William H. Andrews, saw repairer at Big Rapids, was born in Sheffield, Eng., Sept. 17, 1831. Benjamin Andrews, his father was born in Sheffield, in May 1792, and his mother, Sarah (Utley) Andrews, in September of the same year. The grandparents of Mr. Andrews belonged to the agriculture class of England, but the sons on the paternal side was brought up as artificers in Sheffield, celebrated the world over for its cutlery and artisans’ tools in metals. Mr. Andrews’ father carried on a general hardware business in London for ten years, and came to New York with his family in 1834, where he carried on the business of saw repairing until his death, Dec. 3, 1841. The mother in Elmira, N.Y., March 8,1869. Wm.Andrews, uncle of Mr. Andrews, of this sketch came to the United States in 1819, and brought with him the saw makers’ anvil ever used this side the Atlantic. The anvil has been preserved and exhibited at the Centennial Expostition at Philadelphia, by Emanuel Andrews, brother of Mr. Andrews, of Big Rapids, himself at that time a saw maker located at Williamsport, and the first founder as a saw making as a regular calling in Chicago. The uncle went to Auburn, N.Y., and founded an establishment for the repairing of saws, where he died.
Mr. Andrews spent his boyhood’s years in school. At 14 he was apprenticed to the well known of house of R.Hoe & Co., of New York, to learn the trade of saw making, to serve until he attained his majority. He remained a year after the expiration of his indentures, and in 1853 went to Elmira, N.Y., and worked a year there with his brother Emanuel, whom he accompanied to Chicago in 1854. He afterwards returned to Elmira and there pursued his trade until 1871, when he went to Williamsport and was again engaged with his brother Emanuel for the space of two and one half years. He came to Big Rapids in 1874, and, associated with his brother Joseph, opened a shop for the sale and repair of saws. His business relations with his brother ceased at the end of ten months. In April 1883, he bought the site where he is now located, and erected his shop, a structure 20x36 feet. His business includes re-teething, gumming, and straightening saws, and his trade is prosperous and profitable.
Mr. Andrews was married at Big Rapids, July 24, 1880, to Anna, widow of Peter Klynsma. Mrs. Andrews was born June 22, 1848, in Holland, and is the mother of one child from her first marriage. Mr. Andrews belongs to the Masonic Order, Union Lodge, No. 95, at Elmira, N.Y., also to the Royal Arch Chapter, No. 42, of Elmira, and is a member of the Southern Tier Council, No. 16.