Thirty years ago when our neighborhood was a bit rough around the edges. Soon after Joan and I bought our house in 1976, we attended our first KWA meeting at the old pool house behind the Steves Homestead. At this meeting, Egon Tausch, who lived on Madison just down the street from us, reported his encounter with a second story burglar. Egon was asleep in his upstairs front bedroom when he was awakened by someone coming through the window. He slept with a revolver at his bedside so he raised his pistol and warned the intruder that if he didn’t leave the way he came in, he’d be shot. The man continued to advance so Egon shot him and the force of the charge propelled the intruder out the window by which he had entered. Egon ran to the window and saw a prone figure lying on the ground so he called the police and they carted the fellow away. The burglar later died from his wounds. No charges were filed.
Immediately upon recounting his story, Egon was accosted by an anti-gun crowd; many of whom were in attendance that evening. There were loud, vocal demands that guns be banned from King William. Finally, Walter Mathis, who was chairing the meeting, was able to restore order. Then he proceeded to tell his own amazing story.
Walter said he was upstairs at his home on King William Street one evening when he heard someone at a downstairs window. As he came out of his upstairs sitting room onto the stair landing, he saw the intruder attempting to make his way through the window. Walter quickly got his revolver and shouted his intent to fire. The man continued to advance, so Walter shot him. He then rushed to the upstairs front porch and, seeing the man attempting to flee, shot him again. After a lengthy interview with the police, the investigating officer allowed that Walter “probably should not have shot the fellow a second time since he was running away”. But again, no charges were filed.
As you can imagine, the room became very quiet. Walter then asked if there was further discussion and there was none. The meeting continued without further interruption.
Before the King William Association bought the cottage on S. Alamo in 1991, we rented a small apartment in the Schug’s house at 222 King William Street for our office. The apartment’s living room was the main part of the office and the bedroom was the board room. In between the two rooms was the bathroom which you had to pass through to get from one room to the other. When there were several people in the office, it was always a bit comical with folks on both sides trying to figure out when the bathroom was in use. There was also a small kitchen which doubled as storage space. This crowded space also served as our fair headquarters.
Jean Alexander-Williams was the part-time office manager for the King William Association through the 1980’s until Maggie Konkle took over the job about 1990. Jean handled the entire operation by herself during those years without benefit of a computer. She was a frugal soul. To save money on postage, she sometimes delivered the newsletter to the neighbors on her bicycle.