WILLIAM GLEASON was born in Pennsylvania in 1836 to John Gleason and his wife, the former Lydia Rulon, who were living in Philadelphia's Southwark Ward 5 when the 1850 Census was taken. William Gleason moved to Camden in the 1850s. He married Ellen Mars Ivins on July 18, 1857. She gave birth to a son, Walter, early in 1860. The Gleasons were living in Camden's South Ward when the Census was taken in July of 1860.

William Gleason enlisted as a private in the 4th New Jersey Infantry Militia Regiment (Also known as the Twentieth New Jersey Infantry) on April 14,1861, and was subsequently assigned to Company G. The Fourth Regiment Militia was commanded by Colonel Matthew Miller, Jr.; his officers were Lieutenant Colonel Simpson R. Stroud and Major Robert C. Johnson. This regiment was mustered into the U. S. service at Trenton, April 27, 1861, to serve for three months, and left the state for Washington, D. C., on May 3, with 37 commissioned officers and 743 non-commissioned officers and privates, a total of 777. On the evening of May 5 it reached the capital, and on the 9th it was ordered to go into camp at Meridian hill, where, within a few days the entire brigade was encamped, and where, on the 12th, it was honored by a visit from the president, who warmly complimented the appearance of the troops. On the evening of May 23 it joined the 2nd and 3d regiments and about midnight took up the line of march in silence for the bridge that spanned the Potomac. This bridge was crossed at 2 o'clock on the morning of the 24th, the 2nd was posted at Roach's spring, and the 3d and 4th about half a mile beyond on the Alexandria road. On July 16, a guard was detailed from the 4th for a section of the Orange & Alexandria railroad, which it was important to hold; one company from the regiment guarded the Long bridge; still another was on duty at Arlington mills; and the remainder of the regiment, together with the 2nd, was ordered to proceed to Alexandria. On July 24, the term of service having expired, the 4th returned to New Jersey and was mustered out at Trenton, July 31, 1861. The total strength of the regiment was 783, and it lost by discharge 6, by promotion 2, by death 2 and by desertion 7, mustered out, 766. Private Gleason was among those mustered out on July 31, 1861 at Trenton. 

Several men who served with Company G became members of the Camden Fire Department after it was founded in 1869, including Benjamin Cavanaugh, J. Kelly Brown, Henry F. Surault, Edward Mead, William Cox, William W. Mines, and James M. Lane. Other Fourth Infantry men who served included Theodore A. Zimmerman, Charles G. Zimmerman, William C. Lee, George B. Anderson, Jesse Chew, William H.H. Clark, Cornelius M. Brown, John J. Brown, Benjamin Connelly, and G. Rudolph Tenner. Several other Fourth Infantry veterans played significant roles in Camden in the ensuing years.

In June of 1863, in response to General Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, a call was issued in that state for new troops by the states' governor. Eight "emergency regiments" were raised prior to the battle at Gettysburg, and other militia units followed. William Gleason crossed the Delaware and on July 9, 1863 enlisted as a Corporal in Company K, 52nd Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania. The emergency regiments were mustered out soon after the battle of Gettysburg, the regiments of militia a little later, various duties within the state requiring their services for a short time. Some were employed at Gettysburg, some at Philadelphia in preserving order, and elsewhere they rendered valuable service.

Corporal William Gleason mustered out of Company K, 52nd Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania on September 1, 1863.

William Gleason worked for the railroad as a foreman at the Market Street depot after the Civil War. The 1870 Census shows him living in Camden's Middle Ward with his wife Ellen and children Walter, Elizabeth, William, Isaac, and Theodore. Three more sons came during the 1870s, Samuel, Harry, and John. A daughter, Marion, was born in June of 1880

William Gleason's brother-in-law, Alfred Ivins, was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on April 20, 1872. On October 9, 1872 William Gleason and nine other men were appointed as extra men with the Camden Fire Department as replacements for members of Engine Company 2 and of the Hook & Ladder Company who had resigned the previous day. William Gleason took the place of Thomas McCowan with the Hook & Ladder Company. He was then living on John Street, as was railroad co-worker and brother firefighter James M. Lane, both he and Lane worked for the railroad. When William Gleason was appointed to the Fire Department, his stated occupation was "railroad agent". On November 2, 1872 John W. Streeper, a brother-in-law of William Gleason, was appointed to the Fire Department and joined William Gleason with the Hook & Ladder Company.

William Gleason served with the Hook & Ladder Company until May of 1874 when he and nine other men were removed from service from the Fire Department. During these years, he and James M. Lane were next door neighbors, the Lanes at 644 John Street (renamed Locust Street around 1883), the Gleasons at 646 John Street. Three other firefighters lived in the 600 block of John Street in the early 1870s, Isaac Randolph at 607, John Vanstavern at 647, and John W. Streeper at 649. William Gleason was reappointed to the Camden Fire Department on April 8, 1876 as an extra man with Engine Company 2, replacing William Bassett. He served for one year, and was replaced in turn by Frank Turner. William Gleason was still at 646 John Street in 1876.

The 1878-1879 City Directory lists William Gleason at 406 North Front Street. The 1880 Census shows William Gleason and his family at 404 North Front Street in Camden's First Ward. His occupation at the time was foreman at the Pennsylvania Railroad's docks. He would remain in this post until his passing. 

City Directories during the 1880s and 1890s give the following address for William Gleason and family- 1882-1883 at 332 Stevens Street, 1883-1884 at 308 Benson Street, 1884-1885 at 512 Clinton Street, 1887-1888 and 1888-1889 at 212 Bridge Avenue, 1890 at 606 Federal Street, and 1894-1895 at 572 Mickle Street.

Last a resident of 572 Mickle Street, William Gleason passed away on April 1, 1896. He was survived by his widow, Ellen Gleason. His widow lived and children lived at 576 Mickle from 1897 through 1899. Nine of his ten children were still alive in 1900. At that time his widow and children Isaac, Harry, John, and Marion were living at 704 Washington Street.

William Gleason's son, William J. "Kid" Gleason, was a star baseball player locally and in the major leagues. He managed the Chicago White Sox to the American League pennant in 1919, only to have eight of his players throw the World Series in what came to be known as the Black Sox scandal. Kid Gleason coached for the Philadelphia Athletics until the end of the 1931. 

Another of William Gleason's sons, Harry Gleason, played parts of five years in the major leagues as well, for Boston and St Louis in the American League, from 1901 through 1905, and son Isaac "Ike" Gleason played semi-pro baseball for the Camden Base Ball Club in the 1890s. 

Civil War Pension Record