William Henry Meakin rose from Office Boy to Manager of Kingston Mills, Brindle Heath and was also a Salford Councillor.
He was born in Derby in 1845. At the age of 15 he was living in Salford and started work as an office boy at Mr Wright Turner's Kingston Mills. In 1869 he married Hannah Bayley who was born in Manchester in 1851.
They were to have eight children: Florence (born 1871), Herbert (born 1873), Edith (born 1875), Amy (born 1877), Mabel (born 1878), Daisy (born 1879), Arnold (born 1880 and died 24 Oct 1880 aged 4 months) and Percy (born 1881 and died 26th Jan 1882 aged 5 weeks). In 1881, the family lived at 52, Fitzwarren Street, Pendleton and later at Brentwood, Eccles Old Road.
William was a diligent worker and rose to the position of Cashier and Salesman at Kingston Mills. In 1886, on the death of Wright Turner's son, William Alfred Turner, he was made a co-trustee and given the management of the mills. He was a great favourite with the employees and highly respected by those with whom he had business connections.
In November 1881, William began his public career by being elected to Salford Council for St. Thomas's Ward, which he won for a third term just before he died in 1888. He was a great believer in making the Council Chamber accessible to the press. He was successful in allowing the press to cover the Highways Committee. His knowledge of accounting made him an obvious choice for the Finance Committee. He was an ardent member of the Museum, Libraries & Parks Committee and a member of the Baths Committee. He was also a member of the River Irwell Conservancy Committee. In his younger day he filled the position of hon. secretary of the Pendleton Liberal Club and at the time of his death he was a trustee and member of the management council.
William was distinguished for his good humour, geniality and generosity. He was a member of both Weaste and Pendleton Private Bowling Clubs and a member of the Albert Victor Lodge of Freemasons.
For some years, William had not enjoyed the best of health and in late December 1887 he developed bronchitis, but insisted continuing to work. On Saturday 31st December he was suddenly taken ill and went home in a cab. Dr Stewart of Pendleton was called and found him suffering from a severe bronchial attack. However, much against the wishes of his doctor and his family he went to work again on Thursday 5th January where he passed away quietly at 10.30 am. He was only 43 years old and left his wife Hannah with six children.
he funeral of William Henry Meakin took place on Saturday 7th January at Weaste Cemetery. The body was enclosed in a polished oak coffin with brass mountings. There were many relatives and friends including the staff at Kingston Mills, the Mayor of Salford, the Town Clerk and members of the Pendleton Committee, Mr Robert Leake MP and friends from the Liberal Club and Bowling Clubs. The service was conducted by Rev C.E. Little and William was interred in plot A11 of the Church of England portion of the cemetery.