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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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This Story was transcribed & Contributed by: Laurie Broetzmann

Sweet Williams

By Edward Keppeler


Once upon a time there lived a beautiful young princess. She was so pretty that all the other princesses were jealous of her. Her mother had been dead ever since she could remember. Her father was kind to his subjects, but not very kind to her, because she loved one of this enployees{sic}, and he wanted her to marry a prince.

The young employee's name was William Crane, but when ever the princess spoke of him, she spoke of him as "Sweet William." Now William loved the princess very much, but he never thought he had much of a chance of marrying her.

When the princess became a young lady, she had a great many suitors. The King preferred one named Prince Frederick, but the princess liked William much better than she liked Frederick. The King found out that the only way to get the princess to marry Frederick was to rid himself of William. So he discharged William's father. So William's father took his family and moved to a town about five miles from the castle. There he got work.

But discharging William's father did not keep William and the princess apart. When the princess found out that William's father had been discharged, she got word to William in some way, and told him that she wanted to see him, and appointed a meeting place. They always met at that place after William had moved away, and talked over their future plans.

At last the princess went so often that the King grew suspicious. So he sent Frederick to watch her. Frederick followed her to the meeting place. Now, Frederick loved the princess very much, and when he saw her with William he got so jealous that he vowed he would kill him. Frederick was an expert with a revolver and William had never shot much with one, so Frederick thought the best way to rid himself of William, and not commit murder, was to challenge him to a duel.

So the next time the princess went to meet William, Frederick hurried ahead and arrived at the place first. When William came into the clearing in the woods, which was the meeting place, he was challenged to a duel with revolvers, by Frederick, and accepted the challenge.

Just as the fatal shot was fired, the princess broke through the underbrush and appeared upon the scene. When she saw what had happened she ran up to her lover, bent over him and found out that he was dead. Right then and there she vowed never to marry, then she knelt down and wept over his dead body. When she arose she went to town and told what had happened, and had William's remains moved from the spot.

After the funeral the princess went to the spot every day and wept. Her tear drops fell onto the spot where William's blood had flowed.

For several years the spot was barren, but one day the princess came to the spot and found a little plant growing there. It had little red flowers with white centers. The princess thought they looked so much like William's blood and her tears, that she called them "Sweet Williams."

That is how the Sweet Williams originated and received their name.


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