With an investment of $500, the Edmonton office of Wood, Weiller and McCarthy opened in 1917, a time when the livestock business was on a solid footing. With no money of his own to contribute, it was a great opportunity for Lee Williams to dive in and make a mark for himself. He had learned from some great cattle buyers and was now able to put his skills to work to build the company.

“Always associate with people who know more than you and you will learn from them.” – Lee Williams

Stockyards didn’t have auction rings in those days. Everything was bought and sold by ‘private treaty’. The buyer and seller would meet out in the yard, agree to a purchase price and then weigh the animals. Lee was a fair dealer and his business style gained him great respect.

“In the early days when the west was being settled, honesty was the best policy. It still is, but you don’t seem to find the same feeling of man for his fellow men today as you did then. To me a man’s word should be as good as his bond.” – Lee Williams

After Leo McCarthy resigned from the business, Lee became a full partner. In 1925, the company received a Dominion Charter from the Canadian Government and the name was officially changed to Weiller and Williams Company Limited.


Edmonton Stock Yards – 1923.
Musée Héritage Museum