Museum the New Llano Colony

Dr. Cecil (Criswell) Williams

Birth: She was born in 1873 at Pennsylvania.  

Family Information:

She married Robert K. "Doc" Williams in 1898 at Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

Advertisement for Marinello Shop from "Vernon Parish Democrat", June 7, 1919.


Pre-Colony History: In 1900 she and Robert were living in Pennsylvania where he worked as a telephone operator.

In 1910, they were living on San Pablo Ave. in Fresno, California with him employed as telegrapher for the Associated Press. At some point during these early years she worked as a movie actress for Balboa Studios during Fatty Arbuckle's great days there.

They joined the colony during the California years and made the move to Louisiana with the original group. They were still in the area in 1919, but left at some point before 1922. They lived in California for years -- in 1930, he and Cecil were living on Colden Ave. in Los Angeles, CA with both working as chiropractors and having Alice C. Austin as their lodger.  

Home in Colony: In Louisiana, she and her husband lived in an upstairs apartment at the Kid Kolony.  

Job in Colony:

She was a teacher at the Kid Kolony. She also had a small clinic upstairs at the Kid Kolony for examining the children whenever there was the slightest sign of sickness.

In July 1933 she was working in the Kid Kolony gardens with Ware, Mrs. Potter, Mrs. Van Nuland and Chrystal Schutz.

Dr. Cecil Williams
Dr. Cecil Williams

Other Info: In March 1934 Mr. Lewis, Dr. Cecil and Mrs. Fay took the first graders including: Joan Wooley, Opal Ogden, Violet Quipp, Blair Pickett, Roy Peecher, Martha Mahler and Martha Lentz to Leesville to give a demonstration of their singing to an audience that included around twenty-five Leesville teachers plus Superintendent Honeycotte.

Each child stood and introduced themselves as they did each morning, with name, address and rule. For example: My name is ...; I live in Newllano (Noo-yah-no); Vernon Parish, Louisiana, on Highway 171; My rule is the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Mrs. Harlow-Fay then demonstrated her method of teaching with the children.

In April 1934 a lovely gathering was held at the home of Frank Brough, another New Englander, to "God-speed" the Fay family to Norfolk, Connecticut where they hoped to arrange their affairs over the next few months and return to the colony in the fall.

Attendees enjoyed music, games and a wonderful lunch. They included: Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Archer, Drs. Robert K. and Cecil C. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. George Matz, Mrs. Maki, Smith Sanford, DeForest Sanford, George Leevey, Wm. Bingham, Dennis Stanley, Forest R. Waters, Mary Emery and the Brough family, consisting of Margaret, William and Frank.  

Post-Colony History:

In 1940 she and her husband were living in Leesville where he worked as a taxi driver. In July 1948 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the Methodist Church in Leesville.

Clipping from the "Leesville Leader" dated July 22, 1948.

Death: She died in 1949 and was buried in the O'Banion Cemetery at New Llano, Louisiana.  

Sources: Pennsylvania County Marriage Records; US Census: 1900, 1910, 1930, 1940; Pennsylvania County Marriage Records: "Vernon Parish Democrat": June 7, 1919; "Llano Colonist": August 1, 1931, January 21, 1933 (Early Days in California), July 15, 1933, March 31, 1934, April 7, 1934, April 21, 1934, October 24, 1936, July 3, 1937, "Can We Cooperate" by Bob Brown; "Leesville Leader", July 22, 1948, August 5, 1948; Louisiana Statewide Death Index;  

"Dr. Cecil" and "Doc" Williams on their 50th wedding anniversary in Leesville
Drs. Robert K. and Cecil Williams Golden Wedding Anniversary from the "Leesville Leader" dated August 5, 1948.

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