'Picture it as today's Facebook: you're putting everything down. She wrote about her love life, who she broke up with.'
The discovery of her mother's purse after 50 years during renovations at the oldest school in the Clear Creek Independent School District brought Beverly Williams' daughter to tears. "She was blown away with what we told her," said Richard Lewis, vice president of the League City Historical Society, according to the Houston Chronicle. League City Historical Society had found a purse under a stage during renovations at the League City School last year when the building was being turned into a community center. The workers discovered the item hidden beneath floorboards that must have been put in when the building initially opened in 1938.
Beverly Williams' name was mentioned numerous times inside the contents of the bag, but LCHS was unsure of how to get in touch with her. “I started looking through it myself, being careful, and I found a lot of old pictures in it,” Sarah Osborne, director of communications and community engagement for League City. “I also found a calendar, pencils, a handkerchief, a nail file set, and a note that said ‘Please let my daughter Beverly Williams ride the bus home,’ signed Mrs. Frank Williams.”
"One of the photos in there was her at 9.5 months and it said 1946 on it, so that approximates her age at 76 years old," Lewis said. "The mother signed a note as Mrs. Frank Williams, so we have a picture but we don't know her first name."
"The purse was full of what looked like a wallet, and it turned out to be a diary," Lewis said. "Picture it as today's Facebook: you're putting everything down. She wrote about her love life, who she broke up with." In an effort to reunite Williams with her things, the organization made the decision to post pictures of the purse and other items on social media. The Clear Creek Independent School District posted the video along with the caption, "Do you know Beverly?" followed by the details of how they found the purse. "Check out this video to hear more about some of the items and photos found inside the purse that has been missing for more than 62 years. If you know Beverly, or someone in the Williams family, please reach out to us," the caption continued.
The page finally announced an update that they had located Williams' daughter and her family. However, they sadly reported that Williams had passed in 2016, per KHOU. The purse was discovered around Oct. 5, which the family shares was also Williams' 76th birthday.
Andrea Beverly Williams was born in Harris County in 1945 to parents Frank Roger Williams and Lala Elaine Rawley. He mentioned that she was the youngest of four sisters. Williams was at the League City School in 1959. The mementos, letters, and childhood pictures discovered inside the handbag point to Williams being 14 or 15 at the time it got lost. The contents of the handbag included a nail file, a journal, and a calendar with messages from as early as April 1959.
Williams got married to William Augusta Paul in 1963, he and Williams had nine children who all presently live in the US. Two of her nine children still live in League City, and the family said they will come by and pick up her things sometime this week.
These photos show the contents of a woman's purse -- 63 YEARS AGO. It was found in floorboards of an old school stage in League City. The search is on for its owner -- believed to be a 13 year old girl named Beverly Williams. Today, she'd be 76 years old. Do you know her?? @KHOU pic.twitter.com/xwcfoZxY9M— Janelle Bludau (@JanelleKHOU) October 7, 2022
Williams' purse provides a glimpse of what times were like for teenage girls in the 1950s, a fun look into life from that era! If they were unable to locate Williams' family, the purse would've been ended up on display, in the archives of the League City Historical Society museum due to the importance of finding a physical memoir from the era, Lewis explained.