Mr William H. Pritchard was born in Adams, Massachusetts, USA on 22 June 1859. He was the son of Thomas M. Pritchard, a Vermont-born moulder, and Elizabeth Ray. He had three elder siblings, two brothers and one sister, including one younger sister.
Spending his early years in Adams, William and his family later moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts where he gained his first job as a humble bookkeeper in Pittsfield National Bank. He was married in Pittsfield in January 1883 to Sarah Philena Shaver; they had two children, Herbert and Margaret.
Pritchard’s employment later moved North Adams National Bank, initially working again as a bookkeeper before rising to become a cashier, spending the next decade in that capacity; in 1907 he became the bank’s president, a position he held for twenty-five years. He was also a member of the Berkshire Banker’s association and the New England Fire Insurance Company, as well as being prominent in real estate circles.
In April 1912, Mr and Mrs Pritchard, accompanied by Mr and Mrs Carlton T. Phelps, were first cabin passengers aboard the Carpathia en route to Europe for a vacation. Once the survivors of the Titanic had been rescued, the party showed them many kindnesses, including giving up their staterooms and sharing clothing and other essentials.
With their experiences not deterring them, the Pritchard and Phelps couples continued their journey aboard Carpathia, returning to the US towards the close of June but refusing to be further drawn to comment on the Titanic disaster.
During WWI Pritchard was active in campaigns for the sale of Liberty Bonds and in Red Cross drives. Retiring from his bank’s presidency in October 1933, in later years he and his wife made their home in Stamford, Vermont but in the mid-1930s relocated to the home of their son Herbert and his family who lived in Wollaston, Quincy, Massachusetts.
Widowed in 1936, Pritchard spent his final days living with his son in Wollaston, where he died on 9 March 1946. He is buried in Bennington, Vermont.