Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Williams, Mrs. Harry (Isabel Lamson) '36

1936 Treasurer Book Active: Mrs. Harry Williams 2/27/36 Paid
1937 Treasurer Book Active: Mrs. Harry Williams 3/14/37 Pd

1938 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. Harry Williams 3/1/38 Pd 3/6/39 Pd. 1/29/40 Pd. 2/26/41 Pd. 12/26/41 Pd. 12/26/42 Pd. 12/27/43 Pd. 1/24/45 Pd.

1942: 739 West Eighth Street, Plainfield

1945 - 1946 Treasurer Book, Associate: Williams, Harry dead 12/29/45 In pencil next to her name "not Pd."

Most likely related to PGC Member:
Tracy, Mrs. Howard Crosby (Minerva B. Lamson) '15

739 West Eighth Street

Plainfield Library

G-624 1934 Y Grimstead House at 739 West Eighth Street 739 West 8th Street Shingle-style house with gabrel roof, palladian windows in gables, entrance porch at left, enclosed porch at right with sleeping porch above, Elliott T. Barrows.

Inventory to the Papers of Harrison A. Williams, Jr.

Rutgers University

Harrison A. Williams, Jr. (1919 - 2001) represented New Jersey in the U.S. Senate from 1959 until 1982. He also served in the House of Representatives from 1953 through 1956. A member of the Democratic Party, Williams held leadership positions on the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, the Special Committee on Aging, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Select Committee on Small Business, among others. The Williams papers consist of legislative working files and reference material, correspondence, project and case files, campaign files, photographs, press releases, speeches, memorabilia, audio and visual recordings, and more. Major themes in the papers include the involvement of the Federal government in managing the natural and built environment of the United States (e.g., housing, mass transit, land and wildlife conservation, energy); the search for civil rights, economic equity and security, and the expansion of educational opportunities and initiatives; national tensions over economic and social costs (e.g., expanded entitlement programs vs. taxation, crime and assassinations vs. gun control); business concerns on trade, contractual, and regulatory matters; and Americans' responses to foreign affairs, particularly with regard to the Vietnam War, the Middle East, and the Panama Canal Treaty.

Williams was born in Plainfield, NJ, on December 10, 1919, son of Harrison A. Williams, Sr. and Isabel Lamson Williams. He attended the Plainfield public schools, then studied economics and political science at Oberlin College, graduating in 1941. After a short stint as a reporter with the Washington Post and beginning graduate work at Georgetown University Foreign Service School, Williams, a Naval reservist, was called to active duty when the U.S. entered WWII. He served on a minesweeper for a year and as a Navy pilot for three years. After his discharge, Williams worked in an Ohio steel mill for a year before attending Columbia University Law School, from which he graduated in 1948. Williams practiced law in New Hampshire for one year before returning to New Jersey to join the firm of Cox and Walburg in Newark and, in the early 1950s, the Elizabeth firm that became Pollis and Williams.

Williams's career began to close in February 1980 when the press reported that he was a target of a FBI undercover operation, known as Abscam. The Abscam operation had snared several businessmen and politicians, but Williams was the most prominent and highest-ranking official involved. In October 1980, a nine count indictment against Williams was announced which included bribery, receipt of an unlawful gratuity, conflict of interest, and conspiracy to defraud the United States, among other charges. Williams's trial started on March 30, 1981 and, on May 9, Williams was found guilty on all counts. The Senate Committee on Ethics then opened its own hearings into the matter, which led to a recommendation in September 1981 that Williams be expelled from the Senate. As the Senate neared the end of its deliberations on this recommendation, Williams resigned in March 1982. Though continuing to pursue various avenues for fighting the charges in court, Williams was sentenced, and he entered the penitentiary at Allenwood, Pa. in January 1984. Throughout the ordeal, Williams argued that he was innocent and that the FBI had abused its power. Williams's contentions were important ones that resulted in fierce debate in the news media and in Congress where hearings were held on the FBI's investigative tactics.

After his release from prison in 1986, Williams returned home to retirement in Bedminster, NJ, where he had lived since 1974 with his wife, Jeanette. Williams died of heart disease on November 17, 2001.

Harrison Arlington Williams, Jr.

Ex-Senator Harrison A. Williams Jr., 81, Dies; Went to Prison Over Abscam Scandal
Published: November 20, 2001

Harrison A. Williams Jr., the Democratic senator from New Jersey who used his considerable power to further the interests of labor and education before being convicted of bribery and conspiracy in the Abscam scandal, died on Saturday. He was 81 and lived in Bedminster.

Dr. Bruce Mintz, his physician, said he died of heart disease at St. Clare's Hospital in Denville, N.J.

Once known as ''senator for life,'' and the only New Jersey Democrat to be elected to four Senate terms, Senator Williams was convicted on May 1, 1981, on nine counts of bribery and conspiracy for promising to use his office to further a business venture in which he had a hidden interest. He was fined $50,000 and sentenced to three years in prison, which he served at a minimum-security federal prison in Allenwood, Pa.

On March 11, 1982, he resigned in the face of overwhelming indications that more than two-thirds of the Senate, where he had served for 23 years, were about to expel him. He said he had been illegally entrapped by federal agents posing as Arab sheiks and businessmen. Six congressmen were also convicted in the Abscam scandal.

He always said he was convicted of what he termed a ''dishonest crime.'' In a 1986 interview with WNET-TV, he defined this as ''when somebody else creates the situation for which you are convicted.''

In his resignation speech, he denied breaking any laws and said, ''I did not want the Senate to bring dishonor to itself by expelling me.''

President Clinton last year turned down his request for a pardon.

Harrison Arlington Williams Jr. was born in Plainfield, N.J., on Dec. 10, 1919. When a grandfather heard the news by telegraph, he wired back, ''For Pete's sake, the name's too long.'' From then on, he was known as Pete.

His father, a Republican, was president of a burial vault company. He attended local schools in Plainfield and went to Oberlin College in Ohio, repeatedly running for student offices. He majored in economics. After graduation in 1941, he studied briefly at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington while he worked as a copy boy at The Washington Post.

In the winter of 1941-42, he enlisted in the Navy. In the naval air division, he was commissioned and became a pilot and flight instructor.

Mr. Williams then took a job as a steelworker at the National Tube Company in Lorain, Ohio, for several months, becoming a member of the United Steelworkers of America.

He graduated from Columbia Law School. in 1948, he worked for a year as a lawyer in Jaffrey, N.H., but returned to Plainfield, where he worked for a time as ''a combination clerk and baby sitter'' for George F. Hetfield, a conservative Republican whom he opposed in 1953 in his first Congressional race.

He had been admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1951, joined a Newark law firm and taught business law at the Newark branch of Rutgers University. He lost some minor races. Then, in 1953, Clifford P. Case resigned from the House of Representatives to run for the Senate, resulting in a special election. The Congressional seat was considered so safe for Republicans that the Democratic National Committee told Mr. Williams it was ''against party policy to spend money in hopeless contests.''

So Mr. Williams financed the campaign with $2,800 of his own money and some borrowed from friends. He promised to support Eisenhower and to continue Mr. Case's liberal policies, and defeated Mr. Hetfield, the first Democratic victory in the history of the district.

He introduced his first bill with Representative John F. Kennedy to give aid to businesses hurt by competition from cheap imports, beginning a lifelong closeness to the Kennedys. He was re-elected in 1954 with a record of anti-Communism abroad and liberal social policies at home. He said he was a ''liberal with both feet on the ground.''

In 1956, he was defeated by only 4,400 votes in his re-election bid despite a Republican margin in the district for Eisenhower of 78,668 votes. He returned to private law practice, but kept his hand in politics by aiding in the re-election of Democratic Gov. Robert B. Meyner.

Governor Meyner designated him as the party's candidate to run against Robert W. Kean (father of former Gov. Thomas Kean). He became the first Democrat elected to the Senate from New Jersey since 1936.

He was re-elected in 1970 and became chairman of the Labor and Human Resources Committee. In that post, he backed the interests of migrant workers, women, coal miners, the disabled and the elderly. He wrote the Occupational Safety and Health Act and sponsored the creation of the federal urban transit program.

He was the first chairman of the Select Committee on Aging.

In the late 1960's, his actions while under the influence of alcohol made headlines as the New Jersey chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People censored him for unbecoming behavior at its 1968 convention. Soon after, he said he would never drink again.

Two years into his fourth term came Abscam, short for Abdul Scam. Mr. Williams always noted that he did not immediately agree to use his influence to obtain government contracts to buy the output of an idle Virginia titanium mine and processing plant. He had a concealed interest in the enterprise and said he thought the sheik was willing to invest $100 million.

But he agreed to the scheme five months later. He argued in his appeal that his not agreeing to the scheme in the first videotaped encounter proved he was not predisposed to commit the crime, which the trial judge in Brooklyn had told the jury the prosecution had the burden of proving.

In December 1983, the Supreme Court unanimously refused to hear his appeal.

After his release, he was active on the boards of drug treatment programs like Integrity.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanette; two sons, Dr. Peter Williams and Jonathan; two daughters, Wendy Scarcella and Nina Learner, and six grandchildren. All live in or around Plainfield, N.J.

1974 Junior League Designer Showcase: The Martine House

Liste in the program: Dr. and Mrs. Leonard D. Williams and Mrs. W. Edwin Williams – relations?

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Cover to Page 25

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Page 26 to End

In addition to saving the 1988 Program for the Designers Showhouse of Cedar Brook Farm (aka The Martine House) which was organized by the Muhlenberg Auxiliary, PGC Member Anne Shepherd also kept the 1974 Designers Showcase of the very same home, organized by the Junior League.

Within the program pages, you will find mentioned many PGC members. They include: Clawson, MacLeod, Kroll, Davis, Wyckoff, Stevens, Loizeaux, Swain, Hunziker, Connell, Foster, Dunbar, Elliott, Fitzpatrick, Gaston, Hackman, Holman, Lockwood, Morrison, Royes, Rushmore, Sanders, Williams, Barnhart, Bellows, Burger, Burner, Carter, Clendenin, DeHart, Detwiller, Eaton, Eckert, Fort, Frost, Gonder, Keating, Laidlaw, Loosli, Madsen, Mann, Marshall, Miller, Moody, Moon, Morse, Murray, Mygatt, Barrett, Peek, Perkins, Pfefferkorn, Pomeroy, Pond, Royes, Samek, Sandford, Sheble, Stevens, Shepherd, Stewart, Stout, Trewin, Vivian, Zeller, Cochran, Mooney and Hall.

Plainfield Public Library Archives


Garden Club Plans For Flower Show

Plans were about completed for the flower show of the Plainfield Garden Club at a meeting yesterday in the home of the chairman. Mrs. Wallace Coriel, 963 Central Avenue. The show is to be held May 5 and 6 in the Assembly Room of the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Richard Lawton, a prize winner in many horticultural exhibitions, is schedule chairman, and is spected to have schedules printed soon for distribution.

Fully two-thirds of the 50 classes scheduled are listed as "horticultural." The flower arrangment classes are in the minority. The schedule is planned to be of educational value to both experienced gardeners and beginners.

The committee includes Mrs. Corriell, chairman, Mrs. Dudley H. Barrows, secretary; Mrs. Harry Williams, treasurer; Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler and Mrs. William K. Dunbar, decoration and floor plan; Mrs. Henry L. DeForest, properties; Mrs. Henry Marshall, staging; Mrs. Lawton and Mrs. Henry C. Wells, schedule; Mrs. William S. Tyler, exhibits.

Also Miss Harriette R. Halloway, specimens; Miss Josephine Lapslety, entries; Mrs. Garret Smith, publicity; Mrs. Leslie R. Fort and Mrs. Edward H. Ladd Jr., judges, and Mrs. Clifford M. Baker, prizes.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Residence of Weston Williams, 1402 Chetwynd Avenue

In this illustrated book, the Courier-News has sought to present some of the representative homes of The Plainfields and adjoining territory, together with such other buildings of interest and importance as would serve to convey an idea of the physical attractioins of one of the most beautiful and healthful cities in the Metropolitan District. The homes reflect the desirability of this community as a place of residence.

The churches, schools, clubs and public buildings pictured serve to give the stranger some conceptions of the beauty of the city and its right to be termed the "Queen City" of New Jersey.

With picturesque Watchung Hills as a background, this section with all its natural advantages, plus a progressive spirit, coupled with high class local governing bodies and a live Chamber of Commerce, is pecularily adapted for home sites and, as a result, it has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth for many years.

publication circa 1917

1920 Muhlenberg Hospital Womens Auxiliary

Mrs. L. H. Williams, Jr.
903 West Eighth Street

Mrs. W. H. Williams
30 Rockview Avenue, N.P.

Mrs. Howard H. Williams
915 Kensington Avenue

1938-1939 Meeting Minutes