While there are some excellent stockmen and agriculturists in Nez Perces County, it is fitting that the subject of this sketch be accorded position with the leaders, for he has manifested a stirring energy, wisdom and progressiveness in his career which has been fraught with abundant success, especially in this County. William R. Gibbs was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on February 24, 1861, being the son of Thomas L. and Adeline (Howell) Gibbs, natives of North Carolina. The father was born in 1832, being one of triplets. He and his two brothers were so near alike that people could not tell the difference. They are all carpenters and living in Wilkes County still. The mother of our subject was born in 1839 and still lives. Her parents were pioneers of North Carolina. Our subject was educated in his native place and remained there with his parents until he was twenty-two. At that age he went to the Pocahontas coal mines in Virginia and wrought for one year, when he returned home. Then the desire to see the west was the main thing that led him to Nez Perces County and in 1886, he engaged in the stock business here and two years later he took land. Since that time he has been one of the active factors in building up this country and he is today one of the heavy land owners in the vicinity. He has three farms, one all under cultivation and well improved with buildings, while another has one hundred acres under cultivation and the third is all fenced and used for pasture. Mr. Gibbs is investing more and more in land and stock. He also handled a mercantile business and a hotel and livery stable in Morrow, but recently sold them all and is now devoting himself to his stock and land. At present he is making his home in Morrow and is one of the leading citizens and a man who commands the respect of all. Mr. Gibbs is a member of the I. O. O. F. He is a staunch Democrat with energy and able to give a reason for his political faith. His party nominated him for sheriff of Nez Perces County but with the ticket he suffered defeat. Mr. Gibbs has the following brothers and sisters: Maggie Davis, who died in this County two years since; Nancy Walker, Sarah Gibbs, Ellen Davis, Martin, Thomas, all in North Carolina. Mr. Gibbs is one of the most active workers for good schools in the district and is always allied on the side of advancement and those measures which are for the general welfare.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903