottles titled American Bottles: Old and New.("Industrial Leader Dies," Newspaper transcript in Toledo Biography Scrapbook Local History Room, Toledo-Lucas County Main Library). He was also known as a charitable man who passed on his wealth wherever he could.("William S. Walbridge," Toledo Times, 26 November 1935). Walbridge was a trustee and president of the Convalescent Home for Crippled Children. He became personally acquainted with many of the children at the Charles Feilbach School for Crippled Children.("W.S. Walbridge Rites to Be Held Tomorrow.") Over his lifetime groups such as the Toledo Society for Crippled Children, the Toledo Society for the Blind, the YMCA and the YWCA received his generous donations.("Value of W.S. Walbridge Estate More than $60,000," Toledo Blade, 3 December 1935).
His civic interests included being a member of the Anthony Wayne Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Toledo Country Club, and the Rotary Club.("W.S. Walbridge Rites to be Held Tomorrow.") William Spooner Walbridge died on November 23, 1935 at the age of 81.("Industrial Leader Dies.") His wife Alice had preceded him in death.
William Spooner Walbridge's grave
(Photography of Woodlawn Cemetery by Josef Schneider.)