Our thanks go to Norm Willis of Canada for much helpful information on this page
William Henry Pallister was the third child of John (Augustus) Pallister & Sarah Vachon born December 22nd, 1859 in Quebec, Canada.
In 1861 William & his parents were living in Levis, Quebec & William had 2 brothers – John & Thomas.
The family left Canada in 1867 to live in Iowa, USA.
In the 1885 census of Iowa William was living at West Maine St, Ottumwa, Wapello. He was still living with his parents & brothers John A (28) & Thomas A (26). All 3 boys were described as ‘candy makers’ & are known to have set up a confectionery business in Ottumwa. In the early 80s the Pallister Bros had the largest confectionery & ice cream business in Ottumwa. Their store was the first in Ottumwas to install electric light. Five sisters were also living at home – the oldest 3 (Alice, 21, Victoria, 18 & Mary, 16) had all been born in Canada like their older brothers. The 2 youngest sisters, Matilda (13) & Anna (Joanna) (10) were born in Iowa.
In 1895 William & his brothers John & Thomas were living with their widowed mother Sarah in Ottumwa. The 3 brothers were now all described as cigar manufacturers. With the growth of their cigar business the brothers disposed of their confectionery store. Sisters Alice, Mary, Matilda & Annie were also still at home & were confectioners. Also living with them at the time of the census was sister Victoria Johnson with her 3 year old daughter Susie.
The 1900 census of Ottumwa shows William still living in the city & with him was his mother, sister Sarah Alice, a hair dresser & sister Joanna, a dancing teacher. Also living with them was sister Victoria A E Johnson, a clerk, who was now divorced, & her daughter Susan Victoria Johnson (8). William was a cigar manufacturer.
In 1910 William was still in the cigar trade with brother Thomas, their business now having grown to require 68 employees. Living with him in Ward 6 Ottumwa were his sisters Anna & Victoria Johnson & Victoria’s daughter Susan.
William & his sisters Anna & Victoria were still living in Ottumwa, Ward 6 in 1920. He was still in the cigar business. William was an active member of the Wapello Lodge of the Knights of Pythias.
William died on May 27th, 1927 at 125 Vogel Avenue, Ottumwa after a lingering illness & was buried in the Ottumwa Cemetery. His cigar company finally closed in 1928 after 40 years of business.