“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”, so says Ebeneezer Scrooge on Christmas morning after his night of haunting. A lesson learned by Scrooge late in life but better late than never. There are those who learn the lesson well and early, William Water was one such person.
The Waters' house on Elm Street, Oshkosh
This December will mark the ninety ninth anniversary of William Waters' passing. Through my research on Mr. Waters I've learned much about his work and something of the man himself. One of the first documents I read about Mr. Waters was his obituary, where in it is stated, “For many years he had done act of kindness for people less fortunate than himself, but it was always done so unostentatiously it was known to but a few people. It is said that one the last things he did before his final seizure was to walk laboriously down to his office to make a liberal donation to charity. Upon more than one occasion poor families had loads of coal or wood sent to them without learning who the donor was. A number of young men who have entered the architect's profession had received not only their inspiration but financial aid from Mr. Waters. Several families have lived for month, rent free in houses that he owned, and no payment was ever demanded. It is said by those knew best that it would be impossible to even estimate the amount of money contributed in such ways.”
William Waters seated to the right of the drum.
William Waters was reported to be of a “retiring personality”, amicable and easy to work with. He was a devotee of William M. Thackeray and played the base drum for renown Arion Band. His picture with that band is as far as I know the only photograph of him. He was passionate about his work and the city and state he made his home. We may all benefit from like attitudes towards work and the needs of others.