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.
W. J. SUTTON
was born on September 29, 1865, at Dryden, Michigan. After completing
the high school course, he entered the Eastern Michigan Normal School,
graduating in the normal course in 1886 and the commercial course in 1887.
In August, 1887, he came to Adams county, Washington, and later in the
same year located a homestead and tree claim eight miles east of Hatton,
a section of the country now known as Michigan Prairie. Since that
time, Mr. Sutton and his brother, B. L. Sutton, have been interested in
farming and have evinced their faith in the future of Adams county by adding
to their landed holdings, until now they own one of the most extensive
wheat farms in the state. In the fall of 1887, Mr. Sutton was elected
principal of the Cheney public schools and organized the first graded school
at that place. After serving three years in this position, he was
elected assistant principal of the Cheney State Normal School and one year
later, was promoted to the principalship, which position he held until
1897. During his term of office, the school underwent many trials
and discouragements. First because of the burning of the Benjamin
P. Cheney Academy building, the first home of the normal school, and later,
by the executive veto of its maintenance appropriation. For two years,
the work of the school was continued without state aid. During this
time the management of and the standard of the work done in the school
was such that the following legislature not only appropriated money to
cover the deficiency created during these two years, but made a liberal
appropriation for the future maintenance of the school; and in addition
to this the same legislature, largely through Mr. Sutton's efforts, appropriated
sixty-five thousand dollars for a normal school building. The present
magnificent structure is the result of this appropriation.
In March, 1897, Mr.
Sutton was married to Miss Nellie G. Hutchinson, of Auburn, New York, who
had been a member of the faculty of the Mankato State Normal School, Mankato,
Minnesota, and for six years principal of the training department of the
State Normal at Cheney. They are now living in their beautiful home
just outside of the city limits of Cheney. On their home farm, which
consists of about eight hundred acres of fine prairie land, is one of the
best apple orchards in eastern Washington.
For the past five years
Mr. Sutton has given his whole attention to the interests of his Cheney
and Adams county farms. Fraternally, he is a thirty-second degree
Scottish rite Mason, a Knight Templar, a Shriner and an Odd Fellow.