David M. Williams

David Williams

David Williams (1898-1962) is a graduate of Youngstown South High School and Newberry College. He played the end position in football at both schools. He also played basketball and ran track.

In the 1920s he started coaching the Girard High School football team and coached there for 11 years. He also coached the basketball team and taught physical education. At the time, the Girard football team would hold two weeks of conditioning and training at Camp Fitch every year in late August. The football players would spend the morning working on fundamentals, conditioning, and practice. In the afternoons they participated in normal camp activities such as volleyball, tennis, swimming in Lake Erie and campfires. Youngstown South High, Boardman, and Conneaut High Schools also sent their teams to camp. In 1925, the afternoon programming was run by Curly Johnson, Bill Nules, Dike Beede, Max Bastian, and Stew Powie. Paul Davies was camp director. Busty Ashbaughand Karl J. Soller coached South that year. Al Davies coached Boardman.[1]

In 1924 he married Catherine Hone who was born in Arnold City, Pa in 1900 and attended Girard High School. They had three children: Ellen "Gert" Williams Friend, Marilyn Williams Jacobson, and Thomas Williams.

In the 1930s Dave was hired by Youngstown's South High School to coach football and basketball. In 1940 he was promoted to Dean of Boys at South.

By the 1940s, Dave and other original members of the Four Square Club would take vacation at Camp Fitch with their families. In 1942, Dave was one of the leaders who helped to organize the first Youth Fellowship Week at Camp, one of the first co-ed camping experiments at Camp Fitch. A joint YMCA, YWCA venture, about 100 boys and girls attended this camp on August 31st that ran after the completion of the normal camping season. Other Leaders included Dave's wife, John Russ, Leslie B. Calvin, Rev. Richard Firth, Mr. and Mrs. Karl J. Soller, Alice Smith, and Helen Judge.[2]

He was assistant camp director under Jack McPhee, whom he succeeded. Dave was camp director from 1945 through 1948. The 1945 season ran June 17th to September 3rd. During his time as camp director, he continued to be the Dean of Boys at South High School in Youngstown in the off season. He was the first camp director who was not a full time YMCA employee. Until 1945, the Camp Director had always been a full time YMCA staff member that returned to the Youngstown Y in the off season. During his tenure, his daughter Ellen ran the camp store, and his future son-in-law Howdy Friend was Windy City village director.

In 1946 he oversaw the expansion of the rifle range and purchase of more rifles. At that time, camp competed in an annual NRA sponsored inter-camp competition. The Riflery Director at this time was Allan Ripple. Village Directors included Lawrence Goodall and Howdy Friend, who to this day are still good friends. Lawrence had been discharged from the Navy in May of that year, and he was already back at camp by June.

He retired from the position of Camp Director in 1948, and was replaced by Edwin K. Enterline. Dave continued to serve as Dean at South High School into the 1950s. He also worked as a sports official and organized regional high school tournaments. Later he became principle of Hayes Junior High and then Volney Rogers Junior High. He passed away on March 12, 1962.[3]


Buck Boren used to fly his plane low over camp, without Dave's permission.

See Also


1. a Youngstown Vindicator, August 23, 1925. South to Send Boys to Camp. Vindicator Printing Company.
2. a Youngstown Vindicator, August 31, 1942. 100 Attend Fellowhsip Session at Camp Fitch. Vindicator Printing Company.
3. a Youngstown Vindicator, March 12, 1962. Area Sports Fans Mourn Death of Tourney Boss Dave Williams. Vindicator Printing Company.