These are newspaper clippings that my grandmother Frances Cleveland Kennedy Williams saved about my grandfather Fred Herman Williams Sr. Unfortunately, she did not date ANY of them but from searching Dallas City Directories with the help from Jim at the link below, I was able to put some kind of timeline to the articles.
Any article that mentions Fred as:
An Ambulance Driver would have been between 1921 and 1926
A Highland Park Police Officer would have been between 1927 and 1932
A Deputy Constable would have been after 1933
If I can get more information from Dallas City Directories, I might be able to make these
dates more accurate
MADE OVER 1,000 EMERGENCY RUNS WITHOUT MISHAP
CITY AMBULANCE DRIVER FRED WILLIAMS
Speed laws and traffic regulations would probably be dispensed with if all motorists were as deft with the wheel as City Ambulance Driver Fred Williams.
During his past ten months service with the city, in which time he has driven almost continuously at breakneck speed, he has maintained a perfect record, answering more than one thousand emergency calls without mishap.
Williams knows no speed limit save that of his engine capacity and the only traffic regulations he observes are those of self-preservation. With his thumb on the horn button and his toe on the throttle, he races through crowded thoroughfares on his errand of mercy, often with the Grim Reaper trailing in his wake. The element of personal risk apparently has no effect upon his speed, if there is another life at stake.
Williams’ formula for eluding the accident jinx is a simple one: “Keep your eyes and your mind on the road.”
AMBULANCE DRIVER GETS FREE RIDE IN HIS OWN VEHICLE
Fred Williams city ambulance driver who has rushed countless “poison” patients to the Emergency Hospital, is in a serious from ptomaine poisoning.
He was sent home in the ambulance under the care of a private physician.
TURPENTINE MADE HIM CHANGE MIND ABOUT ENDING LIFE
After gulping a half pint of turpentine at his home last night, Dean Kunds, 1111 Second av, set up a howl of anguish that brought the neighbors.
They summoned the city ambulance. Driver Fred Williams made a record run, saving Kund’s life.
After reviving, Kunds was not nearly so anxious to die.
Air Pressure Breaks Ambulance Windshield, But He Saves Life
Coolness displayed by Fred Williams, city ambulance driver, probably saved his own and the lives of several others when the windshield broke while speeding to the Emergency Hospital with a “poison victim” last night.
The ambulance was making lively clip when the heavy plate glass gave way under the air pressure. Williams was showered by flying fragments, one of which cut a severe gash in his neck. Bits of powdered glass filled his eyes and a large piece struck him over the head with a dazing effect.
A less experienced driver might have become flustrated and wrecked the car, as at such speed a slight swerve would have turned the ambulance over. However, Williams, blinded as he was managed to hold the vehicle to the road and bring it to the hospital in time to save a life.
FIRES TWICE AT PROWLER IN YARD
Royal A. Ferris Jr. fired two shots at a burglar discovered in the rear of the Ferris residence, 3827 Stratford avenue, Highland Park. Ferris told Highland Park police that he got up preparatory to taking an early start on a hunting trip and heard a noise in the rear. He investigated and found a man attempting to steal a valuable hunting dog. Police said Ferris fired twice at the intruder as the latter jumped a rear fence.
Highland Park police were notified and policeman Ferguson made an investigation. Policeman Williams and Holt went to the residence about 9 o’clock Tuesday morning to obtain a better description of the prowler. Police are sure the intruder was a negro and intended to pillage the Ferris residence in addition to taking away the hunting dog.
WOMAN LAY SUFFERING AFTER FALL
With one of her legs shattered by a fall into an abandoned well, Mrs. L.A. Bradley, 60, 2313 Flora st, remained more than an hour unattended while city physicians were trying to decide which one of them would have to make the call last night.
The aged woman was suffering intense pain and was in need of immediate attention. But the city docs were reluctant to make a trip in the cold and then it became apparent that no aid was to be expected of them, Ambulance Driver Williams summoned a private physician.
Two little grandchildren are dependent on Mrs. Bradley and on their account she....
DESERTED, SHE QUAFFS VIAL OF BENZINE
Locking and barricading the doors of her room, Mrs. June Yates, 1802 Elm st, drained a bottle of benzine in an effort to end her domestic woes late last night.
Had she not failed to extinguish the lights she might have succeeded. However, a fellow roomer, aroused by the noise of her fall, peered over the transom and saw her lying on the floor unconscious. The empty bottle was at her side.
Arrival of the city ambulance probably saved her life. Battering the door down with his shoulder, Driver Fred Williams hurried her to the Emergency Hospital, where the stomach tube was applied. Later she was transferred to the City Hospital, where she is reported improving today.
The girl’s act was prompted by despondency over her husband’s recent departure, according to fellow roomers.
Mrs. Yates and her husband came to Dallas but a few days ago. She told a friend last night that she attempted to end her life because of similar reasons on Christmas Day.
Boy Escapes from City Hospital; Asks For a Cell at Jail
After making his escape from the city hospital Tuesday evening a fifteen year old youth appeared at the city jail Tuesday night and asked to be put in a cell for the night, that he might have a bed.
Fred Williams patrol driver, recognized the youth as one treated at the emergency hospital several days ago, and upon investigation learned of the boys escape. He sent the boy back to the city hospital. The boy, who lives out of town, is suffering from a wound on the leg.
MILKMAN IS CUT BY OWN MILK BOTTLES
With his arm nearly severed by broken glass, Ralph C. Lacy, dairyman, was forced to arouse his customers several hours before daylight to secure aid today.
He was injured while delivering milk at Cedar Springs – av and Fairmount – st. Slipping on the sidewalk, he fell with an armload of milk. One jagged fragment lacerated his left forearm from wrist to elbow, slicing the arteries.
In response to Lacy’s yelling, his customers notified Fred Williams, city ambulance driver, at the Emergency Hospital. He carried the injured man to the City Hospital, where his condition is considered serious.
NINE – YEAR – OLD BOY IS KNOCKED DOWN BY AUTOMOBILE
Theodore Rengel, nine-year-old Mexican boy, was seriously injured Monday morning when he was knocked down by an unknown automobile while crossing McKinney av. The child was crossing the street with his father, T. Rengel, when he became excited and darted away from his parent. As the auto struck him he fell to the ground and the car passed over both of his legs.
A hurry call sent to the Emergency Hospital was answered by Fred Williams. The boy was taken to Parkland Hospital following treatment at the City Hall.
Police Save Women From Burning Hotel
Blinded by smoke and strangled nearly to the point of exhaustion, two women might have suffocated in a fire which wrecked the American Cafe, 1712 Elm st., shortly after midnight, but for the plucky efforts of Ambulance Driver Fred Williams and Policeman McKnight.
Mrs. Carrie Erickson proprietress of the Hamilton Hotel, 1708 ½ Elm st. and a roomer, Miss Agnes Adams, were asleep in their rooms when the fire started in the restaurant below. Roused by the clatter of approaching apparatus, they snatched up what they could in the way of clothing and attempted to escape.
Meantime the blaze was gaining rapid headway, and rooms were heavy with stifling smoke. Before the women could reach the exit they became panic-stricken and floundered. Several men attempted to enter from below, but were quickly downed by the stifling fumes.
Not so Williams and McKnight. Plunging into the murk, they mounted the stairs, found the exhausted women and carried them to safety. True to fire tradition, Mrs. Erickson managed to save the cat and was clutching it to her breast when Williams found her. Mistaking it for an infant he snatched it away from her, but realized the mistake when the feline scratched.
The interior of the American Cafe was wrecked. Flames evidently started in the kitchen after the place had been closed for the night. F. Hickman, proprietor, estimated the damage at several thousand dollars. Adjoining establishments were damaged by smoke and water.
MAN MAKES TWO FUTILE ATTEMPTS TO END HIS LIFE
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Was the motto of a young man who wanted to depart from this life last night. Police officer Sullivan found the man in the act of taking a dose of poison. The officer took charge of the bottle and sent him to the City Hall. He was kept there for quite a while and then told to go ahead home and “forget his troubles.”
“Oh, I’ll wind it up all right,” he said laughingly, as he started out of the City Hall.
“Well, if you do try again try it on a paved street.” suggested Ambulance Driver Fred Williams, “so I can get you quick.”
Twenty minutes later a call came that a man had taken poison. He was on a paved street and Williams soon had him in charge. He was taken to his home where private physicians said he would recover.
Negro Convict Steals Horse and Does Paul Revere
The negroes also have their Paul Revere.
They tell about the negro lad who rode nearly 300 miles thru Texas by mule wagon, horseback and freight train to warn his family of the discomforts of a state prison farm.
It was on the Ramsey Farm, about 40 miles from Huntsville, last Christmas Eve, that a Forney negro decided to visit the homefolks.
Hiding in a sugar cane wagon, he waited his chance.
Bill Holmes, “dog sergeant” of the farm pulled up on his horse and left it tied near the negro Revere.
Jumping from wagon to horse, the boy galloped to Houston, then by freight to Dallas.
Thursday evening, Officer Fred Williams of the Highland Park Police found him hiding in a servant’s house waiting for a fresh horse to continue his journey.
Bud Russell, penitentiary agent, will take the negro back to Huntsville by train.
POLICE THINKING GOOD CAUSE FOR THANKFULNESS
Few Arrests Made and Only One or Two Crimes are Reported
The spirit of Thanksgiving permeates every branch of the police department and Emergency Hospital today. Here are a few reasons:
The Corporation Court session this morning lasted only fifteen minutes, by the official timekeeper, Sergeant Harrison. Immediately after order was called City Prosecutor Murphy began on his docket. Judge Bennett Hill fined only one person – a $5 fine for reckless driving. There will be no court this afternoon.
“We beg to report a very quiet night” read the report turned in by Night Captain Lane of the police this morning.
Detectives had only two cases filed on the “dirty book,” or official theft recorder, this morning. One was a burglary job at 3106 Hickory street, in which a watch was stolen. “Thankfulness should prevail at that home that more was not taken,” Captain Gunning said. The other was the theft of a watch from Ray Dowling, 2809 Allen.
It seem as if the Emergency Hospital would pass the night without accident calls or cases of any sort. However, at 6 o’clock this morning, M. Giuseppe and Joe Muso, 2700 Commerce street, were treated for very slight bruises about the knees. They were in a motorcycle collision at Murphy and Elm streets.
Fred Fastings, day ambulance for the city, has especial reasons for rejoicing. He was relieved at 11 o’clock by Fred Williams the night driver. Fastings has a family and Williams hasn’t so the two elongated “Freds” shook hands on the deal.
Bill Shakespeare “All Wrong;” Police Blotter Reveals Fact That Names Do Mean Something
Old Bill Shakespeare once said “What’s in a name?”
As a rule, Bill was a reliable sort of fellow, but we are inclined to think that he missed his guess on that saying.
Perhaps it was because Bill was never thrown among perpetrators of petty crimes – at any rate, we willingly gamble our coin that Bill never covered “police” for a newspaper.
For if he had, the police blotter would have revealed some names that unmistakably have meaning all their own.
Take “Get Back Sally,” the latest name to ornament the blotter at the local police station. No Sherlock Holmes is needed to dope out the meaning of that cognomen. If you doubt me, question Fred Williams, the officer who made the arrest. According to Fred, she can curse fluently in seventy-six different languages.
Or “Boxcar Jimmy.” One would be quick to see that Jimmy achieved the front part of his monicker through his ability to ride “side door Pullmans.”
“Turkey Breast” worried us a bit, but from his associates in the colored resorts it was learned that he was considered a king-pin among the darker element, and that caused him to strut somewhat, hence the name “Turkey Breast” was hitched to him.
“Smooth Fingered Sam” need no explanation. His ability to wiggle his digits around in other people’s pockets without any knowledge on their part, caused him to select the pet name above.
“Alabama Red” naturally hails from Alabama, and it is not necessary to state that his hair is tinted with an auburn hue.
“Jakey Jim” is a product of prohibition. When the country was wet, and Jim could obtain real liquor, we have no doubt but what his name was “Gentleman John,” or something on that order, but – well, whisky ain’t and one must have a substitute to go on a spree.
It sadly behooves us to state that “Florida Kid” is mis-named. If “Florida’s a kid, I’m the goat. As that bewhiskered veteran of crooked deals sat in his cell, answering questions regarding his alias, he became rather incensed in the suggestion that the name didn’t fit any longer.
“It once did, didn’t it?” he demanded. S’all right. Florida, let’s don’t have any hard feelings.
“Black –eyed Susan” is named right – the woman in question was inclined to be of a darker shade that the average all the way round.
Others less prominent are “Medico Joe”, “Arizona Pete”, and among the feminine sex, “Lazy Liz”, “Dance-hall Dora” and others.
And yet old Bill says “What’s in a name?”
There are no millionaire poets.
Gossips have no use for people who refuse to furnish material for them.
LOST IN SNOW AND EXPOSED FOR 24 HOURS, DALLAS HUNTER MAY DIE
Suffering the pains of death as he expressed it “a thousand times an hour” for almost 24 hours, J.W. Gilson, 1728 South Austin street, painter and paper hanger, lay in the snow and ice three miles north of Letot from early Monday night until lat Tuesday afternoon.
Although conscious he was almost dead when found by hunters Tuesday afternoon. His feed and legs were frozen until they were black from the toes almost to the knees. At the city hospital, where he was taken by Ambulance Driver Fred Williams, it was said early Wednesday that both feet would have to be amputated.
Gilson went hunting alone Monday afternoon. Just how he came to be near Letot no one seems to know. When taken to the hospital he said he had become lost in the river bottoms and did not know just what happened.
“I remembered going around in a circle.” he told Williams, “and I realized it, but I did not know what to do. I don’t remember just what happened after I fell. It seemed as if I was asleep part of the time. Maybe I was unconscious. I knew when I fell that I couldn’t get up, so I reserved my strength in the hope that someone wound find me.”
Williams said Gilson’s hands and ears also appeared to be frost bitten and that there was a chance that he would not recover. In all probability he would have died if the hunters had not found him when they did. Physicians say he could not have withstood the extreme cold another hour. He was completely exhausted from lack of food and water and his condition remains serious. The amputation may result in his death.
Gilson was partially covered with snow when found and that fact might have helped save his life. The thermometer registered 5 degrees Tuesday morning and it is considered remarkable that he survived.
TELEPHONE OPERATOR SAVES TWO LIVES; HEARD CALLS FOR HELP
Her identity has not been established but a young lady telephone operator at the Automatic exchange saved two lives by her prompt work at 3:30 o’clock Sunday morning when she noticed peculiar signals of the switchboard. She listened for a moment and heard feeble calls for help. She knew that it had been intended by the person who was calling for help to get the emergency hospital so she rang that place.
“Rush to 1603 Ross avenue,” she told Ambulance Driver Fred Williams. In a few seconds the big ambulance was on the way and within five minutes Williams had broken open the door to a room in the house occupied by Mr. and Mrs., H.L. Frazier. They were unconscious and gas fumes almost strangled Williams as he pulled both Mr. and Mrs. Frazier out and placed them in the ambulance.
Frazier and his wife were taken to the emergency hospital where Dr. Bunkley was waiting with the necessary medicines prepared. A half hour later the man and his wife were conscious, but very ill from the effects of the gas. They were taken to their home.
Frazier explained that when he and his wife retired Saturday night the gas pressure was very weak and they left the gas burning in order to keep warm. When the pressure became normal again at midnight Saturday the small hose attached to the stove became disconnected and the room soon filled with gas. Mrs. Frazier awakened, and realizing that something must be done quickly, she rushed to the telephone and tried to get connection with someone. The operator at the exchange knew that something was wrong and she completed the connection by telling Williams to rush to the home.
June 19 – I have just started this project. There are many more articles to come and when I am finished, I will have an index to the many names in the articles.