Earle E. Williams

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Earle E. Williams, (1898-1983), a California historian who wrote articles, pamphlets, essays and biographies focused on the region around southwest San Joaquin County and Tracy, California where he grew up in and lived nearly all his life.

Williams was born on January 1, 1898 in Woodside in San Mateo County, California to George and Frances Belknap Williams. In 1910, he moved to Tracy where he lived with his sister and her husband on their ranch in the Vernalis area and attended New Jerusalem School and Tracy Joint Union High School. After leaving school at age 16, in 1914, he worked locally in the aggregates industry for many years. In 1946, he founded and built the Kerlinger Plant of Pacific Cement and Aggregates, Inc. on the alluvial fan of Corral Hollow Creek. He operated the plant until he retired in 1965. He was married Elinor Counihan of Petaluma in 1928 and settled in Tracy, California where he and his wife raised two children. He was active in a variety of social and civic organizations including the Rotary Club, the West Side Pioneers (now the West Side Pioneer Association), San Joaquin Historical Society and the Native Sons of the Golden West. He was also President of the Tracy District Chamber of Commerce, President of the San Joaquin County Chamber of Commerce, San Joaquin County Historical Society, regional vice-president of District 8 of the Conference of California Historical Societies, Tracy Community Memorial Hospital board of directors, Tracy Planning Commission, Tracy City Council, Mayor of Tracy[1]

He was the President of the San Joaquin County Historical Society, and his extensive research made him known as " the historian" of southern San Joaquin County. Among his writings are his books, Old Spanish trails of the San Joaquin Valley 1965, El Camino Viejo : a brief history of California's forgotten second highway of the pioneers, El Camino Viejo a Los Angeles (the old Spanish road to Los Angeles) 1970, Carrell of Corral Hollow 1980, and "History of Tesla : a California coal mining town" 1999. Williams died on July 4, 1983.[2][3]

The Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley maintains the collection of his correspondence, writings, and research and one of photos, relating to the history of Tracy and San Joaquin County, California. It includes his research materials and drafts of his many books, articles, and stories about the Corral Hollow area and its ghost towns, including San Joaquin City, Carnegie, and Tesla, along with the El Camino Viejo.[4][5]