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Chauncey L. Williams

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Chauncey Lawrence Williams was a prominent Chicago business and social figure of the later nineteen and early twentieth centuries. He was a partner, with W. Irving Way, in Way & Williams, the publishing firm that issued L. Frank Baum's first literary effort, Mother Goose in Prose, in 1897. In the same year, Williams provided financial backing for Baum's trade journal The Show Window.

Williams was part of a circle of artists, writers, and cultural figures that included Hamlin Garland and Kate Chopin. Originally from Wisconsin, Williams was a friend and college classmate of Frank Lloyd Wright, and in 1893 commissioned Wright to design his home, the Chauncey Williams House, in River Forest, Illinois (completed 1895).

Apart from the short-lived Way & Williams firm, Williams was associated with other endeavors to promote high-quality printing, including the Caxton Club. He founded the Auvergne Press with partner William H. Winslow; Wright designed books for them.


  • L. Frank Baum. The Annotated Wizard of Oz. Edited by Michael Patrick Hearn, New York, W. W. Norton, 2000.

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