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Williams News | Williams, Arizona

home : features : features April 29, 2016

1/8/2013 1:46:00 PM
Out of the past: a look at Williams at the start of 1913
Part two in a three part series
Williams-Grand Canyon News

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - One hundred years ago, it cost $3 for a year subscription to the Williams News. The population of Williams in 1913 was 1,500. The News described the city on its front page as "the fastest growing town in Northern Arizona" with "a climate unsurpassed."

Just before the new year, the News reported that the boys in Williams organized a basketball team to play against Flagstaff and Winslow. Their first game was Christmas day of 1912 in the opera house and cost 25 cents to watch. "The game is looked forward to with great interest, as the boys have been to considerable expense in getting attractive new suits in which to make their first appearance on Christmas day," the News reported in its Dec. 21, 1912 issue. The Saginaw boys ended up beating Williams 19-11.

Two men claimed just before the new year that a wild turkey flew through the plate glass window in the meat department of the Babbitt-Polson Co. store. "The glass is about a quarter of an inch thick and the bird weighed about five pounds," the News reported in its Dec. 28, 1912 issue.

Justice was served when County Ranger Fairchild captured a man in Gallup, N.M. who stole a team of horses, a wagon and a shotgun from H.C. Sanders of Williams. The News reported in its Jan. 11, 1913 issue that George King stole the items three weeks prior. Authorities captured King after discovering he had sold the stolen shotgun. They found the horses and wagon in Winslow. "The capture of King was good work on the part of the sheriff's office, as there was no clue whatever with which to make a start. There were not even any tracks by to show which way the team had been driven, and it appeared as though some one in an airship had descended and carried the outfit away," the News reported. Authorities took King to the county jail, where he was expected to remain for several years.

Delegates from Williams, Flagstaff, Winslow, Holbrook and the Grand Canyon attended a good roads convention in Kingman in hopes of establishing a northern highway. The News reported in its Feb. 1, 1913 edition that "there is little chance of the Prescott and southern delegates swerving the delegates in any way from their intention of standing firm for the direct northern route, via Needles, Kingman, Seligman, Williams, Flagstaff, Winslow and thence direct to Albuquerque."

The average daily attendance at Williams Public School was 166 students, the News reported in its Feb. 1, 1913 edition. This figure was an improvement over the previous year at that time. The school planned to participate in Arbor Day exercises. "We hope to see all the citizens take enough interest in Arbor Day, which is the 4th of April this year, to put out a few shade trees on the property," the News reported.

In its Feb. 22, 1913 issue, the News reported that the shotgun and rifle clubs combined to form the Williams Gun Club. Annual dues were $1.50.

Hill & Kennedy's store was robbed, the News reported in its March 1, 1913 issue. The robbers took pipes, smoking tobacco, a revolver and a few other small items. "The thieves effected an entrance through the back door, which they pried open with a 'jimmy,'" the News reported. The robbers tried to open a safe, but could not open it. The police had no leads in the robbery.

The News reported in its March 22, 1913 issue that Chas. B. Howard of Prescott would reopen the Sultana as "a first-class motion picture and vaudeville house, giving the people of Williams a bigger and better show than they have ever had." The opening date was scheduled for March 23.

Lilo M. Perrin and Milton S. Farnsworth became the first people to successfully climb Agassiz Peak in the San Francisco Mountains on March 27, the News reported in its April 5, 1913 issue. The peak extends 12,794 feet above sea level. Some parts of the peak were covered in about 30 feet of snow, and the temperature on the mountain was 7 degrees below zero during the climb. The men reached the summit in less than six hours. Perrin described the view from the summit as "peculiarly weird, grand and beautiful at this season of the year..."

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