In addition to being one of the most extensive farmers of the reservation, Mr. King is also a successful operator of a threshing machine outfit which he owns. In conjunction with his cousin, William A. King, he has invented and patented a threshing machine which experts pronounce a wonderful improvement on the present methods, and doubtless in proper time, Mr. King will put out his machine.

He has a fine farm two miles east from Gifford and among other improvements he has a ten acre orchard which will rank well with anything on the reservation. He has always handled about five hundred acres each year to grain, but this year he has rented his land and pays all of his attention to his threshing machine.

William H. King was born in Vernon County, Wisconsin, on October 22, 1868, being the son of James M. and Adelia (Joseph) King, natives of New York and Ohio, respectively, the former being born in Oswego and the latter in Zanesville. The father is of French extraction and the mother of American and German. The father, with his older brothers, fought in the Civil War with the Wisconsin volunteers. He was twice discharged on account of disability. The parents live in Blaine, Washington, as also two brothers, Thomas E. and James H.

Our subject grew up on a farm and was educated in the public schools. The family removed to South Dakota, where the father took a preemption and later they all went to Josephine County, Oregon, living in Grants Pass. There William completed his education in the college of that city. In 1889 they all went to Blaine, Washington, and for three years our subject worked in the saw mills of the place. Then he embarked in the hotel business and then came to the reservation. He secured a good piece of land and his mother also took a claim as head of the family on account of the blindness of her husband. It was contested, but after three decisions, Mrs. King will now prove up. The father, after being totally blind for one year, has been relieved by an operation so he can see a little with one eye. Our subject’s brother also took a claim, but as his little girl burned to death, and his house also burned up, he determined to leave the reservation and so went back to Blaine.

On July 2, 1894, Mr. King married Miss Anna, daughter of Clawson F. and E. M. Dahl, natives of Germany. The father died in 1900. To Mr. and Mrs. King there have been born three children, Mabel D., Elmer J. and Violet. Mr. King is a member of the W. of W., Lookout Camp, No. 607. His estate is a valuable one as he has refused four thousand five hundred dollars for it.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903