Bill Haughawout exemplifies The Greatest Generation. Born in Carthage to Mr. and Mrs. Euclid “Uke” Haughawout on May 3, 1922, he was descended from Jasper County pioneers who came to the “New City” right after the Civil War. As a youngster growing up in the midst of the depression, he had several jobs, including two paper routes, and he shined shoes at a local barber shop.
Bill’s Dad, Uke, was an avid sportsman and introduced Bill to quail hunting and skeet shooting at an early age, which became passions for Bill for several years. By age 16, he had broken a perfect 25 of 25 targets at the local skeet range, thereby earning the shotgun his dad had promised when he would accomplish that goal. This was the start of a skeet shooting hobby that resulted in young Haughawout becoming known as the best youth shooter in the Midwest, and one of the best in the entire United States.
Bill graduated from Carthage High School in 1940, and that summer shot 30 perfect rounds of 25×25 and 26 rounds of 24×25. He was the Western Zone all bore winner, shooting 98×100, was the champion of the Bobby Parker Tournament in Tulsa, OK, with 99×100, breaking 175 straight in a shoot off. He also competed in the National Skeet Shoot in Indianapolis shooting 98×100. He was Western Zone and Calcutta Champion in 1941 and 1942.
After graduating from Joplin Junior College, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy in September 1942, serving 39 months, graduating from Naval Gunnery School, and serving aboard Aircraft Carrier U. S. S. Croatan in the European theater. While on antisubmarine duty, his ship captured and scuttled German U-boat 490. Bill had been offered a position on the U. S. Navy Skeet team, but turned it down in order to serve with his buddies at sea.
After returning to Carthage on Christmas Eve, 1945, he went to work at Uke’s Tire and Sporting Goods, resumed shooting and became a productive citizen in his home town. In 1949 he was a member of the Missouri State Championship 5 person skeet shooting team, was 2nd in the state in the small gauge championship, and shot 99×100 at the National Skeet Shoot in Dallas, TX.
Among his shooting accomplishments were more than 28 trophies, and a string of 486 targets without a miss, and 499×500.
Later Bill took over Uke’s Tire and Sporting goods, which he closed when he retired in 1988. Bill served as President of Carthage Rotary, the Carthage Parks Board, Carthage Historic Preservation, the Carthage YMCA, and Vice President of the Carthage Chamber of Commerce. In June 2013, Haughawout was named Patriot of the Month by the Missouri Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. He is a member of Grace Episcopal Church.
Bill was married to Bonnie Sue Clark in 1947, and they raised two daughters. Bonnie passed away in 2002, after 55 years of marriage. One of the last of the Greatest Generation, William D. Haughawout truly deserves selection to the Hall of Carthage Heroes as an athlete/sportsman, and as a spirited public citizen.