Thursday, June 24, 2021


News Back Then – September 2, 2011


This feature is contributed by: Pat Ash of Williams California | Information is acquired through the Colusa County Branch Library

Williams Farmer 3/2/1956

The large brick warehouse south of the Southern Pacfic Depot, built by the late “Bill” Williams, founder of the city which bears his name, was sold this week to Clyde Endeman, of Endeman’s Feed and Farm Supplies Store of Williams. Clyde will move his present business to his new location in the next few weeks. He plans many changes in the huge warehouse, but will move into the building, after which the necessary changes will be made. In the transaction he also has become the owner of a seed cleaning machine and equipment, which he plans to put into operation soon.

Brown’s Mud Co. of Los Angeles has leased the galvanized building adjoining the brick structure, and will use the large space for storage of mud, which is used in drilling oil well operations. Irvin Landrus will be associated in the operation of Endeman’s.

The brick warehouse came into the public print when it was found to have become infected with the dangerous Kapra Beetle a year ago and the State of California spent huge sums of money fumigating the spacious building. A company of five Williams citizens owned and operated the warehouse under the name of “Williams co‐operative Ware House Cooperation”. The property was purchased from the estate of W.H. Williams some years ago. The present owners, before the sale were Max Vann, Mary Manor, Gil Britton, Palmer Cheney, and Floyd Sites.


Williams Farmer 8/14 /1936

The second half of the four club league is well under way.  Due to numerous players taking vacation in the lineup of the Hicks and the necessary scheduling juggling and game switching, the boys from the sticks have fulfilled their quota of games.

Last Thursday night, following the Chico Diamond Match-All Star Game, the Hicks played the Odd Fellows and wound up with the long end of a short score 6-5.

Tuesday night the rejuvenated High School nine downed the Hicks with a score of 17-13.  The new public address system may have had something to do with the defeat of the Hicks.  These city ways tend to excite us some times.



Funeral services were held Monday morning at eleven o’clock from McNary Chapel in Colusa for Mrs. Hannah Gobel, 78, pioneer woman, Saturday morning  who passed away at her home in Williams.

Pallbearers, all grandsons of the deceased included Garland Bashore, Leo Gobel, Everett Gobel, John Gobel, Seymour Vann and Mervin Martin.  Internment was made in the Williams cemetery.

The widow of the late Obadiah Gobel who passed away a number of years ago, Mrs. Hannah Clark Gobel was born in Rock County Wisconsin, on December 8, 185and was closely associated with the pioneering of that section of Colusa County.  She was well known and highly respected, claiming a large circle of friends who deeply regretted her passing. Her husband will go down in the history of Colusa County for taking the first wagon load of gravel from our county to build the state capitol in Sacramento.

Surviving her are seven children: James, John and Clark Gobel, Mrs. Sadie Bashore and Mrs. Mary Vann, all of Williams: Mrs. Gladys Wilcox of Woodland and Mrs. Mabel Martin of Maxwell; 29 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.


Williams Farmer

Most everyone whose lived in the county for a time has heard of the day that the old Mountain House at Venado was robbed by two young boys who rode in from Williams on a lone plow horse.  For myself, the story was told to me by Gilbert Allen, my neighbor, who heard it some years ago from the man who was bartending at the time, the man who handed over the money-Mr. Frank Schuckman the late grandfather of Mr. Allen told me the story one evening as I tell it to you.

“It was a hot day late in summer.  The fields were all plowed and folks were just kinda’ sittin’ back waitin’ for all and cooler weather.  These two boys who rode in from Williams that were just eighteen or nineteen and a little reckless for their age but no one ever expected them to come up with such a crazy scheme.”  The story goes that they rode in on one horse because they stole two horses from the Mountain House stable and left behind the old clunker of a nag. “ No one saw them comin’ or heard them swiping those two stage horses from the barn.  Those two boys whose names people have forgotten tied those two horses up where no one would see um” and then they strode through the main door of the Mountain House that was then all of a Stage Stop, Post Office, tavern and inn. One of the boys carried a .45 tucked under his belt and shirt.”

Mr. Allen says that when the boys came in and asked for all the money in the place, his grandfather thought they were kiddin’ and took out a poker to teach those silly kids a quick lesson.

But as Frank Schuckman raised his arm the .45 was pointed at him and from that, Frank and everyone else knew those young whips weren’t kiddin”  Everybody in the joint got tense.  Frank handed over the cash box with one hundred and sixty dollars in it and the patrons of the place had to hand over their wallets and rings.  Then the boys fled like gusts of wind out the front door and hopped on their horses.  Frank Schuckman followed with a loaded rifle and shot but just as he shot one of the stolen horses bucked and the bullet luckily just grazed a rib and one of the boys fell.  When the boy hit the ground his .45 was out and Frank knew better than to get in the way of a crazy kid shootin’. The boys doubled in a frightened hurry, took a quick shot toward the mountain house and were off up into the hills.  The shot they fired was a wild one that had everybody duckin’.  It went right through the side of the Mountain House and hit the picture of Mr. Allen’s grandmother that had been hanging since her death a few years earlier.  Someone rode for the sheriff in Williams and those two kids who were outlaws now rode for the coast.

The story is that those two boys made it to the coast and hopped a train north all the way to Oregon.  The sheriff in Williams followed a couple of weeks later to where the boys had gotten a ranch job.  Under the guise of a cowboy, the sheriff was able to walk up to the boys who were workin’ and pull the same .45 out of one of their holsters and take ‘um in the name of the law with the same gun they had used to rob the Mountain House.  The boys served a time in jail for their crime but none of the money they took was ever returned.

Mr. Allen says that he wasn’t around in 1898 to witness the robbery but that when he was young, things were pretty much the same as far as being wild goes.

He says that there were at least seventy saloons in Williams alone after the turn of the century when the railroad was built and Williams was a thriving town.

As a young man Mr. Allen recollects driving work crews into town on Saturday nights to the saloon where there was plenty of booze, gambling, and women.

He used to count poker chips himself at age thirteen when he was still young enough to watch and not get all fiery headed over what the saloons had to offer.  Yet he had his, when it came his time.

“Things in western Colusa County sure have changed.  Things just aren’t the same.  Time does that.  It makes everything look a lot different.”


Williams Farmer 8/24/1961

Funeral services were held this morning at 10 o’clock from the Williams Methodist church for Delbert Clark, age 12, who died Sunday afternoon the victim of tragic hunting accident in the rugged hill country west of Williams.

Delbert, a student in Williams Junior High, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Clark Sr., who live in the Stovall Tract west of Williams.  Active in school and church, Delbert was also a member of the Red Sox Team in Williams Little League.

The boy accidentally shot himself in the knee while deer hunting in the rugged country of Goat Mountain.  He and Bobby Wolfskill, also of Williams were climbing down an embankment when Delbert slipped in the shale and his .32 special discharged, sending a bullet into his right knee.   The bullet severed an artery and two bones in the boy’s leg.

obby summoned help by firing his rifle into the air.  One of the first to respond to the distress signal was Barth Troughton of Williams and a brother-in-law of the victim, who was about 400 yards away when he heard the signal.

Barth made his way down the canyon and applied a tourniquet in an effort to stop the flow of blood.  Other hunters in the area sent word for help and the Colusa ambulance received the call at 11 a.m. about 30 minutes after the accident happened.

Eight men, including sheriff’s deputies, working in shifts of four men, then began the slow and tortuous trip down Trout Creek and the One-Way Road, with the youth on a stretcher.  It took the men five hours

He estimated the damage at $100,000 to the building and equipment.  the fire broke out at about 1:30 a.m. and was put under control by Maxwell firemen in about an hour.  However, there were still a few mopping up jobs during the day.

Manager Worth Bayless complimented the firemen highly for their quick work at the blaze.

More the 5,000 feet of hose were strung and water was drawn from an irrigation ditch to quench the blaze of the warehouse, which contained 120,000 square feet of space.

to reach the ambulance, which was waiting on the One-Way Road.  Blood plasma was administered to the boy but he died 15 minutes after reaching the ambulance.  Coroner Howard Moore said later after investigating the case that the boy could have been saved if there had been a helicopter available to bring him out of the back country.

Deputy Sheriff Ted Wilson, who aided in carrying the boy out, said the fatal accident occurred on the south fork of the Little Stony below Bear Wallow.  They packed him out from there to Trout Creek and thence to One-Way Road.  Others assisting on the stretcher were Joseph Passentrino of Bryte, Max Griffin, and Bud Bayless of Sacramento. Other hunters in the area offered help.

Besides his parents, Delbert is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Darlene Troughton and Janice Clark of Williams and a grandmother, Mrs. Ida Young and several aunts and uncles including Mrs. Maude Hurt of Williams.

Contributor’s note- Delbert Clark was a member of my class.  He was extremely bright, courteous, and genuinely a nice person and  was a shining star who left us way to soon. We miss you Delbert.

Williams Farmer 8/25/1960

Prolonged blasting of the fire siren early Monday morning aroused Williams sleepers from their slumbers to witness off in the direction of Maxwell, the angry glare of a major conflagration painting the skies a vivid crimson.

Two trucks from Williams responded to add their efforts to six trucks from Maxwell’s rural fire department and a Colusa truck and its contingent.  The fire had gained such headway that the heroic efforts of the fire fighters were not sufficient to save the warehouse of the Colusa Glenn Drier and Storage Co. The structures were completely destroyed with an estimated loss of $400,000.

Flames penetrated two of the cylindrical bins in the main storage building, but the early efforts of the Maxwell firefighters prevented them from enveloping the entire structure.  The drier, located at the opposite end of the warehouse building, escaped destruction.

Maxwell Fire Chief Marion Brown says the cause of the blaze is not known, but apparently it had its origin near the auger motor at the north end of the warehouse.  Brisk wind forced the blaze through the roof of the warehouse, which collapsed throwing sparks and bits of blazing material for long distances.  Several minor grass fires were extinguished.  Worth Bayless, general manager of the drier , said the damage figure is a rough estimate.  About $250,000 worth of milo, some of it government-owned was burned as was about $50,000 worth of fertilizer.


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