Pauline Gibbs Williams

Honored by:Robert & Dave Williams, Jeannine Rehnstorm & Nancy Brinkman
Brick location:PAVER:21  map

Pauline (Paulie) Williams was born in Ames on October 20, 1928, 20 minutes after her twin brother, Paul. They lived with their parents, Ed and Vida (McIntosh) Gibbs, and brothers Earl, Lauren (Bud) and Myrus at 3115 Ellis; 1930-1939. The little house was six blocks from West Gate, the west side of Iowa State College as it was known then.

This made it possible for the adventurous bunch of "Gibbs Kids" to spend many happy hours on campus and to gain a wider vision of the world and people of many cultures and nationalities. Veishea parades and open houses were a highlight each year. A tour of the greenhouse was Pauline's favorite; for it gave her a chance to see the banana tree and to receive a carnation to give to her mother.

There were exciting Easter egg hunts near the Campanile or down in the green valley where the parking lot is on Knoll Road and Union Drive. A few years of the real "Stars Over Veishea" at Clyde Williams Field were special events... under the star filled skies.

The remaining years of Pauline's childhood and youth were spent in the big house at 1006 Douglas; 1939-1948. Baby sister Margaret Ann Joined the family and was to be born in a hospital, Mary Greely, one-half block away. Summers were special with an abundance of wildflowers in the woods in the backyard and swimming lessons at Carr's Pool. The big front yard would always be full of neighborhood kids for games of Red Light-Green Light, Kick the Can and May I?.

Many afternoons Pauline would lie in the shady yard and read books from the Ames Public Library, just four blocks away. She would always have the most books read when school started. But the recognition was never the greatest reward... new ideas new friends and enhanced imagination can never be measured... gained from the world of books.

A gifted childhood living in Ames under the influence and example of her gifted and loving mother helped mold and shape Pauline into the caring and resourceful woman she is today. She believes as one receives, one is empowered and required to give and enhance the lives of others and the community in which one lives. Her influence in the lives of her three children: David (ISU- Class of 71), Jeannine (ISU 71-72) and Nancy (ISU- Class of 77) along with her husband, Bob, is evident, as they have become good parents to Bob and Pauline's nine grandchildren.

Organizations where Pauline has provided leadership include First United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, Secretary of Youth Work- South Iowa Conference Church Women United, Kappa Phi (Univ. Christian Women), Gilbert Community Schools and P.T.A., Gilbert Girl and Boy Scouts, Gilbert Women's Club, Story County Women Clubs, Older Women's League, Top-0-Hollow Neighborhood, Story County Coalition, ERA (Equal Rights Amendment), The Story County Elder Teller, Iowa Yucatan Partners of the Americas, Gilbert Education Foundation and Gilbert Triple G Square Dance Club, Story County Cardiac Support Group, Christian Peterson art works display and reception, Gilbert High School.

The achievement that means the most, however, is her leadership in the efforts to secure for her hometown a City Hall; needed, requested and voted for by the citizens of Ames. It was Pauline's idea conceived on Top-0-Hollow Road in a drive home one day that "there has to be a legal way to stop the building of Town Centre. They cannot close Kellogg Avenue!" (One of her streets during her childhood and youth.)

A call to County Attorney Mary Richards affirmed the idea; she believed there was a legal way. Next a call to her attorney Don Newbrough (a former mayor of Ames) brought further affirmation and Pauline was off and running. Tom Oates and Don Clark joined her and attorney Paul Lunde provided his constant legal expertise and hundreds of hours of volunteer work as the four formulated and carried out the plans. The Town Centre proposal was stopped after a suit was filed against the Mayor and City Council and then dropped after they agreed to cancel the Town Centre plans.

Another petition to request the chance/right to vote to use the now vacated Central Junior High building... to save it from the wrecking ball. The council was not interested in moving into " an old school building." Paul assured us that they did not have the right to make the decision. A municipality cannot plan a bond issue for a new facility if a suitable one exists and is owned "by the people." The petition passed with the largest majority in recent recorded history. Their efforts were supported by many prominent businessmen and women who wished to remain anonymous and financed with over $6000 in donated funds.

Everyone is proud and grateful for the beautiful new Ames City Hall and abundant parking. It houses all the elected officials and business offices of city government and the Police Department and city jail. A fine gymnasium and facilities for fitness training and community recreation are heavily used each day. The handsome council chamber and municipal courtroom are in the library and study hall area of the former school. The courtyard, in the center of the building, is an outdoor facility for receptions and special events. The auditorium has been restored and enhanced into a beautiful community theatre for drama, musical, and dance events as well as public programs and receptions.

Although never receiving any recognition from city officials for their efforts, the committee to "Stop Town Centre: and "Save Central Junior High", of Tom Oates, Don Newbrough, Paul Lunde, and Pauline Williams, know they will always be remembered and appreciated by the grateful citizens of Ames.

Of all Pauline's involvements, Ames City Hall stands as her proudest acheivement... a silent and lasting tribute to what just one person can do to make a difference in their community and world.

"If you have vuilt your castles in the air, that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them." -Henry David Thoreau

Pauline Williams- brick in honor of her of activities and achievements.

updated 1/14