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Home Archive News Back Then - August 17, 2012

News Back Then – August 17, 2012

Williams House – Taken by Neville Reister in 1966. (Submitted Photo)

Williams Farmer


Mills Orchard is shipping some 225 tons of prunes from their Maxwell orchard this season.  Although lemons are the main product grown at the orchard,  about 90 acres are planted to prunes, and this year’s crop is now being prepared for market.  A representative of this paper visited the orchard this week and was surprised to see the large crop of prunes that is being prepared for shipment.  Mr. Fetzer, superintendent of this large orchard cooperation, was present and was very kind showing us over the new dehydrating plant that was installed this season.  The new plant which has a capacity of 20 tons of green fruit per day, has been put through the several processes it requires and comes out in fine shape.

This year’s crop will be shipped to New York and will be packed in 5 and 10 pound boxes, and will demand a price ranging from 35cents to 40 cents per pound.

Lemon picking will begin at the orchard next month and will continue until next spring.  A large crop of lemons will  be harvested this season thanks to the never failing water supply of the Glenn Colusa Irrigation District.  It is predicted the over 200 carloads of the best lemons grown will be shipped from this orchard this season.

As in the past, the lemons are large, and will weigh from 8 to 10 pounds to the  box more than lemons grown any other place in the world.  A premium is paid for the Mills Orchard lemons, and they compete with all the old established growers of the entire country.

Williams Farmer


The trustees of the Williams Union School Grammar School have called an election for August 20th at which time the voters of the district will be called upon to pass a school bonds notice for the purpose of rebuilding, according to state law, the auditorium which was damaged by fire last year.  It is necessary to go into the matter of earthquake law which not permit the rebuilding of the auditorium as it was but requires the rebuilding to pass certain requirements making it more expensive to build.  However the trustees have found a way open through which the burden will not be so great upon the district.  The Public Works Department is cooperating in building operations and will grant 30 percent of the cost of material and labor upon various projects.  It is through this department that the trustees have been working and notice has been received that the loan and grant of $14,9000 has been approved by the department. The bonds which will have to be passed for the work will be cared for at the interest rate of four percent.

Congressman Clarence F. Lea has assisted the board in placing the proposition before the authorities in Washington and the board feels grateful for his cooperation.

The School Bond Election Notice appears in another column of this issue and no resistance has been heard to the move and little will probably be heard of the election, but it is your duty to be at the polls on the twentieth and assist in starting the rebuilding program.


A special emergency meeting has been called of Legion post 214 of the American Legion by Commander Vernie Engrahm for tonight.  Members of the post will be urged to be present.
Communists activities will be discussed and methods of meeting these acts of violence.  It is imperative that each legionnaire be present at the meeting this evening.


A great surprise to her many friends in Williams is the recent announcement by Mrs. Marguertia  Hotaling of the marriage of her daughter Madeline Welch to Mr. Edward Kennedy, son of Mrs. Margaret B. Kelly of San Francisco on Thursday afternoon, July 19th in Reno, Nevada.  The couple left on their honeymoon to be spent at Lake Tahoe, Yosemite Valley and Carmel by the sea.  They will establish residence in the fashionable Lake Merritt district in Oakland.

The bride, an unusually attractive and charming girl with a delightful personality, is a graduate of Miss Ransom’s  School and a member of the Pepper Branch of the Children’s hospital of the east bay.  She is the granddaughter of Mrs. W. H. Williams and the late W. H. Williams for which the town is named.

For some years past she made her home with her aunt , Mrs. Stanley Moore, the former Belle Williams at her home on Bonita Ave, Piedmont.  Mrs. Elva Welch of San Francisco is also grandmother of Mrs. Kelly.

Mr. Kelly was graduated from the University of California with the class of ‘25 and from Boalt Hall of Law in ‘27.  He is a member of Lambda Chi Alfa and Delta Theta Phi legal fraternities.
He is now affiliated with the law firm of Fitzgerald, Abbott and Beardsley.


Night football is being talked about by the young men of Williams.  The lights which are being used for night baseball may be rearranged and a few more added so the field can be converted into a football field.

It is contended that night football will go over as well with the public as night baseball.  If this is the case, the valley football league, with Willows, Colusa, Arbuckle and Williams may be revived.  

8/24/ 1934

The boxing room in the basement of the high school has been refinished for a sewing room.  The old sewing room was not large enough to accommodate those students who were interested in taking sewing.

Modern lighting is being installed in the rooms on the west side of the building.  These rooms were so dark on a cloudy day that the students had difficulty working and were subject to eye strain. Turning on the lights had no appreciable effect  on the gloom.  A lighting engineer tested the lighting in the rooms and found according to State Department of Education standards , they gave one fourth the light necessary  for study purposes.  We all realize that it is possible to buy light but impossible to for a student to replace their eyesight. 

The turf which was planted on the athletic field last spring has been watered and cut during the summer and is in fine condition for carrying on the physical education program for the coming year.  The turf will make our athletic field more healthy and sanitary.  It will also add to the comfort of both players and spectators during athletic contests.  When Dr.  Salter and Dr. Keith examined the boys in school last fall they found the throats  and nasal passages inflamed from dust breathing during the physical education period.  This condition would make the boys more susceptible to infections in the irritated areas.  During the wet winter months the turf will be available for girl’s and boy’s  physical education while before,  the muddy field was impractical to use.

Williams Farmer

Contributor’s note.  The pool this article pertains to is the “swim tank” owned and operated by “Daddy Byrnes” who owned Almond Grove where Almond Grove Trailer Park is now.  “Daddy” and his family kept the pool open for the towns people from 1913 to 1956 when the community pool was up and running.  He filled the tank weekly after a good scrubbing and then released the water into his alfalfa fields and almond orchards the surrounded his home.(where the office of the trailer park is now.)

 A couple of months ago two of our citizens got busy when they learned the thorough conditions of the past season, it was probable that the local tank would not open this summer.  The owners of the tank agreed to open the tank if they would guarantee that running expenses were met.  The Kiwanis Club and other organizations of the city were contacted and it was agreed that the tank should open.  Citizens purchased season tickets at a savings and aided in raising the revenues of the tank until now it was quite apparent that the venture will be put over successfully.
This past week seven year old Buddy Chenoweth and his sister, Alice, two years his senior, both dove from the high dive at the tank.  The feat showed the advancement made by these two children this year.  Other children of the community have learned to swim this year who otherwise would be growing in years and their chances of learning to swim lessoned.  This feature alone, not counting the pleasure at the tank affords the youngsters and grownups is worth the effort of these men and  organizations  who have cooperated in keeping the tank open.
In the future we should not be surprised to have swimming as a requirement  for a graduation certificate from grammar school.  Personally we would like to see every student graduating from our school able to take care of himself in the water if not assist someone who is unable to handle himself in an emergency.


Pat Ash
A lifelong resident of Colusa County, Pat Ash is the Williams Pioneer Reviews, historian for the community of Williams. Publishing the 'News Back Then' columns, in the Williams Pioneer Review since 2008. Ash recently published 'Williams', a pictorial history book in 2012.

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