A man full of energy, snap, and those qualities of aggressiveness that make successful business men, also possessed of an agreeable way and genial manner that win many friends, and guided with wisdom and keen perception, the subject of this sketch is rightly classed with the leading men of business ability in the County of Nez Perces. At present Mr. Deschamps is owner of a first class livery stable in Nez Perce, which he has leased.

William Deschamps was born in Stevens Point, Portage County, Wisconsin, on May 7, 1872, being the son of Peter and Margaret (Tardiff) Deschamps. The father, a native of the province of Quebec, came to New York State when twenty-one and thence through various regions to Lewiston, where he now lives, aged sixty-seven. His brother lives on the old homestead in Canada, which has been in the family for three hundred years. The mother of William was of French desent and born in Upper Canada. Her brothers are well known railroad men in Wisconsin, John J. being superintendent of the Wisconsin Central shops for twenty years; and George is a conductor on that line.

William was educated in Wisconsin and North Dakota, whither the family went in 1882. The father took a half section of land and farmed there for ten years. The farm was an unsuccessful venture and although the father did well in contracting on the construction of the Great Northern, the losses on the estate ate up all profits and when they sold and came to Lewiston their finances were not of the best. This was in 1894, and when the reservation opened they were among the first to select land and secured a good tract for each one. Our subject sold his quarter for thirty-five hundred dollars and the father and sister sold a quarter for four thousand dollars. Mr. Deschamps has bought and sold some land since, among which is a stock farm in Whitman County, Washington. In 1901 Mr. Deschamps came to Nez Perce and built a fine livery barn, it being a substantial structure, and since that time he has been conducting a first class business there until January 1, 1903.

Mr. Deschamps has one brother, Charles E., on the reservation, and three sisters, Mary, wife of John Reagan, on the Colville reservation, Washington; Lizzie, wife of Orrin Pixley, a stockman at Waha; Meda, living with parents in Lewiston.

He and his family are members of the Catholic Church and staunch supporters of the faith. Mr. Deschamps is a charter member of the M. W. A., Nez Perce Camp, No. 7498, being also manager. He is a Republican and a rustler in this realm, being a magnetic orator on the campaign and a zealous worker in the field.

On November 2, 1901, Mr. Deschamps married Miss Josephine M., daughter of Charles and Margaret (Bulldell) Langer. The father was born in France and was one of the prominent architects in North Dakota, Minnesota and Puget Sound, but was caused to retire from the work by a serious injury in North Yakima resulting from a fall. He is now residing on the reservation. He constructed the plans for a large residence of Z. A. Johnson, in Nez Perce. Mrs. Deschamps’ maternal grandparents reside on a ranch near Cold Springs, aged ninety. Mrs. Deschamps has five brothers: Fred, in Spokane; Louis, a farmer on the reservation; Eugene, with his father; Edward, in California; Phillip, a school boy with his parents. William Deschamps has just bought one hundred and sixty acres, two miles northwest of Nez Perce, and intends moving on 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