The Family Puzzles - Demystified (Sort of)

Duncan Rea Williams, Jr.

Duncan Rea Williams, Jr.

Male 1904 - 1971

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All

  • Name  Duncan Rea Williams, Jr. 
    Suffix  Jr. 
    Born  21 Sep 1904  Mount Pleasant, Jefferson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Duncan Williams Birth Certificate.jpg
    Duncan Williams Birth Certificate.jpg
    Duncan Williams Birth Certificate
    Gender  Male 
    Died  6 Dec 1971  San Gabriel, Los Angeles, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I5  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  12 Jun 2012 

    Father  Duncan Rea Williams,   b. 15 Sep 1870, Mount Pleasant, Jefferson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Oct 1942, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Helen Jane Hussey,   b. 4 Dec 1868, Mount Pleasant, Jefferson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Apr 1956, Whittier, Los Angeles, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  22 Oct 1895  Mount Pleasant, Jefferson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F10  Group Sheet

    Family  Ruth Agnes Andrews,   b. 30 Jun 1908, Marshalltown, Marshall, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Dec 1987, Mill Valley, Marin, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  14 Mar 1928  Knoxville, Marion, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Sarah Jane Williams
     2. Duncan Rea Williams, III
    Photos

    » Slide Show
    Wyoming Logo
    Wyoming Logo
    Andrews Family
    Andrews Family
    Andrews Family in Iowa about 1945
    Andrews Family
    Andrews Family
    Andrews Family in Iowa about 1945
    Last Modified  15 Jul 2008 
    Family ID  F9  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 21 Sep 1904 - Mount Pleasant, Jefferson, Ohio, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 14 Mar 1928 - Knoxville, Marion, Iowa, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 6 Dec 1971 - San Gabriel, Los Angeles, California, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos

    » Slide Show
    paul_hellen_duncan_williams.jpg
    paul_hellen_duncan_williams.jpg
    Paul, Helen and Duncan Williams cir 1911
    Duncan Rea Williams Jr.
    Duncan Rea Williams Jr.
    Williams Bricks.jpg
    Williams Bricks.jpg
    Whittier College
    Duncan Williams Death Certificate.jpg
    Duncan Williams Death Certificate.jpg
    Duncan Williams Death Certificate
    Duncan Williams death notices.jpg
    Duncan Williams death notices.jpg
    Duncan Williams Death Notices
    Monolith Cement Company Picnic
    Monolith Cement Company Picnic
    Duncan WIlliams Business Card
    Duncan WIlliams Business Card
    Duncan WIlliams Business Card, cir 1960
    Duncan Rea Williams, Jr
    Duncan Rea Williams, Jr
    Duncan Rea Williams, Jr
    July 1905, Ohio
    Duncan_Rea_Williams_Jr.jpg
    Duncan_Rea_Williams_Jr.jpg
    Duncan Williams Birth Certificate.jpg
    Duncan Williams Birth Certificate.jpg
    Duncan Williams Birth Certificate

  • Notes 
    • Duncan was born in Mt. Pleasant, Ohio and when he was very young (1911) the family moved to Whittier, California. He grew up in Whittier, went to grammar school, high school and then went to Whittier College; he graduated with a degree in chemistry in 1927. He was very active in college sports and was a member of an award winning basketball team. After graduating, he went to work for the Monolith Portland Cement Company at Monolith, California. The next year he and Ruth were married and they moved to Laramie, Wyoming where Duncan's responsibility was to help start up a new cement plant. He worked as chief chemist for many years and eventually became the Plant Superintendent.
      In the 1940's he had a large storage tank fall and a coworker was directly under the tank. Duncan rushed forward and pushed the coworker out of the way but the tank hit Duncan on the head. He was hospitalized for a bit after the accident. In 1954 he suffered a detached retina in one of his eyes. He had surgeries in Boston and in San Francisco, but the techniques available at the time were not fully successful. (After each surgery he had to remain in bed motionless for six weeks.)Later the surgery techniques allowed some vision to return. (He actually only had vision in the one good eye.) He also had his thyroid removed in 1953 (I don't know whether it was due to hypo- or hyper-thyroid.) For the last few years of his life he suffered from Dupuytren's contracture in his right hand. This made it difficult for him to manipulate small objects or use his hand with dexterity in spite of several operations on his hands.
      During World War II Duncan developed a process by which alumina could be extracted from anorthosite (a locally occurring rock). This was critical for the War effort because the routes by which we obtained bauxite (the usual source of alumina) were blockaded soon after the War began. The Monolith Company constructed an alumina plant next to the cement plant and went into production for a short time before the War ended. Duncan spent a good deal of time after the war ended in trying to win the legal right to patent his process, but was unsuccessful in this effort.
      One of Duncan's great pleasures was fishing in the Snowy Range Mountains where Duncan first explored many of the lakes and trails. (First white man, the Indians had been there for some time) Some of the lakes in the early 1920's had no names. Duncan also had several interesting hobbies. He always manned a Roulette wheel during Laramie Jubilee Days. He almost never missed his Thursday night poker game at the Laramie Country Club. He could build anything, being competent at laying foundations, doing all the wiring and plumbing, and executing beautiful finish work. In the late 1930's he designed and build a completely monoque house, with basement, from poured concrete. The house still looks the same today, located in Laramie. In the 1950s he developed a nasal spray he called "NaSol" (for drying up drippy noses) and set up production in the family basement. Unfortunately, the mixture slowly turned the plastic bottles in which it was packaged an unappetizing black color. The venture was not a financial success. (There were cartons of NaSol in the basement for years.)
      For much of his life Duncan was interested in sports. He played softball for the Monolith team, he was part of a bowling league, and he loved golf. He was an avid fisherman, skilled at both bait and fly-fishing. He also hunted deer and pheasant. He was very interested in geology, collected rock samples from all over the world. He cataloged and polished many of them. He was a very kind and gentle man, whom everyone respected.
      When the United Airlines flight #409 crashed (1955) in the Snowy Range Duncan was one of the few with available equipment to assist in the rescue efforts. There were lots of folks who helped in the effort. Duncan was very active in the geology activities of the state of Wyoming. He served on the Wyoming State Bureau of Mines for several years. Duncan also became a member of the Masons while living in Laramie. The family moved to La Canada, California in 1959 where he took over the duties of General Superintendent of the company. He retired in 1969.

  • Sources 
    1. [S24] Williams Family Bible.

    2. [S197] 1910 Census Records, California, California, Los Angeles, (National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), T624, roll T624_85, Whittier, Los Nietos Township, p. 5A, dwelling 117 S. Friends Ave. (Reliability: 3).