W. C. Williams Building Historic Marker Dedication ceremony was recently held in Palacios, TX

The marker closeThe historic W. C. Williams Building, built in 1909, was recently recognized as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL) during a ceremony in Palacios, TX. The building has been a cornerstone and anchor of the commercial and cultural life of Palacios and Matagorda County, Texas for 107 years.

Ona Lea Pierce welcomes attendees

Ona Lea Pierce welcomes attendees

The ceremony was sponsored by the Matagorda County Historical Commission (MCHC). Attending the ceremony were members of the commission, including Ona Lea Pierce, Chairman and David Holubec, County Marker Chairman. Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald, Palacios Mayor Glenn Smith, Pam Oliver, Executive Director of the Palacios Chamber of Commerce, David Kocurek, City Manager of Palacios and the Rev. Eric Young, Pastor of Agape Family Outreach Church, also took part in the ceremony. As an additional bonus, Dreanna Belden and Jake Mangum, representatives of the University of North Texas (UNT) Library System and the UNT Digital Projects Unit were also present. In addition several descendants of the Williams and Gillett families were in attendance.

Glen Smith Mayor of Palacios

Glen Smith Mayor of Palacios

The UNT Digital Projects Unit recently completed a scanning project of the Palacios Beacon newspaper back to 1911. The Beacon project and the UNT sponsored Portal to Texas History provided much of the historic research leading to the Williams Building RTHL designation.

On behalf of Texas State Representative, Dennis Bonnen, District 25, Barbara Reece, District Director for State Representative Cindy Burkett, District 113, presents Paul and Donna a Texas Flag that was flown over the Texas State Capitol. A great honor indeed.

On behalf of Texas State Representative, Dennis Bonnen, District 25, Barbara Reece, District Director for State Representative Cindy Burkett, District 113, presents Paul and Donna a Texas Flag that was flown over the Texas State Capitol. A great honor indeed.

The building was built by W. C. “Billy” Williams, a childhood friend of well-known western author, Charles Angelo Siringo (1855-1928). Siringo mentions several references to W. C. Williams, whose nickname was Billy, his wife, Martha Alice Franz Williams (1860 – 1952), and his father, John Aaron Williams (1816 – 1865), in his book, A Texas Cowboy or Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Pony (1886).

The crowdBilly Williams and Charlie Siringo were born and grew up on Matagorda Island in a section called Dutch Settlement (German Settlement). As they grew older, both young men remained infatuated with their childhood friend, Martha (Martha Alice Franz Williams (1860 – 1952). As it turned out, Billy got the girl and Charlie got the cowboy and Pinkerton detective career.

Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald

Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald

Over the years the building has hosted various businesses including Palacios Hardware, Traylor Hardware, Golden Rule Grocery, Price Cash Hardware, Dr. Joseph Wagner, Lawson Hardware, a Vocational Training Program for the Palacios ISD, Palacios Area Fund, Lacey Lowry CPA, as well as a private residence.

Donna and Paul unveil the marker

Donna and Paul unveil the marker

It has been 12 years since the last Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL) Marker was dedicated in Palacios, TX. More information on the Williams Building history and the restoration is available at www.williamsbuildingpalacios.com.

Williams Building historic marker ceremony participants: Jake Mangum and Dreanna Belden with the UNT Library System, David Holubec, Marker Chairman of MCHC, Ona Lea Pierce, Chairman, MCHC, Nate McDonald, County Judge Matagorda County, Donna Christensen, Glen Smith, Mayor of Palacios, David Kocurek, City Manager of Palacios, Barbara Reece, District Director for State Representative Cindy Burkett, District 113 and Eric Young, Pastor of Agape Family Outreach Church.

Williams Building historic marker ceremony participants: Jake Mangum and Dreanna Belden with the UNT Library System, David Holubec, Marker Chairman of MCHC, Ona Lea Pierce, Chairman, MCHC, Nate McDonald, County Judge Matagorda County, Donna Christensen, Paul Christensen, Glen Smith, Mayor of Palacios, David Kocurek, City Manager of Palacios, Barbara Reece, District Director for State Representative Cindy Burkett, District 113 and Eric Young, Pastor of Agape Family Outreach Church.

Relatives of the Williams family: (L/R) Susie Gillett Addisson and Cathy Gillett Hunter who are descendants of W. C. Williams’ sister, Mattie Williams Gillett. On the far right is Mrs. Pat Williams whose late husband Charles was a descendant of W. C. Williams. In front of the marker is Jackson Coulter, Grandson of Melinda Williams. Charlotte Coulter is standing in front of her Grandmother, Melinda Williams and Susan Parrish is to the right of Melinda. Melinda and Susan are the Children of Pat and Charles Williams.

Relatives of the Williams family: (L/R) Susie Gillett Addisson and Cathy Gillett Hunter who are descendants of W. C. Williams’ sister, Mattie Williams Gillett. On the far right is Mrs. Pat Williams whose late husband Charles was a descendant of W. C. Williams. In front of the marker is Jackson Coulter, Grandson of Melinda Williams. Charlotte Coulter is standing in front of her Grandmother, Melinda Williams and Susan Parrish is to the right of Melinda. Melinda and Susan are the Children of Pat and Charles Williams.

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