William Hendrie was born November 11, 1931 in Glasgow, Scotland. At the tender age of 17, he accepted a position with the Glasgow and Southwestern Railroad, setting the stage for an illustrious career building railways. In 1855, the Great western Railway of Canada offered him a position, which he accepted, settling in Hamilton, Ontario.
His first important contract was the laying of pipes for the Hamilton Water Works. So efficiently and successfully completed was this project, that other contracts followed in quick succession, including the building of Northwestern, Wellington, Grey Bruce, Hamilton, Harrisburg, and many more railroads. His reputed honesty and promptness of task gained him work far and wide.
He had an abiding interest in agricultural affairs, and was President of the Hamilton Great Central Fair Association. His life was filled with more than business, as he was known to be generous with his wealth and reluctant to seek credit. He served ten years as Chairman of the Board of Central Presbyterian Church and gave to many charities and supported sports.
William Hendrie lived his life at Homestead on Bold Street, where he also died at the age of seventy-five years on June 27, 1906.