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.


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.

In May 1930 she attended a picnic of ex-colonists at Fullerton, California. Each brought a lunch, sufficient for his needs and the needs of several others. Long tables were arranged under the shade of the park trees. The coffee was furnished by Minnie Pickett and John Will saw to it that everyone was generously served. It was unanimously agreed to form an organization that would organize future semi-annual social gatherings for the group. Minnie Pickett was chosen secretary-treasurer and Dr. Robert K. Williams was appointed assistant secretary.

The picnic was attended by more than 65 ex-colonists including: Minnie Pickett, John and Frances Will and Dorothy, Lottie Brown, Professor Lowell H. Coates, Bert Engle, Victor and Alma Swanson and Elwin, Jess and Mildred Morris, Louis and Grace Petty, Louis and Jennie Conlin, Mrs. M.E. Babb, Norman and Ethel Johnson, Ernest and Pearl Wooster, H.L. and Guy Ward, Mrs. Clara Powers and son, George, Mrs. Ada Harper, Ethel Wright, E.E. Vaughn, J.H. Ryan, Val Brown and wife, Lottie Brown, Miss A.C. Austin, Walter Millsap, Jr. and his mother, Cara Millsap, Dr. Robert K. and Dr. Cecil C. Williams, E. Krause and family, John Van Nuland (who passed around a tub of Llano candy sent by Anton, and it was "great stuff" by all those who tasted it) Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Kilmer, Professor Lowell B. Coate, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Wallace, Mr. and Mrs. Charley Earl, Mr. and Mrs. Suhre, A.L Spann, Frederick R. Johnson, A. Hansig.

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.

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; Sydney Archer was a boarder in their home. In July 1948 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the Methodist Church in Leesville.

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": May 10, 1930, 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;  

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

Dr. Cecil Williams

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

Drs. Robert K. and Cecil Williams Golden Wedding Anniversary from the "Leesville Leader" dated August 5, 1948.

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