William E Cheever was the owner of Weeco, Willaim E Cheever Company. According to his obituary in the Brown Alumni Monthly and the 1885 Census 3, he was born on July 18th 1882. After graduating from Classical High School he entered Brown in 1900. He graduated from Brown in 1904 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He joined the staff of the Gorham Company as a draughtsman and later became one of the company’s engineers. He also worked as an engineer for the Oxford Paper Company.
The 1910 census lists only his mother, Annie, a widow and one brother, Dexter. 4 In 1908 5 and 1910 6 Williem E Cheever is listed as a Civil Engineer at 146 Westminster rm 406.
In 1911 8, 1912 9 and 1914 10 he is still listed as a Civil Engineer but with the notation of "also Garage", and an address change to 84 Sprague St. The garage is confirmed as a actual automobile garage in the 1914 Providence Businees Directory 11.
In January 1913 there is a record of Mr Cheever having a display at the Second Annual Providence Automobile Show at the State Amory on Canston St 2. He worked in the automobile business for several years as a service manager before joining the State Board of Public Roads as a highway engineer.
His display at the show was probobly one for Nyberg Automobiles as seen by this article from 1913.
Providence Journal February 2, 1913
The 1918 12 and 1919 13 city directories dropped the garage referance. Also in 1919 Mr Cheever got married to Ethel F Durfee on August 4th in Maine 14 and settled at 90 Armington St in Cranston, RI 15 This also the address listed on the Stowell and Wecco Jr sets that are in my collection.
In 1920 16 and 1922 17 the listing in the city directory now lists Mr Cheever as a Manger at 103 Bradford but does not say of what.
In 1921 Mr Cheever teamed up with Arthur G Henrickson and Thomas Cuttan started The Mechanical Specialties Corp with $25,000 1.
1924 lists William E Cheever as the treasurer and manager of a company at 128 North Main St, top floor with no referance to the company name. 18
We finally see referance to radio sets and the William E Cheever company starting in 1928 19 and then again in the 1930 20 city directories. The address is listed as 1167 Broad St which is also the address on the tags on both of the Wecco wave traps in my collection. In 1926 he returned to Brown as assistant in civil engineering 7 in charge of field work for freshman. During World War I he enlisted in the United States Navy.
In 1929 Cheever is selling outboard motors and displaying them at the Providence Auto Show. 21
He died December 26th, 1931 22
Click to enlarge
The Rhode Island Radio Fans Handbook, 1925
1 The Mechanical Specialties Corporation Incorporation Record ,December 22, 1921.
2 January 25th issue of "The Automobile Journal"
3 1885 Census
4 1910 Census
5 1908 City Directory
6 1910 City Directory
7 BROWN ALUMNI MONTHLY, October 1926
8 1911 City Directory
9 1912 City Directory
10 1914 City Directory
11 1914 Providence Business Directory
12 1918 City Directory
13 1919 City Directory
14 Cheever Marriage Record
15 1920 Census
16 1920 City Directory
17 1922 City Directory
18 1924 City Directory
19 1928 City Directory
20 1930 City Directory
21 Providence Journal February 13, 1929
22 Providence Journal February 27, 1931