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Williams News | Williams, Arizona

home : features : features May 23, 2016


1/15/2013 12:40:00 PM
Out of the past: a look at Williams at the start of 1913
The number of saloons in town, water supply and town cleanup all hot topics in Williams
The J. Kennedy Johnson store circa 1915. Photo courtesy of the Whitaker Collection
The J. Kennedy Johnson store circa 1915. Photo courtesy of the Whitaker Collection
Williams-Grand Canyon News


Part three of a three-part series.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The Williams Town Council voted unanimously at its April 8, 1913 meeting that the number of saloons in the town should be reduced to six.

"When the present management of a saloon ceases to exist the saloon itself shall cease to exist," the Williams News reported. This process would continue until only six saloons remained.

No passengers were injured when a train on the Grand Canyon railroad derailed about 10 miles from the Canyon after colliding with cattle, the News reported in its April 19, 1913 issue. Among the passengers was Prince Stanislaw Sulkovski of Austria. The train left the Canyon for Williams at 7:50 p.m. The accident occurred "when in rounding a sharp curve in a deep cut, (the train) hit a bunch of cattle that completely filled the narrow gorge," the News reported. The train killed 10 to 12 cattle and injured several more. The overturned engine trapped Fireman Perry, whose left hand was crushed off. Dr. Melick of Williams dressed Perry's injured hand before he was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles.

In its April 19, 1913 issue, the News reported that Forest Supervisors were arranging for repairs to begin on the county road between Williams and Flagstaff. "The installation of culverts and ditching for the entire length of the road will be taken up first, followed by some grade work and surfacing," the News reported. An act of Congress provided $12,600 for the project.

The News reported in its April 26, 1913 edition that women had until May 1, 1913 to register to vote. Women registering to vote had to have lived in Arizona for one year and in the precinct for one month. "She must be 21 years old, able to read English and write her name," the News reported.

Sheriff Wilson of California was escorting the crook James Arthur Baker back to California when Baker escaped between Williams and Ashfork, the News reported in its May 31, 1913 issue. "Baker is adept at disguising himself and generally poses as a woman, having been employed in several states as a school teacher, and in no case did the authorities suspect that he was other than a woman," the News reported. Baker was wanted for theft of money orders worth more than $2,500 from a post office in California.

Concerns about the city's water supply are nothing new. The Williams Chamber of Commerce discussed the water supply at its meeting, the News reported in its July 26, 1913 issue. President Ells promised that a filter system to cost $15,000 and a new pipe system would be installed before the next summer.

The August 2, 1913 issue of the News reported additional goals of the Chamber. One was a clean up campaign. "The object is to arouse the residents of the city to the advantage of doing away with the garbage nuisance, thus adding to the healthfulness of Williams by the destruction of germs and feeding and breeding places for flies," the News reported. In addition, the Chamber introduced a campaign against flies, in which it planned "to offer a reward of seventy-five cents a quart for dead flies." Twice a month, the Boys Band would play at a bonfire where the flies would be cremated.

The August 7, 1913 edition of the News reported that E. F. Dellett arrived in Williams from Pennsylvania to search Bill Williams Mountain for the grave of his grand uncle Captain Bill Williams. "'Captain Williams' family were considered wealthy in their day, and the girl he wished to marry was very poor. The opposition (from his parents) was so bitter the girl refused to marry my grand uncle, and he left for the frontier and never returned home,'" Dellet told the News. It was believed that Williams died or was ambushed by Native Americans while exploring on the mountain.




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