GEORGE A. WILLSON – A young man who, through his efficient, faithful discharge of public duties, won for himself a host of friends, was the late George A. Willson, a popular deputy sheriff and jailer at the Santa Clara County Jail, and a native of San Jose, where he was born on February 15, 1889.  His father, Alfred B. Willson, came to California from New York in 1887, and for thirty years was identified with the California Fruit Canners Association, doing much to advance the permanent interests of that important industry.

George Willson attended the grammar and high schools of San Jose, and when only fifteen years old started to make his own way in the world.  He secured employment with the Evening News, and for four years was a valued employee.  He then became a pressman for A. Q. Smith, the job printer, and he was in his service for another four years.  His next office of trust was that of treasurer of the Empire Theatre, which he continued to fill for a year, and for two years he was associated with the San Jose Street Railroad.  In 1913 he became a patrolman on the staff of the merchants’ patrol, and he rose steadily there until the World War called for his services.

He entered the U. S. Army on June 28, 1918, and was sent to Camp Kearney, where he was identified with the Intelligence Department at the Camp Headquarters, and he remained in this work until he was discharged, on February 2, 1919, having been made a sergeant.  He then returned to San jose, and for several months he served again on the Merchants’ Patrol.  Then he was made a deputy sheriff, and later the jailer of the Santa Clara County jail.


     On June 14, 1918, Mr. Willson was married at San Jose to Miss Margaret Guy, a native of North Carolina, in which state she was born, near Statesville, but who came to San Jose a few years ago.  Mr. Willson was a member of the San Jose Post of the American Legion, and it is needless to say that there, as elsewhere he was a man courageous in both convictions and actions.  He died January 9, 1922, after an illness of only four days.

Transcribed by Susan Schooler from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922.
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