WILLIAM H. CORNWELL
††††† Although one of the more recent additions to the citizenship of Woodland, William H. Cornwell is well known as manager of the National Picture Theater, a line of business which has claimed his attention for ten years and through experience and ability he is well qualified for the duties and responsibilities of this important position.† He has traveled extensively and his has been an adventurous and interesting career.† A native of Hawaii, he was born August 2, 1876, and there attended the public schools until he attained the age of twelve years, when he left the islands, continuing his studies in San Francisco.† Afterward he went to the east and while pursuing a course in Andover School of Massachusetts he was awarded a silver medal for his prowess in pole vaulting.† Going to London, England, for the purpose of broadening his education, he enrolled in Kings College and while a student there he also figured prominently in athletic sports, winning thirteen silver cups.† When his course was completed Mr. Cornwell returned to the Hawaiian Islands to assist in the management of his fatherís large stock ranch, on which there was a herd of five thousand cattle.† Responding to the call of the wild in 1905, he went to Alaska, where he spent eight months, driving a dog team of twenty-one hundred miles through that country and for days at a time he saw no living person.† In 1906 he returned to San Francisco and for a number of years was with the Matson Navigation Company.† During the World war period he was in the service of the Moore Ship Building Company of San Francisco, employed in government work.
††††† Mr. Cornwellís association with the motion picture business dates from 1920, when he became identified with a theater at Madera, California.† Afterward he removed to Marysville, in Yuba County, where he was similarly engaged for five years, and in October, 1929, became manager of the National Theater in Woodland.† This house presents high class attractions, specializing in feature run pictures made by Warner Brothers, and was recently wired for sound productions by the Western Electric Company, since which time the receipts have increased one hundred per cent.† Mr. Cornwell has an intimate knowledge of the motion picture industry and under his progressive and capable direction the theater has entered upon a new era of prosperity.† It caters to a discriminating class of patrons and is rapidly gaining in popularity.† Mr. Cornwell is greatly interested in the work of the Boy Scouts of America and the Young Menís Christian Association and each month the boys from these organizations attend the National theater as guests of the management, while the house also shows educational films for the benefit of students in the local schools, thus furthering the cultural advancement of the community.
††††† In San Francisco, Mr. Cornwell was married to Miss Grace Rollins, a native of that city, and their children are:† Robert, a young man of twenty-two, who was graduated from the University of California on the completion of a course in chemistry; and Betty Jane, aged seven years.† Mr. Cornwell has membership in the Parent-Teacher Association and the Harmony Circle Club.† Mr. Cornwell has never lost his interest in athletics and keenly enjoys outdoor sports.† While in Marysville, Mr. Cornwell joined the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, also became president of the Lions Club, and is now active in the work of the latter organization in Woodland.† He is a director of the Woodland Chamber of Commerce, president of the Merchants Association and a public-spirited citizen who exerts a strong force for progress in this community, whose residents entertain for him high regard.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2 †Pages 264-265. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.