William Vivian Molam
of Navarro County, Texas


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From High School (Corsicana Class of 1916), William worked for a local electrical contractor until he joined the Navy in 1917.  He served in France as a Navy Electrician caring for the U.S. Navy's First Aeronautic Detachment's seaplanes on the first Naval Air Station in Europe, NAS Le Croisic.  He returned from the Navy to Texas A&M in the fall of 1919 to study electrical engineering.  From A&M he worked again for the electrical contractor and then went to work for L. B. Gamewell, a local engineer and land surveyor.

About 1925, William went to work for the City of Corsicana in the office of the City Engineer, Wm. McClendon.

In 1926 he married Pauline, the daughter of L. B. Gamewell.

His first son, William Junior, was born in 1927.  Thomas, his second son, was born in 1933.  Both were born in Corsicana.

About 1930-, he was made assistant City Engineer and then in 1933 he was given charge of the water works at Lake Halbert.  He also held a job for the county at the time as County Sanitary Supervisor, a position under Federal direction.

McClendon resigned in 1936 and William was made City Engineer.  He had obtained his engineering registration shortly before.  While City Engineer, the City enlarged and upgraded the water treatment plant and installed new trunk water lines and a new water tower.  Several major paving projects were accomplished including the widening and paving of Third Avenue from Main Street to 32nd Street.

In January 1941, William resigned as City Engineer and took a job as Civil Engineering Inspector for the Navy at the new air station, NAS Corpus Christi.  He was advanced to Senior Inspector in 1942, having charge of most of the civil engineering projects as Corpus Christi as well as all of the nearby auxiliary air stations and outlying fields in the area.  In May 1945, the opportunity to establish himself in business in Corsicana came about and William resigned from the Navy in June.

Returning to Corsicana, he established his business as a Registered Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor.  He ran for and was elected County Surveyor, taking office in January 1947, remaining in that office through 1976.  He obtained his certificate as a Registered Public Surveyor in the State of Texas about 1946.

In 1968, he was contracted as City Engineer to the City of Corsicana and continued to that office and his business until 1975.  He was active in his business until 1977.

Through out his life, William was an active Episcopalian serving on the Vestry at Good Shepherd in Corpus Christi and St. John's in Corsicana.  He was appointed Senior Warden several times in Corsicana and was delegate to Diocesan Council on several occasions.  As a Scouter, he began as an Assistant Scout Master in 1925 and became Scout Master of Troop 240.  Later he was committeeman and became district commissioner in 1948.  He was awarded the Silver Beaver in 1976.

William was an active member of the Red Cross and served as Disaster Chairman in the local chapter for more than ten years in the '60s and '70s.

He joined the American Legion in 1921, a member for 59 years.  As a member of Chamber of Commerce, he was a director and a manager.  He joined the Knights of Pythias in 1926 advancing to local and state offices being active until the local order was dissolved about 1965.

In November of 1976, William and Pauline celebrated 50 years of marriage with their brothers, sisters, and children and grandchild.  Many cousins and friends came for the celebration with some sixty signing the certificate of celebration.

William retired in 1977 and passed into the Church expectant May 22, 1980 in the 84th year of his birth.

Postcript:

June 21, 1975, Sue Youngblood, the Mayor of Corsicana, honored William with this certificate:

Office of the Mayor
CITY OF CORSICANA, TEXAS
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Presented to WILLIAM V. MOWLAM
IN RECOGNITION OF 52 YEARS OF OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO OUR CITY, IN THE FIELD OF ENGINEERING, I THEREFORE DECLARE HIM A LIFETIME HONORARY CITY ENGINEER FOR THE CITY OF CORSICANA.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of this city to be affixed
Mayor
Sue Youngblood
Date ... June 20, 1975

 

Submitted by son Thomas, Day of Saint Bernard, 2001


Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox