In 1898 William Robert Timken co-founded with his brother the Timken Carriage Works (later the Timken Roller Bearing Company of Canton, Ohio), which manufactured a product developed by their father. The roller bearings were designed for horse-drawn carriages and buggies, but Timken anticipated their importance to the then-nascent auto industry and in 1909 organized the Timken-Detroit Axel Company. Mr. Timken's first wife, whom he married on 2 September 1890 in San Diego, was Grace Estelle Kutchin, with whom he had a daughter, Mrs. Valerie T. Whitney [1901-1975] of San Marino, California. His second wife, whom he married in 1918, was Lillian Guyer Ford [Mrs. Freeman Ford]. With his second wife, he accumulated a large collection of European art. William Timken died of a stroke at the age of eighty-three in 1949. When Mrs. Timken died ten years later, their art collection was divided between the National Gallery of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
"W.R. Timken, Made Roller Bearings." The New York Times. 13 June 1949: 19 [obituary]