Huerfano County, Colorado
Oral Interviews

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Katherine Williams

Scanned by Dick Chenault
Edited by Dick Chenault

Letter from Bill Williams to Jay Crook about the death of Katherine Williams

Dear Jay,

Some of the following may be of interest to a few old friends of mothers and ours. Mrs. Katherine Pulton Williams who died Sunday, May 20, in Stockton, California at age 83, was born in Sabetha, Kansas on November 2, 1895. In 1920 she married Joe Williams, also of Sabetha, and they moved together to a ranch in Huajatolla Canyon (their home there is now the “Good Spot Ranch.”) Discovering mountain ranching vastly different from Kansas farming, they moved to La Veta. Both Katherine & Joe (Mr. & Mrs. Williams) became teachers for a time, and Katherine (Mrs. Williams) continued while Joe (Mr. Williams) went to work for the railroad. Concluding her teaching contracts in Oakview & Ojo, Mrs. Williams recalled riding with Doctors, Lee and Sickefoose, to Oakview during the coal mine conflict, when a crossfire between the still Extant Guard towers was going on. The Williams couple moved to Walsenburg in 1925, establishing a residence on East 5th Street. In 1930, the year daughter Betty was born, the Williams family moved to their home at 310 Kansas Avenue. Son Bill was born in 1932. Shortly there after, economic necessity inspired the Williams family to operate a small boarding house for local school teachers. A few roomers were also present during those lean years. Among these were Claire Simpson, Lola Jesse Bronson, Melva Froisland, Robert Williams, the late Star Caywood, Fay Long, and others. Both Mr. & Mrs. Williams were prize winning bakers.

Mrs. Williams returned to the Business world as a Bookkeeper first at Sporleder selling. Then in 1940-'43 to C.0.D. store. She returned to teaching on an emergency certificate during the war years. She taught at Tioga, Rouse, Walsen, 7th St. Washington, Hill, and a long gone Rural School, behind Huerfano Butte, where she had six students in as many grades and where she frequently had her old car stuck in the mud. Mr. Williams died in 1947 and Mrs. Williams continued to teach until 1950, when she left for Denver to seek employment. First at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital, then I.R.S. from which she retired, after 14 years while, living in Walsenburg. Mrs. Williams had been a member of Past Matrons Club and woman's club. She was a member in good standing of Mariposa chapter of Eastern Star in La Veta, at the time of her death.

Her great devotion, however, was to the Methodist Church. She served as President of the Sunshine group, Willing Workers, Missionary Society, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Fellowship Sponsor, Lay Leader and member of the Board. One of the legends of the local Church, Mrs. Williams was accorded a Testimonial Dinner there in 1950, when she moved to Denver. Mrs. Williams returned briefly to Walsenburg in 1952, for the marriage of her daughter, Betty to Verner Story, then of L.A. She sold the family home to the Malls in the fall of 1952. Mrs. Williams did retain her home in Cuchara which she loved and where she returned often, to welcome her many local friends.

In 1973 failing health made necessary/ the move to Stockton, California to be with both of her children. In addition to daughter Betty, son Bill, and Son-in-law Vern, she is survived by grandsons Bill and Joe, several nieces and nephews and a host of friends. A memorial service will be held in Cuchara Chapel, August 11th, and Burial of ashes will be beside Mr. Williams in Masonic Cemetery, in Walsenburg. Memorial gifts may be made to Cuchara Chapel.

This now seems quite voluminous. Use all, some, or just an announcement as you see fit. And thank you in advance for what ever you can do.

Yours very truly,

Bill F. Williams

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