William P. Garner is one of the substantial men whose labors have aided materially in improving the reservation portion of the County of Nez Perces. He is a man of good ability and excellent standing among his neighbors and has achieved a commendable success. William P. Garner was born in Andrew County, Missouri, on November 21, 1848, being the son of Neri and Rachel (Matticks) Garner, natives of Tennessee and Virginia, respectively. The father was born in 1815 and died in 1884. He was a pioneer in Andrew County, Missouri, settling on the old Piatt purchase. The mother was born in 1810 and died in 1879. In 1861 the family removed to Doniphan County, Kansas, where the father went to farming and raising stock on an extensive scale. William was educated there and grew up on the farm, working with his father until he was twenty-seven years of age. The last years he was in partnership with his father. When twenty-seven, he went to do for himself and continued in that section until 1885, in which year he sold out and came by team to Camas Prairie, Idaho, settling west from Hailey. He secured a preemption and tilled it until 1889, and then removed to Josephine County, Oregon, which place was the scene of his labors in the agricultural realm until 1895. Then he returned to Idaho County, whence he came in 1897 to his present place three miles northeast from Melrose, which he secured as a homestead. His son, David, took a claim adjoining and they have devoted themselves to improvement and advancement in general fanning and raising stock since that time. In Missouri, on February 4, 1874 Mr. Garner married Miss Mary M., daughter of David and Isabella (Turner) Harness, natives of Virginia and now both dead. Mrs. Garner was born in Buchanan County, Missouri, in 1850 and has three brothers, James A., William T. and David H. Mr. Garner has two sisters, Martha A. Gentry and Nancy C. Harness. To our worthy subject and his estimable wife there have been born five children: David V., in Nez Perces County; Mary I. Leeper, in Nez Perces County; Rachel N. Maxwell, in Idaho County; Leda M. Pell, also in Idaho County; Neri, at home. Mr. Garner has a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and does a general farming business. Having orchard and hogs, cattle and so forth, while his improvements are hue. He is an advocate of good schools and labors for general progress. It is of note that Mr. Garner’s mother was the first white woman that settled in Holt County, Missouri.
Source: An Illustrated History of North Idaho: Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone counties, state of Idaho; Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903