Biography of William B. Reese

From a worthy family of excellent quality came the subject of this sketch, a popular and esteemed citizen of Nez Perces County. Dr. Reese; s one of the talented and leading professional men of the County and has achieved distinction in different lines of enterprise, ever manifesting the happy qualifications of which he is richly possessed, and displaying uprightness and integrity in all his ways.

Mr. Reese was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina, on February 4, 1849, being the son of William and Margaret C. (Plumblee) Reese. The father was born in North Carolina in 1807, and was a carriage maker. While he owned slaves, he never would buy or sell them. He was of French and Welsh extraction and died in 1884 with pneumonia. His father was a soldier in the Revolution. The mother of our subject was born in North Caroline in i8r5 and died in 1890.

William B. remained with his parents until of age, gaining a good education and being employed with his father. At the age of twenty-five he was admitted to the Methodist conference and was a traveling minister for seven years. At the end of that time he was forced to abandon his calling on account of throat trouble. He immediately went to studying medicine and graduated from the Vanderbilt University in 1882, then went to practicing medicine in Mitchell County and five years later, when his father died, he went to the old home to care for his mother, and there practiced for two years; then he went to New York city and took a post graduate course in the Polyclinic hospital. He then closed his business in the south and came to Genesee, Latah County, arriving there in April, 1891. Three years were spent there in successful practice, and then a move was made to Leland, where we find him in his profession until 1900, when the people called him to act as probate judge of Nez Perces County. The election was a stubbornly fought contest, he being on the Democratic ticket, but as he was not a strong partisan he received much Republican support. He is now in the city of Lewiston and fulfilling the duties of that important office with credit and distinction.

The marriage of Dr. Reese and Miss Anna, daughter of Rev. Andrew and Lucinda ( Phillips) Robertson, was solemnized on February 6, 1888, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and three children have been born to them: T. Caroosso, in Lewiston; John M. and Willie, at home. Mrs. Reese was born in Georgia and her father in the same state, while her mother was born in North Carolina. The father was a Methodist minister, and his father was also a minister in that Church, and died in his eighty-fourth year, having been a soldier in the war of 1812. Mrs. Reese’s grandfather Phillip was born in 1788, died in 1889, and his wife also lived to a good age. This veteran was married without a dollar, became the father of eighteen children, left them each a farm and died with plenty himself. He handled his own farm until ninety-seven years of age. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Reese are: Christopher B., Joseph, John W., Reuben, Bright, deceased, Clara Stover, Hattie Richie. The brothers and sisters of Mr. Reese are: John, deceased; James, Henry C. deceased: Thomas C.; Solomon; Man Dunlap: Ellen Burges.

Judge Reese is a past master Mason with membership at Genesee. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church South. He is a staunch Democrat and active in the realm of politics. He owns property in North Carolina and at Genesee, and farms near Orofino. His brothers, James and Henry, fought in the Civil war and the latter was killed at the battle of Seven Pines, while the former languished one year in the war prison at Elmira, New York.

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

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