Three of the great-grandchildren of Ransom and Sarah Williams were participants in the oral history project. They all had fond memories of Will and Clara, and they recalled the many farm animals that their grandparents kept. Apparently, Will and Clara brought a little of the farm life to the city when they came to Austin. While they knew a great deal about their grandparents, they did not know much about their great grandparents. Unfortunately, it is rather common for knowledge of family histories to be lost after a few generations. Because of the oral history interviews with Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Johnson, and Mrs. Andrews, we learned a great deal about how the Williams family made the transition from rural farmers to city dwellers in the twentieth century. In return, we were able to inform them about their forgotten family history in the nineteenth century.

Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Andrews recalled that their grandparents lived on East 19th Street (now Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd.) in an area that was then considered the outskirts of Austin ). Grandfather Will raised chickens and had a milk cow. Together with nearby family members, he maintained a large garden, with pecan, peach, and fig trees; Grandmother Clara would can the vegetables and make preserves from the fruits.

"He had a beautiful garden," said Mrs. Andrews. "Altogether, the acreage of where my grandfather lived was one-third acre, and my mother and father lived next door with one third acre, and my auntie (Eloise Sneed) and her husband and family lived the next door to us with one-third acre, total to one full acre."

The presence of this large extended family meant close supervision for the younger generations. According to Mrs. Andrews, each of Will and Clara Willliams children owned their owned homes, and her parents, Arnold and Novella Williams, owned rental homes as well.


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