Monday, February 8, 2010

My Hometown on Monday - Week 6 - Lem Williams

In Week 3 of the Hometown series, I listed the Coon Rapids, Iowa, businesses in 1917, indicating that at least one of them was a relative of mine, I want to feature him and his family today:

L. B. Williams, Manufacturer of Concrete Tile and Builder of Corn Cribs, Silos and Water Tanks; Dealer in Sand, Gravel and Cement

Actually, you saw him earlier as "Williams the Iceman" in my Dec 1, 2009 post.

Lemuel Benson WILLIAMS (1866-1935) was the son of Elias (1838-1920) and Ann Eliza (1842-1879) DUNCAN WILLIAMS and brother of my Great-Grandmother, Margaret Jeanette (Nettie) WILLIAMS KINNICK (1869-1936) (my maternal grandfather's mother). Lem, Nettie, and their sister, Josephine WILLIAMS were also seen in my Surname WILLIAMS post.

Lem married Clara Alberta HULL (1871-1971) on 27 Apr 1893 in Coon Rapids. They had three children live to adulthood. Leo (1894-1962, Frances (1905-1994), and Dwight (1911-1988). You saw their mother, Clara, along with Leo and Frances in 1955 in my WILLIAMS cousins photo at a family reunion. In the photo, Frances and Leo are on the right, their mother, Clara, is beside Frances in the front row. I took the photo. [Frances taught my mother to play the piano in her youth (around 1930); music was a major force in her life and she always credited Frances for her start!]

In the 75 Years Ago column in the 2-4-10 issue of the Coon Rapids Enterprise:

February 8, 1935

L.B. Williams, a resident of this community for nearly sixty years died at this home here Sunday after being in poor health for several months. He was 68 years of age. "Lem" Williams came to Coon Rapids about 1875 when the town consisted of only a few houses along the river and a store of two. Much of the country was prairie and unfenced. Mr. Williams took an active part in the life of the community, was one of its most substantial citizens, and always worked for the best interests of the community. He was held in high esteem by all who knew him. Funeral services were held at the Methodist Episcopal church here Wednesday afternoon, a church of which he was a faithful and working member during his life time. The services were in charge of Rev. R.J. Arms, assisted by Rev. W.F. Clayburg of Villisca, a former pastor of this church. A quartette composed of Fred Textor, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Thomas and Mrs. Wellman Kretzinger with Mrs. Fred C. Textor at the piano furnished the music. Pall bearers were Clabe Yager, Wm. Hendricks, Areh Harvery,  Fred Smith, John Shirbroun and H.J. Day. Interment was in the Coon Rapids Cemetery.

His obituary follows: Lemuel B. Williams was born July 1, 1866 near Rock Island, Illinois, and passed from this life at this home in Coon Rapids February 3, 1935 at the age of 68 years, 7 months and 2 days. He came to Iowa when about eight years of age. He lived one year at Scranton and has been a resident since he was 9 years of age. He followed the trade of his father, that of a builder in brick and stone. The past few years he has been in the ice business. On April 25, 1893, he was united in marriage with Clara Hull. To this union were born seven children. Four of them died in childhood, three survive him. They are Leo, of Sac City; Mrs Roger Keck, of Montgomery; and Dwight of Coon Rapids. Mr. Williams was converted and joined the Wesleyan Methodist church but later changed his membership to the Methodist Episcopal church. He has been a member of the local Methodist Episcopal church since 1888 and has given of his service for its success. He was superintendent of the Sunday school for a number of years. He was builder in more than brick and stone, he helped build a better community and the months of his last illness have proven that he had a sure place in the hearts of many friends. He leaves to mourn his going, his wife and the three children mentioned above, two sisters, Mrs. Netti Kinnick and Mrs. Josephine Brock of Bayard, and four grand-children. besides other relatives and many friends.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

1 comment:

  1. I love the wording of these old obits. "He leaves to mourn his going..." As if he marched off. Thanks for sharing.