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WILLIAMS Family History, Part IV

January 2013

Charles H. COLE, Jr. (1887-1972)

141A1. Charles H. Cole, Jr. was born September 12, 1887, in California. He married Edith "Birdie" Mary McGreer about 1909 and had two daughters:

141A11. Charlotte Adele Cole 30 Dec 1913 23 Jun 1999 (85)
141A12. Meredyth Caroline Cole 11 Nov 1917 3 Jun 2002 (84)

The Coles lived at 2901 King Street in Berkeley, Alameda County, California soon after their marriage, and Charles worked as telephone company foreman and electrical engineer.[Cen 1910]

By 1920, the Coles had moved in with Birdie's mother Ella McGreer, brother, sister-in-law, and nephew just around the corner at 2933 Harper Street.[Cen 1920]

Edith "Birdie" Mary (McGreer) Cole died on December 22, 1966, in Alameda County, California. She was 81 years old.

Charles H. Cole, Jr. died five years later on February 26, 1972, in Alameda County, at the age of 84. He had been living in Oakland at the time.

  • Cen 1910: 28 Apr 1910 Census, 2901 King Street, Berkeley, Alameda County, California
  • Cen 1920: 8 Jan 1920 Census, 2933 Harper Street, Berkeley, Alameda County, California

Elsie Alberta (WILLIAMS) HITCHCOCK (1914-2001)

Elsie (WILLIAMS) HITCHCOCK 141D1. Elsie Alberta Williams was born March 7, 1914. She had her first daughter by Corporal Claude Morgan Miller, U.S. Marine Corps, who had served in Nicaragua. A year after their daughter was born, Claude deserted both his young family and the Corps while on temporary duty in Seattle, Washington. Claude was never heard from again.

Elsie later had a son with James Fletcher, Robert, who was adopted at birth by Elsie's friend and future sister-in-law, Helen (Hitchcock) Michalk. About six years later, Elsie married Max Robert Hitchcock, Helen's younger brother. Elsie and Max had four more children:

141D11. Bette Ann Williams 23 May 1932 2 Jun 2003 (71)

141D12. Robert Michalk --  --  -- 

141D13. Thomas James Hitchcock 18 Aug 1950 11 Oct 2012 (62)
141D14. Susan Elaine Hitchcock 16 Feb 1952 22 Jan 2013 (60)
141D15. Stanley Hitchcock --  --  -- 
141D16. Jeffrey Hitchcock --  --  -- 

Claude Morgan Miller's Service, USMC

Claude Morgan Miller was born about May 10, 1906, near Kansas City, Clay County, Missouri. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps and went to Nicaragua in 1928 to take part in ongoing U.S. occupation of Nicaragua (1909-1933), reinforce the conservative presidency of Adolfo Díaz, and help put down the subsequent 1926 liberal uprising led by General Augusto César Sandino. During the uprising Claude was said to have been hit with a "coke bottle bomb" in the buttocks and hospitalized. Afterward Claude was stationed for two years at Mare Island Naval Yard near Vallejo, Solano County, California. There he met Elsie and fathered their daughter, Bette Ann. Not long before Bette Ann was born, Claude was transferred to San Pedro, Los Angeles, California. There began a spiral of absences without leave that culminated in his desertion from Seattle, Washington while on a deployment from his home port of San Pedro, thus ending a 10-year career with the Corps and abandoning Elsie and his one-year old daughter, Bette Ann.

U.S. Marine Corps muster records for Claude M. Miller show that he served three enlistments between December 18, 1922, and June 1933. He first shows up mustering in as a Private at Mare Island Naval Yard, California, where he underwent sea-going school (April through May) and was assigned to the battleship USS Tennessee (BB-43), the first of her class, (June through October 1923). From September 10 through October 16, Private Miller was hospitalized at Mare Island because of an unspecified malady.

Come December 1923, Private Miller had been reassigned to the New York-class dreadnought battleship USS Texas (BB-35) and served as a Cook 3rd Class through May 1924, while the USS Texas was transferred form the Pacific Fleet to the Atlantic Fleet. Private Miller was promoted to Private First Class on July 1 and, while still assigned to the USS Texas, underwent arms training at the Maryland State Rifle Range in Glen Burnie, Maryland, that month, qualifying as a Navy rifle marksman on July 16 and Army pistol marksman on August 1. He then transferred back to the USS Tennessee where he served as Cook 4th Class until relieved on August 28.

The following year, Private First Class Miller transferred to the Naval Ammunition Depot at Fort Mifflin, along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by August 1925. At Fort Mifflin he qualified as a sharpshooter at took a two-week furlough in November.

On December 18, 1925, (apparently the conclusion of his original three-year enlistment), Private First Class Miller enlisted as a reservist and was attached to the Central Reserve Area in Chicago, Illinois, and transferred to the 9th Regiment, Marine Corps Reserve. There his address was noted as 4242 West Adams Street in Chicago (December 1925) and later his home address as Box #7, Cleveland, Cass County, Missouri (November 1926) and 1405 Howard Street, Chicago, Illinois (June 1927).

Miller returned to active duty service, reenlisting at the recruiting station in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 12, 1927, and noted as being of "excellent" character. He was assigned to the Central Recruiting Division in Chicago and the Marine Barracks at Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, north of Chicago. That same month he was dispatched back to the Naval Ammunitions Depot at Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia as a Private (perhaps losing a grade transitioning back to active duty from reserve duty). Private Miller returned to Great Lakes the following month but went absent without leave for nine days from the evening of October 31 until the afternoon of November 9. He was convicted by a special court martial (for misdemeanor offenses).

On January 6, 1928, Private Miller was transferred to the Marine Barracks, Naval Yard at Norfolk, Virginia, and assigned to the Service Company of the 11th Regiment and immediately deployed to Leon, Nicaragua. That April he was noted serving in Ocotal, in the mountains along the northern border with Honduras, as a Pharmacist Third Class. He served there until May 1 when transferred to the 55th Company under the 55th Company, 2nd Battalion, 11th Regiment ("2/11"), 2nd Brigade in Yali, north central Nicaragua, serving as a Cook 2nd Class. There he was promoted to Corporal on July 1 and stayed with the 55th Company through the rest of the year. By May 1929, the 55th Company pulled back to the center of the country at Esteli. On August 22, Corporal Miller transferred back to the Headquarters Company of the 5th Regiment, 2nd Brigade in Managua and the following month returned to the U.S. for duty at Mare Island, California. It was while stationed here that he met Elsie.

Corporal Miller was stationed at Mare Island for two years from October 1929 through January 1932 when he was transferred to the battleship USS Colorado (BB-45), the first of her class, on January 25 for a cruise to the Hawaiian Islands and return to San Pedro, California, arriving by March when he was reassigned to the Northampton-class heavy cruiser USS Chicago (CA-29) at San Pedro. Corporal Miller then had opportunity for a four-day furlough in San Francisco (April 23-26) and returned afterward to San Pedro. Miller was likely in the San Pedro at the time of his daughter's birth in Oakland, Alameda County, California, on May 23.

Corporal Miller appears to have been reassigned back to the USS Colorado as two months later, he again took a furlough from June 14 to 23 but failed to return. Branded a straggler from the USS Colorado, he surfaced aboard the USS Chicago at Mare Island at 10:55 PM on July 2. He was delivered under guard on the 9th to the USS West Virginia. On the 19th he was delivered under guard from the USS West Virginia to the USS Antares where he awaited the arrival of the USS Colorado. He was handed back over the US Chicago on the 22nd and convicted by special court martial on July 24 with a reduction in grade to Private First Class, effective August 8.

Private First Class Miller stayed on with the USS Chicago for three months through October and finally rejoined the USS Colorado briefly in November, while at Newport Beach, California. A month later, he was again back with the USS Chicago at San Pedro where he was permitted a two-week furlough from December 16 to 29.

In Janaury 1933, PFC Miller sailed with the USS Chicago to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and upon return to San Pedro, permitted a 10-day furlough from January 26 to February 5. In April they set out again, this time bound for Seattle. There he and many others were assigned temporary duty at Fort Lewis. On June 10, while still on temporary duty at Fort Lewis, PFC Miller deserted and was never seen again by the Navy or his young family. He was reduced in absentia to Private.

After Claude's Desertion

About nine years later, Elsie had a son with James Fletcher, Robert Edward, whom Elsie's friend and future sister-in-law, Helen (Hitchcock) Michalk adopted. It was also about this time that Claude appears to have been living in Many, Sabine Parish, Louisiana and was engaged to Lille Mae La Fiette. They returned to Cass County, Missouri, where they applied to wed on February 18, 1943.

Elsie later remarried to Max Robert Hitchcock, Helen's younger brother and a native of Montana, on December 14, 1949. They had four more children.

Elsie's husband, Max Robert Hitchcock, died on July 26, 1985, in Napa County, California. At the time they lived in either Napa, Napa County California, or Moraga, Contra Costa County, California. He was 68 years old.

Elsie Alberta (Williams) Hitchcock died 15 years later on February 15, 2001, in Napa County, California. She was 86 years old.

Gladys Elaine (WILLIAMS) CLARKE (1916-1998)

Gladys Elaine (WILLIAMS) CLARKE 141D2. Gladys Elaine Williams was born June 30, 1916, in San Francisco, California, the only one of her ten siblings to have been born in a hospital. She married Willis "Bill" L. Clarke, a brother of her sister Sonoma's husband, on July 21, 1933, in Napa and had four children:

141D21. Donna Rae Clarke 3 Mar 1934 16 Mar 1966 (32)
141D22. Gladys Clarke --  --  -- 
141D23. Willis Clarke, Jr. --  --  -- 
141D24. Claudia Clarke --  --  -- 

Before marrying Bill, Gladys is recalled to have dated John Wesley Fisher, a second cousin of her Fisher siblings, in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

Bill worked for many years on a pheasant ranch in Yountville, Napa County, California. After they married, the Clarkes settled in the Juarez Precinct of Napa, likely referring to east of the Napa River, and Bill worked as a salesman[Vote 1936]. Their first three children were born in Napa.

By 1940, the Clarkes resettled in Vallejo, Solano County, California, at 1460 Louisiana Street[Vote 1940]. Afterward they moved a mile north out of town to 16 Fairview Avenue[Vote 1942,1944]. It was probably here that youngest daugther Claudia was born.

Willis L. Clarke, Sr., died on April 4, 1982, in Vacaville, Solano County, California. He was 76 years old. Service were held by Rev. Leo Nelson of the Church of the New Covenant at the McCune Garden Chapel in Vacaville and Bill was laid to rest at the Elmira Cemetery in Vacaville on April 7.

Gladys Elaine (Williams) Clarke died 16 years later on March 29, 1998, in Vacaville and is buried in Vacaville. She was 81 years old.

  • Vote 1936: 1936 Register, Napa, Juarez Precinct, Napa County, California
  • Vote 1940: 1940 Register, 1460 Louisiana, Vallejo, Solano County, California
  • Vote 1942: 1942 & 1944 Register, 16 Fairview, Vallejo, Solano County, California

Harold WILLIAMS (1918)

141D3. Harold Williams was born April 19, 1918, in Napa County, California. He died three days later on April 21, 1918, and was buried at Pioneer Cemetery in Calistoga, Napa County.

Pioneer Cemetery
There are two cemeteries that fit the description: Pioneer Cemetery lies midway between Calistoga and Saint Helena to the south, and the Old Pioneer Cemetery lies in Calistoga, just south of where Petrified Forest Road meets Highway 128.

Edward Carl WILLIAMS (1920-2012)

Edward Carl WILLIAMS 141D4. Edward Carl Williams was born on April 4, 1920, at the Williams home on Gates Road in the hills above Rincon Valley in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. He married Carrie Lee Moore on November 19, 1944, at the Richmond Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Contra Costa County, California. They adopted two children:

141D41. Verne Williams --  --  -- 
141D42. Marilee "Missie" Williams --  --  -- 

As a boy, Ed recalled daily mineral baths in the women's section of Nances Hot Springs, where his mother worked, until he was 16 years old. His mother kept him discreetly hidden. Later Ed worked in the laundry room at Nances.

Ed attended Calistoga High School where he belonged to the Future Farmers of America, played in the band, and played basketball and tennis. His agriculture teacher, Spellman Collins, encouraged him to get money from the Production Credit Association and start a chicken ranch. Ed and his classmates built a chicken house and started with 650 hens. Ed and Henry La Franchi went on to win the Future Farmers of America Gold Pen award, which was presented by Governor Frank Merriam at the 1938 California State Fair. He graduated in 1938 along with 28 other graduates. After high school, Ed continued a year of postgraduate studies, remained with the high school band as a clarinetist, and went on to play at the 1939 World's Fair on Treasure Island and the Opera House in San Francisco.

Ed's father died in 1940 and afterward Ed moved to Oakland where he worked for East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) as a machinist. It was there that he met Carrie at an ice skating rink. She worked for the telephone company.

Carrie Lee (MOORE) WILLIAMS After their wedding in 1944, Ed and Carrie honeymooned in Santa Cruz for two weeks. As the war was on, they had gas ration coupons for five gallons of benzine gas to get back up over the Santa Cruz Mountains and to the Bay Area, where they lived in Berkeley, Alameda County, for three and a half years. They later bought a home in Richmond.

Ed Williams
Left to right: Joe Marshall,
Ed Williams, and Larry Steele

Carrie taught cake decorating and candy making in the East Bay (El Cerrito and Albany area) for 20 years and was president of the California cake club, which took her around the U.S. judging cake shows.

The Williams retired and moved from the East Bay back to Ed's boyhood home in the hills above Calistoga in 1980. Carrie continued her cake making classes.

Ed and Carrie celebrated their 50th anniversary in October 1994 on a cruise and afterward daughter Missie surprised them with a party at Rita's in Santa Rosa, which was attend by over 100 guests.

Ed and Carrie traveled far and wide. They regularly visited Carrie's family in Texas, traveled to numerous states west of the Mississippi, north to the Calgary Stampede, and took cruises to the the Mexican Riviera, through the Panama Canal, and the Carribean. They also cruised to Alaska and Hawaii and toured Hong Kong.

Carrie Lee (Moore) Williams died on February 6, 2005, at the age of 84 years. She is buried at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito, Contra Costa County.

Edward Carl Williams died on March 6, 2012, at his home on Sharp Road. He was only a month short of his 92nd birthday. Ed was buried with his wife and mother at Sunset View Cemetery.

Morrison Funeral Chapel, via, March 2012

"Edward Carl Williams - Resident of Calistoga"

"Edward Williams passed away peacefully on March 6, 2012. He was born in Calistoga, Ca. April 4, 1920 to Cora and Albert Williams. He was a member of the Lions and Native Sons of Calistoga. He worked as a Machinist for 30 years for EBMUD in Oakland after which he retired and moved back to Calistoga to live on the property he grew up on. He enjoyed, Bowling, Fishing, and Golf, and was an avid A's, Giants, and 49er fan. After retirement he and his wife "Carrie," enjoyed traveling to various destinations with family and friends. He was known as "Uncle Ed" to everyone. Ed was preceded in death by his wife Carrie, and his eight siblings. He is survived by his Son Verne Williams of Calistoga, and daughter Missie Bossi (Robert) of Hercules, grandchildren Jon Bossi of Hercules, and Nick Bossi of Milpitas. He also leaves behind many loving Nieces and Nephews and family members, along with wonderful supportive neighbors."