In January 2014, Amy Johnson Crow of the Ancestry blog No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.
The premise: write once a week about a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, a research problem — any that focuses on that one ancestor. The next week, write about a different ancestor. In 52 weeks, you’ll have taken a closer look at 52 people in your family tree… and maybe learned a little bit more about them in the process.
HARRY PALMERSTON WILLIAMS was my maternal Grandfather’s (John Nelson Moore 1889-1980) 2nd cousin. I never heard my Grandfather talk about him and I am surprised because he was a very famous person in the early 1900’s. He was a businessman, politician, and an aviation entrepreneur in
. He became a noted aviator and co-owner of the
Wedell-Williams Air Service Corporation that dominated air racing in the Louisiana
during the Golden Age of Aviation. United States
Harry Williams was born in
to Frank Bennett Williams and Emily
Williamson Seyburn on October 6, 1889. Patterson, Louisiana
Harry Williams first started working in his father’s Cypress Lumber Company but became fascinated with flying. In 1927, spurred by the news of the Lindbergh solo flight across the
Atlantic, he had purchased a similar Ryan monoplane from Jimmy Wedell a noted race pilot. After
working closely with Jimmy Wedell learning to fly, Harry Williams formed a partnership with Wedell and his brother, Walter Wedell, that resulted in the
formation of Wedell-Williams Air Service Corporation in 1928, based in
The Wedell-Williams Air Service Corporation provided a passenger service from
New Orleans to ’s first commercial
airline and also they started their own postal air service, as well as
operating a flying school. Houston,
Harry served in WW 1 as a Lieutenant in the Engineers Corp. and met his wife during a War Bonds Tour. She was a film star, Marguerite Clark. They married August 19, 1918.
They lived in
parents in a house that now is the Milton Latter Library on New Orleans St. Charles Street.
On May 19, 1936, as Harry Williams was returning from
The loss of Harry Williams, along with the recent deaths in air crashes of both Wedell brothers who had co-founded the company along with the company test pilot, led his wife, Marguerite Clark Williams, , to sell the assets of the company in 1937 to Eastern Air Lines. The new owner, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, folded in the Wedell-Williams Air Service Corporation into the larger airline operation, gaining the coveted mail route from