William Procter (industrialist)

William Procter (7 December 1801 – 4 April 1884)[1] was an English-born American industrialist and candlemaker who was the co-founder of Procter & Gamble Company in 1837, along with James Gamble.

William Procter
Born(1801-12-07)7 December 1801
Herefordshire, England
Died4 April 1884(1884-04-04) (aged 82)
Burial placeSpring Grove Cemetery
39°09′52″N 84°31′22″W
OccupationCandlemaker, industrialist
Known forCo-founder of Procter & Gamble Co.
Spouse(s)Olivia Norris
ChildrenWilliam Alexander Procter

Early life

A native of England, William Procter was born in Herefordshire and educated at the Luckston School. He entered into business in 1818 and was connected with the clothing industry in London in the late 1820s. In 1827, he became acquainted with William Hooper, who urged Procter to emigrate to America. He arrived in the United States in 1830 and began to manufacture candles in New York City. He moved west with his first wife, Martha Peat Procter. She died during their westward journey in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1832.

Procter & Gamble

Planning only on staying for a short while before resuming his relocation plans, he decided to stay and spent the remainder of his life in Cincinnati. He started his business and married Olivia Norris in 1833. At his father-in-law Alexander Norris's suggestion, he joined forces in 1837 with his brother-in-law, James Gamble, to establish the company that bears their names. The company began to manufacture Ivory soap and profits grew to enormous proportions. [2]

His son William Alexander Procter and grandson William Cooper Procter were company presidents.[3]

Procter is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery,[4] as is his business partner, James Gamble.


  1. "William Procter". NNDB. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  2. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23584680/william-procter
  3. Davis, Dyer; et al. (May 1, 2004). Rising Tide: Lessons from 165 Years of Brand Building at Procter and Gamble. Harvard Business Press. p. 427. ISBN 9781591391470. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  4. "Grave burial information" (PDF). Spring Grove Cemetery. Retrieved September 11, 2012.

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