California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
WILLIAM G. WILLIAMS — The possibilities of achievement under discouraging and adverse circumstances are seldom better exemplified in an individual career than in that of William G. Williams, one of the prosperous orange growers in the Redlands District.
Mr. Williams was born at Newark, Ohio, November 15, 1860. His father, David Loyd Williams, was born in Wales in 1832 and on coming to America in 1854 settled at Newark, Ohio. Four years later he married Mary Griffith, also a native of Wales, who was brought to America by her parents when she was two years of age. She was one of ten children, two boys and eight girls, and by her marriage to David L. Williams she was the mother of ten children, seven boys and three girls. All these are still living except one daughter, and eight of them live within a radius of five miles around the old home of their parents in Putnam County, Ohio. David L. Williams established his home in that county in 1866, buying a large farm in Sugar Creek Township, and he owned that and other acreage and was one of the large propertied men of the county. He died in 1908.
William G. Williams was the oldest of the family and is the only one in California. He had a country school education. He remained at home, devoted to the labors of the farm, until he was twenty-nine.
In 1891 Mr. Williams married Miss Ruth E. James, who was born at Granville, Ohio, daughter of Walkin and Jane James, of Granville, natives of Wales. Mrs. Williams is an educated and cultured woman, finishing her schooling in one of Ohio's best colleges, located at Granville. She has traveled abroad in Europe and elsewhere and has visited the old home of her parents in Wales.
Mr. Williams at the time of his marriage was not only without capital but was in poor health, due to malarial fever. He decided to come to California, and on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1892, he and Mrs. Williams reached San Bernardino. The following day they traveled into Redlands by way of the old Dummy line and here rented apartments for a time. Then occurred a relapse of the malaria, which finally concentrated in his left arm, necessitating four operations. At the third operation in a Los Angeles hospital the elbow joint was removed. There was a ten year struggle to regain his health, but he finally succeeded, and now for a number of years has been able to do his full part in all departments of horticulture and ranching. Mr. Williams purchased his first lot on Cajon Street, between Home Place and Cyprus Avenue, on the east side of Cajon. Here be built a barn 14x18 feet, and lived in it two years. It was the first building in the entire block. They then built a good home on the front of the lot. This was their home until July 1, 1911, when Mr. Williams traded the town property for a ten-acre full bearing orange grove on East Luconia Avenue near Church Street. This excellent grove, located across from the University, has responded in abundant measure to his careful thrift and steady management, and considering the obstacles he has overcome few men could take more satisfaction out of prosperity than Mr. Williams, who accords liberal share of the credit for what he has accomplished to Mrs. Williams. Both have been faithful members of the Congregational Church since they were about fifteen or sixteen years of age. Mr. Williams is affiliated with Redlands' Lodge No. 300 of the Masonic Order.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011