William Edward Cazzell was born on March 22, 1877 in Greenupsburg, Greenup
County, Kentucky. He was the sixth child of George Washington Cazzell and
Sarah Elizabeth Bays who had ten children; five boys and five girls.
William's father, George, was a coal miner in Kentucky and moved his family
to Denton, Texas in 1894 where he became a building contractor.
As a young man, William Edward worked as a ranch hand near Friona in the Texas Panhandle. The nearby town of Amarillo was in its' infant stages with dirt streets and only a few buildings but it was located where the Rock Island railroad and the Santa Fe railroad ran their tracks and the opportunities were plentiful. In those early years, the Santa Fe railroad offered free transportation and free land to farming families that would settle along their right of way and ship their agricultural products by rail. In only a few years Amarillo became the major center of activity in the Texas Panhandle with it's economy fueled by agriculture, ranching and later petroleum.
While William Edward was working in Friona, he visited Amarillo on several occasions and recognized the opportunities available there. He later quit his job as a ranch hand and rode his horse back to Denton. After he arrived there he wanted to visit one of his sisters and her husband but didn't know where they lived. As he rode along a back road in search of his sister's home he met a man, Buckner Hamilton Williams, who was pulling a wagon filled with chicken crates. Riding on top of the crates was an attractive young woman named Ada who was the daughter of Buckner Williams. William Edward had a brief conversation with Buckner and Ada before going along his way. When William Edward eventually found his sister's home he announced that he had met the girl he intended to marry.
The next day, Will, as William Edward was now known, devised a plan to get better aquainted with Ada. He took his gun and went into the woods behind the Williams' home to hunt for squirrel. While he was in the woods a hound dog from the Williams' farmhouse joined him in the hunt. After he finally shot a squirrel, the hound retrieved it and ran for home. Will followed the hound to the Williams' home where he and Ada were able to get better acquainted.
Will and Ada married on October 24, 1903. Soon afterward, Will and Ada moved from Denton to Amarillo. Will was employed by the Eakle Furniture and Undertaking Company in Amarillo. In 1912 he left Eakle to join his brother, Leslie Cazzell, in their own furniture business. About this time, Will began to invest in real estate properties in Amarillo and eventually left the furniture business to devote all of his time to real estate development. He also served on the Amarillo City Commission for seven years.
Will and Ada had nine children before he died on July 25, 1925 from complications caused by surgery. Tragically, less than three months later, his twelve-year-old son Foy Wilson Cazzell died from an accidental gunshot wound. Another son, Joe Baylor Cazzell, died from appendicitis less than six months after Foy's death. Joe Baylor was age eleven when he died.