Clarence and Sylvia (Dale) Williams


Written by Nadine Williams Britton. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”



Clarence Richard Williams was born January 20, 1900 in Trinidad, Colorado to Marion and Mary E. (Bunch) Williams, the sixth child and second son in a family of eight children.  He and his siblings grew to adult life on “Their Ranch” near El Moro.  A voracious reader, he read every book in the library, in Trinidad, by the time he was sixteen.

Sylvia May Dale, the first child of John James and Eugenia (Durand) Dale, was born in Phillips, Oklahoma (Then Indian Territory- Now Coal County).  She was given the name of her French maternal grandmother., a name that had been handed down for over 200 years.

Frequent moves were a part of the coal miner’s life and Sylvia’s family moved Coalgate, Oklahoma to various coal camps in the Trinidad area.  At the time of the Ludlow strike, the family was living at Aguilar.  Here Sylvia, her sisters Fanny and Georgia, saw a man killed on the top of one of the neighboring houses, and would tell of their father who was staying up all night during a bad storm.  He was keeping the snow off the roof of the tent they were living in along with others of the “Tent Colony”.  Also they remember having a hot poker stuck through the roof of their tent. Cokedale was the most important camp in her childhood and youth, for here she attended school, enjoyed the social life, and worked at American Smelting and Refining Company.

Clarence lied about his age in order to join the Army during WWI and was sent to Kansas and San Antonio, Texas with the Supply Troop, 12th Calvary.  He was a crack shot with a gun, and won commendations for his sharp shooting skills.   After his discharge from the Army, he returned to the Trinidad area, where he worked on ranches and in local coal mines.  Here he was introduced to Sylvia Dale, and August 23, 1922, they eloped to Raton, New Mexico where their marriage ceremony was performed by Rev. Carson.  Their first home was the apartment building at 280 W. First Street, Trinidad, Colorado.  Their first child was stillborn, and is buried in the family plot in the Odd Fellow Cemetery.

Their second child, NADINE PATRICIA WILLIAMS, was born February 16, 1927 at Suffield and their son, RICHARD DALE WILLIAMS was born ar Rugby, the 30th of September, 1928. In 1932, Clarence and Sylvia moved their family to Golden, Colorado where Clarence worked in construction, and then later, as an employee of Coors for 22 years, until retirement.  Here Nadine and Dale attended schools and grew to adulthood.

Nadine graduated from Loma Linda School of Nursing Loma Linda, California, and then from Walla Walla, Washington with a B.S. degree in Nursing education and a M.A. in Education.  She married dentist, Norman L. Britton, of Oregon and they are the parents of Cherie and Craig.

Dale enlisted in the Navy and later graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder, with a B.S. degree in Pharmacology.  He married Joan Parker and has two children, Karen and Kent.

Clarence died January 21, 1973, the day after his 73rd Birthday.  The following years, Dale died on a Sunday, the 10th of February.  Sylvia continued to live in her little house on South Golden Road until September 1980 when poor health forced her to move to Exeter, California to be with her daughter, Nadine and family.  She died on April 9, 1983.  All three are buried at Fort Logan Cemetery in Denver, Colorado.

Although the family physically move from Trinidad, their hearts forever remained where their roots were deep, where life had been a struggle, but warm and rewarding, where those who created them lay beneath the sod, and where loving families still resided and where memories do not die but continued to live.

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