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1). bobspu.ged REF 1. John W. O DELL, grandson, 5308 E. 2nd St., Tucson, AZ 83711 written response to letter from compiler asking for data on the family of Samuel H. and Alna Billie WILLIAMS O DELL, Nov. 1997. 2. Ruth ALEXANDER, sister to Alna WILLIAMS O DELLfamily group and bio. sent to compiler by Ruth s niece, Patricia D. O DELL VORHIS, 501 Ratcliff Dr., New Boston, TX 75570 2218. Letter to compiler, 01 13 98. Source Elizabeth Ann Gilchrist Jun 1998 O Dell.GED Adopted Denver, Jefferson County, Colorado
Name: John Peter Williams Jr. Note
Born: at Red Ruth, , Cornwall, England
Died: 7 Jan 1898 at Cripple Creek, , Teller County, Colorado
Name: Alma Sjostrom Note
Born: 5 Feb 1863 at N os, , , Sweden
Died: Nov 1925 at Denver, , Jefferson County, Colorado
Name: Ruth (d.o. John Peter Jr.) Williams
Name: Alna (billie) Williams
Born: 20 Mar 1893 at Ellis Island, , , New York
Died: 2 Jun 1990 at South Lake, , Tarrant County, Texas
Husband: Samuel Hartwell (sam) O''dell
2). bobspu.ged BIO In a letter to compiler in Nov., 1997, John W. O DELL, grandson of Alma SJOSTROM WILLIAMS, reported that his mother s father was John Peter WILLIAMS, born in ENGLAND. John did not know his grandmother s name, but did say that she, too, was an immigrant from SWEDEN, and that the couple had married out west somewhere after coming to this country separately. John reported that the WILLIAMS, for some reason he did not know, had returned to EUROPE, and that his mother, Alna WILLIAMS O DELL, was oneof twins born at Ellis Island when the couple returned to the U.S. In January, 1998, compiler received a packet of family data from John s sister, Pat. Included in that packet were a family group sheet for John P. WILLIAMS, Jr. and a copy of a letter written to authorities at the Statue of Liberty by John WILLIAMS daughter, Ruth WILLIAMS ALEXANDER, concerning the birth of the twins at Ellis Island. Compiler has transcribed that letter below This story sent to Statue of Liberty National Monument by Ruth WILLIAMS ALEXANDER on April 17, 1979. I have been slow in answering your letter of November 2, 1978, because I wanted to get together some more information. Regarding my Mother and Father, they were not exactly immigrants. Mother was Swedish and Father was English. The incidents related below concerned a period of time before immigrant facilities were established at Ellis Island. My mother was set on a goal of someday coming to AMERICA and earning enough to go back to SWEDEN and buying the family farm from her father. Without informing them of any such dream she wrote to an aunt in Iowa, U.S.A., asking her to send her a one way ticket to AMERICA. The ticket was to arrive on the eve of her eighteenth birthday. The ticket arrived, as planned, and in the meantime she had made all her plans, including clothes, and etc. She showed her parents the letter and the ticket and left the next day. This was in 1881. She spent two years in Iowa with theaunt and uncle she went to school, learned to read and write and speak the English language. From Iowa she went to Denver, Colorado, and got a job with a well to do doctor s family. She was an excellent cook and manager. Sometime later she developed walking typhoid and the doctor told her to go to a higher and drier climate. She went to Aspen, Colorado, and got work as a cook in a large mining company boarding house. Aspen was booming as a silver and gold mining community. It was here that she met myfather. About ten years later she and father went to SWEDEN. To put things simply, father didn t like SWEDEN OR farming so the dream never materialized. Late in the summer of 1892, while still in SWEDEN, mother became pregnant and wanting the children born in AMERICAN citizenship, they decided to come back. They landed at Ellis Island on March 20, 1893. Mother was very sick with bronchitis as they had had a very cold and stormy trip across the North Atlantic. She was carried off the big liner on a stretcher and taken at once to the maternity ward where she gave birth to premature twins. The two babies weighed in at one and a half pounds together. Her stay at the Island was two very unpleasant weeks as the maternity ward was just above the insanity ward. There were no incubators, nor much of anything else for the care and comfort of preemies. After two weeks, and with the help of the nurses, they equipped two shoe boxes with cotton, well soaked with vaseline, to carry the babies. Mother fed them with an eye dropper. Holes were cut in the tops of the boxes, much as one would ship a small pet nowadays. They went to Iowa to the home of the aunt where she had first stayed in the year 1881 where the babies grew to normal nine months children. Father thought the first born should be named Alma after the mother. Since they were identical twins, mother hit on the idea that she could take the M out of Alma and put in the N for Alna. Soon after this they went to Denver, Colorado, where they renteda home in what is now the Capitol Complex in the heart of the city. Just as soon as father got the little family settled he went to Cripple Creek, Colorado, the greatest gold mining camp in the world, to work in the mines. I was born in Denver in 1894 and a young sister Rebe, was born two years later. Father met a tragic death in 1899 in a mine lease where he and his partner had just opened up a rich vein of ore. Mother, knowing nothing of mining and the partner but little more, gave up the lease. A few years later a gold mining magnate opened the mine again and took out $45million. At the time of father s death mother was carrying another child who turned out to be another girl, Juni. Mother with her Swedish background of determination and courage gave the four girls, Rebe had in the meantime passed away from diphtheria an education and with her acquired talents as cook and caterer lived out her life until 1927. Mother made many and frequent trips back to SWEDEN on matters of estate settlement. Onone of these trips she took all four of us along. We spent fifteen months over there and I have always regretted that she didn t put us in school. On the return from this trip we landed at QUEBEC, and while going through customs, a tall man, obviously ofENGLISH descent, asked mother whether or not those two taller girls weren t born about thirteen years ago at Ellis Island. She replied, Why yes, but how would you have known? His reply, How well I remember that night. You were a mighty sick lady whenwe carried you off liner. The four girls spent their elementary and high school years in the Cripple Creek Schools, after which they went their separate ways on entering college. The two twins grew to be about six feet tall and the older one, Alma passed away in 1946. Alna, a registered nurse, now retired, is living in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. With the disability of being almost blind, she still enjoys life in fairly good health although she is somewhat past 85. I am sending a few pictures in case you can use them. I would be interested to see any use you might make of this lengthy yarn. Sincerely, Mrs. H. D. ALEXANDER NOTE Patricia O DELL VORHIS, daughter of the twin, Alna WILLIAMS, writes in her letter to compiler that she questions the weight of the twins at birth. I think I remember Mother s telling me that they weighed around 7 lbs. Compiler assumes this means the combined weight of the twins. Compiler s husband ran a search of the names of immigrants at Ellis Island, looking for the WILLIAMS family and some record of the birth of the twins. He did not find them, so they apparently have not been included inthe memorial there as of January, 1998. REF 1. John W. O DELL, grandson, 5308 E. 2nd St., Tucson, AZ 83711. Letter to compiler 13 Nov. 1997 2. Letter to authorities at the Statue of Liberty Memorial, written by Ruth WILLIAMS ALEXANDER, daughter, dec d. Copy provided to compiler by Patricia O DELL VORHIS, grand dau., New Boston, TX, 13 Jan. 1998. 3. Data re Alma SJOSTROM WILLIAMS provided by Pat VORHIS see 2 above. Letter to compiler, 13 Jan. 1998. Source Elizabeth Ann Gilchrist Jun 1998 O Dell.GED Adopted Denver, Jefferson County, Colorado