Letter to the Editor: What a treat!
What a treat to see the photo of our uncle, Dick Williams, and read the account of his final, sadly fatal, boxing match (“History in Focus: Death in the Ring,” Craig Daily Press, Aug. 15, 2020).
Here’s a little more background on Dick: He was the second child, and first son, born to John and Sarah Jane Williams out on their Josephine Basin ranch. Dick joined my grandmother, Dorothy Bell Williams Herring, and was soon followed by younger brother John and quite a bit later, little sister Mary Jane Williams Rosenlund. Baby Griffith Robert Williams (born 1911) did not survive his first month. Dick’s dad, John Williams, was a Welsh immigrant who spoke such thickly accented English that the kids often couldn’t understand it, according to daughter Mary. John homesteaded in White River Valley in the 1880s.
Life on the ranch was rough without a lot of luxury in the early part of the 20th century, but the Williams kids were resilient and pretty self sufficient. Years after John and Sarah, and Dick, were all gone, my grandma Dorothy shared a secret about the time the elder Williams went to town and little Dick shot off the end of his finger while target practicing. He came to her for nurse maiding, which was apparently so effective that his parents were none the wiser.
A family photo shows Dick, around age 8 or 9, attired in a newsboy cap and bib overalls and standing with his parents and siblings in front of their sturdy log home. Dick is smiling at the camera with a shy grin.
At the time of his death, Dick was engaged to Evelyn Burner, a Powell Park neighbor. Evelyn later married Karl Metzger of Meeker and lived to be 102.
Thank you for remembering Uncle Dick Williams.
Jenny L. Herring on behalf of the Williams, Croswaite, Hazelbaker, Beckett and Herring families of Craig, Meeker, Steamboat Springs and Longmont, Colo.
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