Merton and Mary Williams Residence
Merton and Mary Williams Residence, 7337 Wilson Court (Click for Map)
The Merton and Mary Williams house was occupied by the Williams family from 1929 until it was conveyed to the Westminster Housing Authority in 2003 and sold to a private resident in 2006. The Williams family has been active in the history and development of Westminster for over one hundred continuous years.
Merton Leroy Williams arrived in Harris, Colorado, 1902, at the age of two years. The family traveled by covered wagon for three months from Oneida, Kansas. Merton had a twin, Berton, and three other siblings, with a sixth child born soon after the family’s arrival in Harris. They settled on a farm at 80th and Sheridan Boulevard. Merton’s parents were Eli Milton Williams, who died in Westminster in 1934 and Naomi Malakina Nelson Williams, the daughter of Swedish immigrants who lived in Westminster until her death in 1956.
Mary Spickard Williams was born and raised in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and moved to Denver to attend Barnes Business College. She met Merton Williams at a dance at the Westminster Grange Hall. (Merton’s mother, Naomi, was a charter member of the Grange when it was organized in 1910.) They were married on June 5, 1929, and moved into the house at 7383 Lowell Boulevard. They had two daughters, Charlotte and Sharon. Mary lived there for the rest of her life and the property passed to her daughter, Sharon Williams Arnold, who owned it until the land was sold for townhome development.
Merton and Mary were known for their life-long community service through the Westminster Grange, the Westminster Presbyterian Church and the local schools. Merton participated in countless parades over the years, driving a small black surrey pulled by his Shetland pony, Thunder. Mary provided themes and costumes for the events. Together, they were Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Mary kept Santa’s suits, wigs and beard in order, while Merton appeared around the community in the role of Santa Claus, including arrivals by helicopter at the Westminster Plaza Shopping Center.
Merton did farm work, operated a feed store with his twin brother Berton, dug the basement of Union High School using a team of horses, delivered the Denver Post on horseback, drove a horse and wagon for Carlson-Frink Dairy and was in trucking. After retirement, he was known for his cart and pony rides, prize-winning vegetables and imaginative garden ornaments at 7383 Lowell. He died March 31, 1976 after suffering a heart attack while working at the Grange Hall. Merton was honored in proclamations and dedications by the City of Westminster, the Chamber of Commerce and School District No. 50.
Mary was known as Grandma to the community, and worked extensively in the schools and church. She had a large home library and was an avid Broncos fan. She also was a founder of the Housedress Club in 1930, a women’s social club that still meets today. She lived at 7383 Lowell from her marriage in 1929 until her death at the age of 92, twenty-two years to the day after Merton’s passing.
This house was moved in 2003 from its original location at 7383 Lowell Boulevard because the property on Lowell Boulevard was purchased by Community Builders in order to build new townhomes. Other adjacent houses on the west side of Lowell were demolished and the Williams House would also have been demolished except that the family refused to sell the property unless the house was moved and preserved. Because the house has been owned by the Williams family since 1929, the Williamses were significant persons in the history of Westminster, and because the house would be moving only one block due west to Wilson Court and would be in a neighborhood of houses of similar age and design, City staff agreed with Mrs. Arnold and Community Builders to undertake the task of moving the house and submitting a local historic landmark application in order to protect it from future demolition.