Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WILLIAM I. PURCELL.
In the year 1886 the subject of this sketch came to Adams county and located
a timber culture and pre-emption. This land he improved and cultivated
until 1898, when he filed a homestead on his present home one mile east
and two miles south of Fletcher. He sold his original land in 1902
and purchased a half-section adjoining his homestead, making him the owner
of four hundred and eighty acres, three hundred and fifty acres of which
are now under cultivation. All of his land is fenced, well improved
and contains a first class orchard, making it one of the most desirable
farms in the county. It also is judiciously supplied with live stock.
William I. Purcell was born in Bastrop county,
Texas, January 11, 1855, the son of Samuel and Cerraphina (Weatherbee)
Purcell, the father a native of Indiana and the mother of New York.
The parents went to Texas in 1852, migrated to Baker Springs, Kansas, in
1869, and returned to Pike county, Illinois, in 1870, where the father
died one year later. The mother came west with our subject in 1886
and died December 7, 1889, aged seventy-six years, seven months and twenty-one
days. She was a devoted member of the Christian church, was married
twice and reared a family of seven children by her first union and another
of two children by her second marriage. Her first husband's name
was William Martin, and his death occurred in 1838.
Mr. Purcell received his early education in
a subscription school in Texas, and after going to Illinois with his parents
he attended school in that state three years. At the age of sixteen
he engaged in work on a farm, this being his first start for himself.
He remained thus engaged five years, then worked a rented farm for twelve
years, at the expiration of which period he came to Adams county.
Mr. Purcell was married October 15, 1874,
to Ruby A. Huffman, who is the daughter of Barney and Lucretia (Williams)
Huffman, natives of Virginia. The parents of Mrs. Purcell removed
to Indiana while young and later to Pike county, Illinois, where they lived
until 1888, then came to Washington and are now living in Adams county,
both more than four score years of age. They were the parents of
eleven children, eight of whom are now living.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Purcell come of American
stock as far back as the family records extend.
Mr. Purcell is a member of the Democratic
party, and both he and Mrs. Purcell are members of the Christian church.