John P. Williams, Jr., grandson of LMC (FKA Little Miami, Inc. and LMI) co-founder Charles Sawyer passed recently at 78. Like his Uncle John Sawyer, and his Grandfather Charles Sawyer, John was a wonderful supporter of the Little Miami Conservancy conservation efforts.
LMC attorney (and former LMC Executive Director) Timothy M Burke noted "John Williams was a great friend, made through Little Miami. When I was Executive Director in 1975 I hand wrote a plan to acquire Bass Island and shared that rough draft with Helen Black, Sudie Geier and a couple of others. Shortly afterwards I got a call that I was to join Helen and Sudie at a meeting in Charles Sawyer's office. I was warned that Sawyer, who had served as President Truman's Secretary of Commerce would have his personal lawyer in attendance at the meeting. Mr. Sawyer heard us out, told stories about fishing and swimming in the Little Miami at Bass Island when he was a kid and ultimately, with John's encouragement committed the necessary $100,000 to buy Bass Island."
"Later, when the State of Ohio denied Little Miami's tax exemption, because we were not doing anything with the property, John and I together argued, what was for both of us our first, before the Ohio Supreme Court. The court accepted our argument that preserving the land in its natural state was a valid charitable use entitle to tax exemption...which became the law other environmental groups could rely on."
John was a great leader and will be deeply missed. His legacy will live on along the Little Miami National Wild & Scenic River.
For those so inclined, a donation can be made to LMC in John's memory. Online donations can be made by clicking on the yellow DONATE button above on this page. Thank you.