Biography of William N. Whitson

Among those who have made comfortable homes and gained valuable estates n tin; reservation, we are constrained to mention Mr. Whitson, who lives about one mile north east from Fletcher, where he owns a quarter section of good land and also farms considerable more. He raises diversified crops, fine Poland China hogs, good thoroughbred Shorthorn cattle, and is a prosperous and substantial man. William N. Whitson was born in Jefferson County, Iowa, on October 10, 1862, being the son of Samuel H. and Catherine (Bivens) Whitson. The father was born in Indiana in 1814, where his parents were pioneers. In 1847 he went to Jefferson County, Iowa, then a new country, took a homestead and remained tilling the soil until the time of his death in 1891. The mother was born March 6, 1828; her people were pioneers of the middle west. Our subject was reared and educated in Iowa. At the age of seventeen he came to southern Idaho, Malad valley, and drove stage at the time the railroad was building from Ogden to Butte. Later he assisted John Bitney, a prominent stockman, to drive a bunch of cattle over the Mullan trail to Pendleton, passing through where Spokane now is. A store, blacksmith shop and so forth constituted the town then and they camped with the cattle on the north side of the river, where a large portion of Spokane now stands. After the drive Mr. Whitson returned to Spokane and with a cousin visited the Big Bend country. Then he went to Dayton and freighted to Pomeroy for six years, also drove stage from Dayton to Lewiston. Later he went to Moscow and took a position with the Shields Company, beginning work in 1890 and continuing for six years. Then came two years of farming in Latah County, and in 1898, Mr. Whitson bought his present place and it has been the family home since that time. On January 17, 1889, Mr. Whitson married Miss Nora, daughter of Amos H. and Mary (Gwynn) Phillips. The father was born in New York State, moved to South Dakota, was a pioneer to the Palouse country, where he now lives. Mrs. Whitson’s mother was born in Londonderry, Ireland, came to New York, where she was married and now lives in the Palouse country. Mrs. Whitson was born September 20, 1869, in Union County. South Dakota, and has the following brothers and sisters: Elizabeth LaDow, Harry D., Jennie Ames. Mr. Whitson has six brothers and sisters: Suzanna Smith, Mary Fountain, Amelia, Laura Axlines, deceased, Joseph, Francis. Five children have come to bless the home of our subject and his faithful wife: Harold, born February 1, 1890; Leslie, born January 5, 1892: Rollo, born May 28, 1894; Fern, born June 6, 1896; Aloha, born August 14, 1898. Mr. Whitson is a member of the Royal Arcanum, Council No. 145 1, of Moscow. He is allied with the Republicans in political questions and is a strong advocate of good schools and better roads and always labors for progress in general.

Source: An Illustrated History of North Idaho: Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone counties, state of Idaho; Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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