Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WILLIAM. H. DEXTER, of
the firm of Dexter & Son, brick manufacturers, resides at Wenatchee,
Chelan county. He was born at Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 1, 1846.
His father, John W., was a native of Vermont, a member of the old Dexter
family, prominent for many generations. He was an extensive manufacturer
of boots and shoes, and conducted a wholesale and retail store in Laporte,
Indiana. The mother of our subject, Mary A. (Billington) Dexter,
born in Columbus, Ohio. was a member of an old and distinguished American
family. Both of our subject's parents are dead.
The boyhood days of William H. Dexter were
passed in Laporte, Indiana, where his father and an uncle were engaged
in the boot and shoe business. He attended the city schools, and
when about twenty years of age learned the trade of bricklayer. In
1865 he removed to Montana, and engaged in brick-making and contracting,
two and one-half miles from Miles City, where he had a brick yard on the
Indian reservation, near Fort Keogh. Here he was employed to a large
extent on government work. In 1876 he went to Helena, where he passed
a year, and then removed to Denver, Colorado, where for three years he
engaged in the wholesale and retail wine business. He removed to
Tacoma, Washington, in 1888, and remained there and in the Puget Sound
country seven years. At that time his son, having graduated from
Dr. Hill's military academy, Portland, Oregon, accompanied him to British
Columbia on a prospecting tour, where they remained about two years.
In June, 1898, they came to Wenatchee and engaged in the business of brick-making,
purchasing a place near the river, which they disposed of to John Culp,
in 1899. Later they bought five acres of land near the fair grounds.
Here they manufacture common and pressed brick, the clay being excellently
adapted to the purpose, a test made by a Chicago brick machinery house,
demonstrating that the quality equalled any in the United States, and excelled
many others. They find a ready local sale, and ship considerable
brick to outside parties.
Our subject has one brother and one sister
living, Henry M., of Denver, Colorado; and Frances A., widow of Samuel
Hiser. At Valparaiso, Indiana, Mr. Dexter married Flora Seward, a
native of Laporte, whose father, Henry Seward, was a veteran of the Civil
war. Our subject has one son living, John A., his partner in business.
He is a member of the Wenatchee Commercial Club, and in politics a Democrat.