WILLIAM HERBERT INMAN, senior member of the firm of Pratt & Inman, conducting an extensive steel business in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a native of Rhode Island, born in Burrillville, March 15, 1845. His parents were Francis Henry and Hannah (Marsh) Inman. His mother was a daughter of John and Lucy Marsh, of Slatersville, Rhode Island. His paternal grandparents were James and Nancy Inman, of the same town.
William H. Inman was four years old when his parents took up their residence in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was educated in the public schools of that city, and after leaving his studies entered the office of his father, May 8, 1864, when nineteen years of age. From that time he has been continuously connected with the business to which he was then introduced, and which is worthy of somewhat extended notice.
The keeping of bar iron and steel for sake as a special business in Worcester was commenced by Joseph Pratt and Samuel Hathaway, under the firm name of J. Pratt & Co., in May, 1829. At that time the only modes of transportation to Worcester were by horse or ox teams from Boston, or by the Blackstone canal from Providence. The business gradually developed in importance, and was continued by the firm above named until 1832, when occurred the death of Mr. Hathaway. It was then continued without change of name by Mr. Pratt, with Isaac Davis as a partner, until 1835, when Edward Earle succeeded Mr. Davis, and the style of the firm was changed to that of J. Pratt & Earle. This was continued until 1848, when Elbridge G. Pratt, brother of Joseph Pratt, purchased the interest of Edward Earle, and the firm again took the designation of J. Pratt & Company. Elbridge G. Pratt died that year, and the business was continued without change of firm name until 1853, when Francis H. Inman, who had entered the house as a clerk, in 1849, was admitted to partnership, and the firm name was changed to that of Pratt & Inman, which has been its form to the present time. In 1871 William H. Inman, who had entered the employ of the house in May, 1864, was admitted to partnership. In 1874 Mr. Pratt retired from the firm. This excellent man, who was born in 1800, lived to the remarkable age of ninety-five years, dying in 1895. Mr. Francis H. Inman continued his connection with the business until his death, in 1898, after which the business was continued by William H. Inman until 1903, when his son, Albert H. Inman, who had been with the establishment since 1887, was admitted to partnership. The firm fully maintains the prestige enjoyed by its predecessors, through so many years, and its house is recognized as one of the substantial and important enterprises of Worcester, distributing its goods through a wide territory, and supplying many of the largest manufacturing establishments throughout the East.
October 3, 1867. William H. Inman married Mary E. Cheney, a granddaughter of Charles Davis, who was for many years connected with the Washburn & Moen firm of Worcester. Two children were born of this marriage: Albert Henry and Edith Loraine.
Albert H. Inman, son of William H. Inman, married, January 1, 1891, Effie B. Moore, a daughter of Charles F. Moore, of Worcester, and to them have been born two children, Chester M., and Marjorie. Mr. Inman is a member of the Masonic fraternity, affiliated with Quinsigamond Lodge and Worcester Royal Arch Chapter.
From the "Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Vol-1"