William Reed Veazeywas born in Chase City, Virginia on December 29, 1883. He graduated from Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania with an A.B. in 1903. He entered Johns Hopkins University that fall. The following year, he accepted a position as instructor of general and analytical chemistry at the University of Oregon at Eugene City. He returned to Johns Hopkins in the fall of 1905 and received his Ph.D. degree in 1907. He was appointed instructor in quantitative analysis and physical chemistry at Case School of Applied Science, Cleveland. He remained on the teaching staff for 29 years.
Dr. Veazey was advanced to assistant professor in 1909, to associate professor in 1918, and to professor in 1924. He became head of the Department of Chemistry in 1928. In 1936, resigning his professorship, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from Case. He accepted the position of coordinator of research, patent, and product development at Dow Chemical Company.
In early 1915, Veazey did research work on magnesium at Case and worked during the summers at Dow. In 1916, he headed a development group which succeeded in producing the first pound of magnesium metal ever made in the United States. After the death of Willard Dow in a plane crash, the new President of Dow, Leland Doan, appointed Dr. Veazey Head of Research. In 1939, he became a Director of Dowell Incorporated, to represent research, and in 1943 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Dow Corning Corporation. In 1944, he was elected vice-president of Dowell. he retired from active participation in corporate activities on June 1, 1953. The Dow Chemical Company dedicated its newly opened research center in Texas to Dr. Veazey following his retirement.
Dr. Veazey was elected President of The Electrochemical Society in 1945. He was also active in the affairs of the American Chemical Society and American Institute of Chemical Engineers.