Harold P. Williams

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Harold P. Williams
Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
In office
Preceded by Stanley Qua
Succeeded by Paul Reardon
United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts
In office
Preceded by Robert O. Harris
Succeeded by Frederick H. Tarr
Personal details
Born (1882-10-02)October 2, 1882
Foxboro, Massachusetts
Died August 6, 1963(1963-08-06) (aged 80)
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Mary Harriet Culp
Residence Foxboro, Massachusetts
Brookline, Massachusetts
Millis, Massachusetts
Alma mater Harvard College
Harvard Law School
Occupation Attorney

Harold Putnam Williams (October 2, 1882 in Foxboro, Massachusetts – August 6, 1963) was an American attorney and judge who served as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts from 1925 to 1926 and as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from 1947 to 1962.

Early life[edit]

Williams was born on October 2, 1882 in Foxboro, Massachusetts to Fred H. Williams, a lawyer and member of the Massachusetts General Court, and Julia Annette (Blake) Williams. Williams grew up in Foxboro and Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated from Brookline High School in 1899, Harvard College in 1903, and Harvard Law School in 1906.[1]


Williams began his legal career as a lawyer with Walter I. Badger in Boston. He then went to work with his father.[1]

In 1918, Williams was appointed Assistant District Attorney for the Southeastern District (consisting of Norfolk and Plymouth Counties). In this role he assisted District Attorney Frederick G. Katzmann in the prosecution of Ferdinando Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. In 1922 he was elected District Attorney.[1]

In December 1924 Williams was appointed United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts by President Calvin Coolidge. Williams' appointment satisfied both Wets and dries as the drys felt that he would enforce the prohibition laws and the wets supported his confirmation because he was not endorsed by the Anti-Saloon League.[1]


Williams resigned as U.S. Attorney in 1926 after he was appointed Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. He remained on the Superior Court until August 13, 1947 when he was appointed by Governor Robert F. Bradford to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.[1]

Personal life[edit]

On September 9, 1911, Williams married Mary Harriet Culp of Brooklyn, Connecticut. They had one son, Harold P. Williams, Jr.[1]

Williams served in many offices in Brookline including Town Moderator and member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Library.[1]

Williams was a member of the Congregational church, the freemasons, the American Law Institute, the Massachusetts Bar Association, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the Harvard Club of Boston, the Union Club of Boston, the Brae Burn Country Club, and the Grange.[1]

Williams' hobbies included golf and traveling.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Harold Putnam Williams". Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Office of Reporter of Decisions. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Stanley Elroy Qua
Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Succeeded by
Paul Reardon