Welcome to

Williams, Minnesota

Gateway to Lake of the Woods & Beltrami Island State Forest

City of Williams

EST 1923

County | Lake of the Woods

Population | 191

City Hall

250 Main Street

PO Box 98

Williams, MN 56686


Senior Meals

Monday & Wednesdays | 12:00

Located in City Hall

All Welcome!

Williams Public Library

(Located in City Hall)



Monday - Thursday | 1:00PM - 4:30PM


Williams Ice Arena

Address & Contact info to come.

Notice of Filing

Notice is hereby given, that the filings for the office of two Council Members, (4) year terms, and Mayor for a term of two (2) years, will be open August 2, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. and close on August 16, 2016 at 5 p.m.

Council Members whose terms expire are those of Deanna Drentlaw (4 year term) and Ashley Howdahl (4 year term) Mayor's term expiring is that of April Stavig.

Any person desiring to file as a candidate for these offices, who is eligible to vote in the City of Williams, who will be 21 years old on assuming office, is a Citizen and has been a resident of the City of Williams for at least 30 days and has not been convicted of a felony under State or Federal law, unless his or her Civil Rights have been restored, may do so at the Williams City Clerk's Office. Candidates must complete an affidavit of candidacy and pay a $2.00 filing fee at the time of filing. The election for these City Offices will be held by mail-in ballot. The election will take place on November 8, 2016.

Kathleen Elson

City Clerk Administrator

Our History

Williams, Minnesota got its start when the Canadian railway line from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay was built through the area between 1899 and 1900. Two men who worked for the railroad, George Williams and William Mason saw the potential for land development in the region and decided to locate near the new line and stake claims when the proper time came. George William’s wife and five children soon joined him and William Mason’s father, John Mason Sr. also arrived to look over the area. In 1900 he filed for a homestead on the south side of the railroad tracks and George Williams filed for one north of the tracks. They built log cabins, cut timber and firewood. Other land seekers soon joined them and for a time the little settlement was known as “The Siding”. As it grew and a more fitting name was sought, Will Mason and George Williams flipped a coin to see which would be the namesake and George won so the town was named Williams. Read more about our history here! For history on Lake of the Woods, please check out the Lake of the Woods Historical Society website!

Early Days in Williams, Minnesota
Early Days in Williams, Minnesota
Early Days in Williams, Minnesota
Early Days in Williams, Minnesota
Early Days in Williams, Minnesota

All photos above are courtesy of the Lake of the Woods Historical Society