Written by Willard Williams and R. Merril. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”
For 38 years J. Frank and Mildred B. Williams were residents of Colorado and over 26 of those years they owned and operated general store in Branson, Colorado. Impeccable business brought them respect and honor from the community and their business associates. There they raised six children, Wilma, Leona Ruth, Irene, Merrill, Clara, Mae and Willard. Their children graduated from Branson High School. This is their story.
Jessy Franklin Williams was born March 11, 1885 at Logan, Ohio to Douglas A. Williams and Ida Elizabeth (Drake) Williams. The Williams were of Welch decent; the Drake’s were of English decent. Family tradition says Ida Drake was a relative of Queen Victoria of England, probably a niece. Family research has traced one branch of the family ancestry bark to 1630 to the Puritans at Salem, Massachusetts.
Douglas and Ida Williams had four children: Lee, Frank, Clara,and Flora; Flora died in 1891 as a baby. Then in January, 1892 Ida Williams, Frank’s mother, also died. Douglas Williams, Frank’s father was critically ill of Tuberculosis. Clara, age five, was placed in the home of the loving Sollers family in Philo, Ohio. Lee, age ten, and Frank, age six, were then homeless. From January, 1892 to November 1893 Frank lived with four Ohio families, and in an Ohio orphanage. Both Lee and Frank were at this home. The Children’s Home was lonely and unloving and Frank and Lee ran away in November 1893. On November 12, 1893 Frank was taken in by the Morganthaler’s; he was crude and cruel, but she was good to Frank.
Where Lee went is unknown by us, but they did contact each other through those years. Frank remained on the farm as a farm hand doing a man’s work for seven years, probably till November of 1900. At fifteen and a half years old Frank went to Morgansville, Ohio.
In 1903 Frank and Lee left Ohio and migrated to Colorado. Frank settled briefly in 1904 in Fort Collins; Lee settled in Longmont. They worked in the sugar beet fields.
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